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Editorial Results (free)

1. Kinard Elected President of State Attorneys Association -

Christy Kinard, governmental affairs and professional standards director for the Memphis Area Association of Realtors, has been elected president of the Tennessee County Attorneys Association.

2. Kinard Elected President of Tennessee Attorneys Association -

Christy Kinard, governmental affairs and professional standards director for the Memphis Area Association of Realtors, has been elected president of the Tennessee County Attorneys Association.

3. Kinard Takes Director Job at Memphis Area Association of Realtors -

The Memphis Area Association of Realtors has hired Christy Kinard as its new governmental affairs and professional standards director. Her first official day on the job will be Wednesday, Jan. 16.

4. Kinard Joins Memphis Area Association of Realtors as Director -

The Memphis Area Association of Realtors has hired Christy Kinard as its new governmental affairs and professional standards director. Her first official day on the job will be Wednesday, Jan. 16.

5. Asst. County Atty. Kinard Joins Luttrell Staff -

In her four years as the assistant county attorney for the Shelby County Commission, Christy Kinard has been a key part of drafting three sets of Shelby County charter amendments and the first proposed metro consolidation charter to go to local voters in 39 years.

6. Commission to Discuss Retirement Plans, Bridge Repairs -

Shelby County commissioners again take up the idea of changing the retirement benefits of future county employees after several delays in voting on a proposed plan D retirement fund.

The item is again on Monday’s commission agenda.

7. Mays To Hold Schools Consolidation Hearing -

Most of the Shelby County Schools board wants a court order in Memphis federal court Thursday that will stop the plan by the Shelby County Commission to appoint a new countywide school board on March 28.

8. County School Board Seeks Injunction From Thursday Schools Hearing -

Most of the Shelby County school board wants a court order in Memphis federal court Thursday that will stop the plan by the Shelby County Commission to appoint a new countywide school board on March 28.

9. Work Draws to a Close For Charter Commission -

Metro Charter Commissioners are tightening up provisions in the proposed consolidation charter that is one meeting away from being completed.

The 15-member body holds its final meeting Monday, just ahead of the Aug. 10 deadline imposed by state law for consolidation efforts.

10. Charter Commission Sets Date For Metro Elections, Tightens Charter Provisions -

Metro Charter Commissioners are tightening up provisions in the proposed consolidation charter that is just about completed.

A week from its final meeting, the commission settled several important questions and sought more legal advice on others. The charter proposal goes to voters on the Nov. 2 ballot.

11. Commission Expected to Choose County Mayor -  

This could take awhile.

Among the items on today’s Shelby County Commission agenda is the appointment of a mayor to serve the remaining 10 months left in the term of A C Wharton Jr. Wharton became Memphis mayor in the Oct. 15 special election to replace Willie Herenton, who retired in July.

The meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

Three Shelby County commissioners and a former suburban mayor are vying for the appointment to serve as the next Shelby County mayor.

They are County Commissioners J.W. Gibson, Joe Ford and George Flinn and former Collierville Mayor Linda Kerley.

The Daily News will tweet the outcome this afternoon and a full account will be posted later today at The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

Commission Chairwoman Joyce Avery is serving as mayor for up to 45 days. She is not among the four contenders who filed an application and underwent a background check.

Issues to consider

Each of the four contenders identified the financial crisis at The Regional Medical Center at Memphis as a top priority if they are selected. All said they would not be a candidate in the 2010 county elections. Flinn qualified that slightly by saying he would not run in 2010 if he wins the appointment.

“The biggest challenge facing this interim mayor will be The MED,” said Flinn, who is a physician and radiologist. “Closure or scaling back of The MED will be devastating to the community as a whole.

“Yet, we know our severe limitations financially in the county. This is a serious challenge and I’m the only one here with 35 years of medical experience … to meet this.”

Gibson also accented his business acumen as CEO of Gibson Cos., which includes a commercial printing operation, land development services and a wholesale medical supply company.

“I would like to deal with trying to stabilize the Regional Medical Center,” Gibson said as he also talked of improving the access locally owned small businesses have to government contracts and to economic growth in general.

Gibson was appointed to the Metro Charter Commission, and reaffirmed last week what he said in October when his appointment was confirmed by the County Commission. He will resign the charter commission position if he wins the appointment as county mayor.

Ford, who is the longest-serving member of the current commission, talked of his reluctance to seek elected office despite being part of the city’s best-known political family. He retired in 2008 from the family business, N.J. Ford and Sons Funeral Home, and started his own funeral home that same year.

“I had no desire to be in politics,” the 11th of 12 Ford children said as he outlined his bid for the Memphis City Council seat his late brother James Ford gave up when elected to the County Commission. “The citizens in the district came to me … and said, ‘You’ve got to run.’”

Kerley opted not to seek re-election as mayor of Collierville in 2008, saying she needed to devote more time to her real estate company during the recession.

Like Ford, Kerley said she was approached about seeking the appointment and initially said no.

“But the more I thought about it, the more I thought I might be an alternate choice to have as a temporary solution,” she said.

Partisan politics

There are a few parliamentary wrinkles going into today’s decision.

It will take seven votes for someone to claim the county mayor’s office. But the three commissioners seeking the job won’t be able to vote even if they are eliminated over several rounds of voting. The ruling by Assistant County Attorney and parliamentarian Christy Kinard means the winner will have to get seven of nine available votes on the commission if all three commissioners stay in the running.

Picking one of the three commissioners also would mean the commission would then have to fill a vacant seat on the body as well.

Kerley touted her experience running the thriving suburb.

Kerley’s name was among those considered by the commission earlier this year for a vacancy on the County Commission that ultimately went to Democrat Matt Kuhn.

Democratic backers of Kerley identified her as a Republican, but that didn’t draw enough Republican support for her to claim the seat in predominantly Republican commission District 4.

“I do miss it. I didn’t think I would,” Kerley said of the practice of politics as she talked of her partisan political identity. “I’ve been called a Democrat by Republicans and a Republican by Democrats. I’m not a card-carrying anything. … I never thought it was fair for me to join any party since I could not give my total support to that party. I wanted to be very clear about that.”

Kerley estimated she has voted for Republican candidates approximately 95 percent of the time.

The distinction is important because unlike Memphis and Collierville municipal elections, county elections for non-judicial offices feature partisan primaries before general elections. The primaries apply to commission races as well. Flinn is a Republican. Gibson and Ford are Democrats.

...

12. Judgeship Applications Due Jan. 21 -

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners began the process this week of filling one of two judicial vacancies.

The commission is accepting applications through Jan. 21 for General Sessions Criminal Court judge Division 10. Judge Anthony Johnson died of a heart attack Jan. 2.

13. Gatewood’s Ballot Fate May Be Decided Today -

What if there was an election and no one was on the ballot?

That is the prospect the Shelby County Election Commission will address at a special meeting this afternoon.

Local election officials disqualified Memphis City Schools board member Stephanie Gatewood from running for re-election on the Nov. 4 ballot because she failed to file a campaign finance report by the Aug. 21 qualifying deadline for school board candidates. Gatewood had no challengers.

14. Commissioners Start Over On Term Limit Amendment -

A compromise by members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners on the issue of term limits lasted long enough – about two weeks – that the consensus collapsed this week.

It was May 12 that 11 of the 13 commissioners voted for a proposed amendment to the Shelby County charter that would put a limit of three consecutive four-year terms for county office holders to voters on the Aug. 7 ballot. If that proposal went on to be defeated by voters in August, there would have been a Nov. 4 referendum on a two-term limit.