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Editorial Results (free)

1. Politics Continues After County Primaries -

A lot of the candidates from the Shelby County primary ballot were in the same room the day after the Tuesday, May 6, election.

The occasion was County Commission committee sessions.

It was mostly winners.

2. ‘Wheel’ Now in Motion for New School System -

Those on the schools transition planning commission called it “the wheel.” Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald called it “the wheel of education.”

3. Schools Planning Commission Begins Work -

The 21-member schools consolidation planning commission goes to work Thursday, Sept. 29, in a conference room at the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement in Shelby Farms.

4. Countywide School Board List Hits 100 -

Shelby County Commissioners are preparing for a long afternoon Wednesday, Sept. 7, as they interview applicants for the seven seats the commission will fill on the new countywide school board.

The interview sessions before the general government committee chaired by commissioner Mike Carpenter begin at noon.

5. Haslam Picks Cates for Consolidation Group -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has picked Memphis philanthropist and business leader Staley Cates as his nominee for the 21-member schools consolidation planning commission.

Cates is president of Southeastern Asset Management Inc.

6. County Commission to Select Leaders -

Shelby County Commissioners settle the simmering political question of who will lead the 13-member body for another year at their Monday, July 11, meeting.

On Monday’s agenda is the election of a chairman and a chairman pro tempore for the year-long term that begins Sept. 1.

7. Thomas Seeks No. 2 County Commission Post -

Shelby County Commissioner Chris Thomas is running for the No. 2 position on the commission, chairman pro tempore.

8. County Commission Approves UDC -

Shelby County Commissioners this week approved a new Unified Development Code with no discussion. The combined city-county code passed on a unanimous vote on third and final reading.

Memphis City Council members were scheduled to take their final vote on the code Tuesday afternoon, which would make it a countywide set of rules for future development, both residential and commercial.

9. Feds Match County Money 3-to-1 for The MED -

Federal, state, county and city officials – both Democrats and Republicans – celebrated Thursday a larger-then-expected $30 million payment to The MED from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

10. Metro Charter Commission Plays To Tough Audience -

The Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission got their first formal look Thursday at what the Metro Charter Commission has been working on since December.

And the still forming consolidation charter that is the group’s chief task under state law got decidedly mixed reviews.

11. MED Leadership Team Takes Shape -

Dr. Reginald Coopwood is close to having his top leadership team in place three months after taking the helm at The Regional Medical Center at Memphis as chief executive officer.

12. MED Task Force Wraps up Meetings -

The MED Task Force, a special committee led by interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford, wrapped up its work Thursday with the issuance of a final report.

13. Commission Pleased With MED Pledge Attention -

Shelby County Commission Chairwoman Joyce Avery said she has no regrets about the commission’s pledge for funding for The Regional Medical Center at Memphis.

14. Commission Races Hinge on Public Issues -

Two issues figure in to the 11 competitive races for the Shelby County Commission – the future of the Regional Medical Center and local government consolidation.

Any push card for a credible candidate includes either something about how to save The MED or the candidate’s opposition to consolidation – or both.

15. Candidates Battle it Out in Democratic Primary -

Before voters get to the slimmer, trimmer Aug. 5 race for Shelby County mayor, some of them must decide the three-candidate Democratic primary on the May 4 ballot.

As political races go, this one has enough drama to make it interesting.

16. Beer Board Head Reacts to Alleged Influence Ploy -

 The head of the local Beer Board has complained that a deputy administrator to the County Commission tried to influence the board’s decision on a Hacks Cross Road business.

The complaint from Merrick Horne touched off an internal county government investigation last month in which commissioner James Harvey, Deputy Administrator for the Commission Clay Perry and attorney Ricky E. Wilkins gave sworn statements.

17. UPDATE: Beer Beef Prompts Probe -  

The head of the Shelby County Beer Board has complained that a deputy administrator to the Shelby County Commission tried to influence the board’s decision on a Hacks Cross Road bar.

The complaint from Merrick Horne touched off an internal county government investigation last month in which commissioner James Harvey, Deputy Administrator for the Commission Clay Perry and attorney Ricky E. Wilkins gave sworn statements.

Perry is running in the May 4 Democratic primary for Probate Court clerk. Harvey, a Democratic county commissioner, is seeking re-election in the same set of primaries.

At the center of the controversy is a beer permit sought by the owners of a recently opened nightspot called The Daq.

Danny Shaw, a real estate agent and acquaintance of Perry and Harvey, left a phone message for Harvey seeking help when a Beer Board vote was delayed last month. Shaw called on behalf of the alleged owner, Keevon Morgan, of Nashville.

In a report released Monday, Deputy County Atty. Danny Presley concluded the episode “was clearly an attempt by Mr. Shaw to circumvent the proper procedures of the Shelby County Beer Board by contacting an elected official and a high-ranking staff member of said body to achieve a certain result, which was the speedy issuance of a beer permit for Mr. Morgan.”

Presley concluded Shaw “enjoyed a comfortable familiarity with both Clay Perry and Commissioner Harvey.”

“It is critical to note that, notwithstanding the clear appearance of utilizing political influence to circumvent the process, there is no evidentiary proof at this time that either Mr. Perry or Commissioner Harvey accepted or solicited any form of gratuity in exchange for their services,” Presley wrote.

Neither Harvey nor Horne could be reached by press time.

The Beer Board, at its March 18 meeting, delayed action on the beer permit when it couldn’t determine who the owner of the nightspot was.

There were two leases, and as the board’s staff investigated, they got conflicting answers on which lease was valid, as they called and contacted the various names on both sets of paperwork.

The Daq held its grand opening days later, on March 22, without a beer permit.

Horne said he drove by, saw the opening and went in where he talked to someone else who said they were the owner.

On the day of the grand opening, Shaw left a message at the commission offices for Harvey, according to a County Commission e-mail. Perry was copied on the e-mail, which is a routine procedure in handling calls to commissioners.

The next evening, March 23, Horne got a call at home from Perry asking if the board could call a special meeting.

Horne said Perry asked what could be done to speed the application process for The Daq.

Perry agreed that he quizzed Horne about possibly calling a special meeting to consider The Daq’s permit application.

“Clay then inferred that the owners were ‘connected.’ (I took that to mean politically, although I cannot remember the specific statement to quote.),” Horne wrote.

Perry denied saying anything like that or trying to imply any kind of political power.

“I haven’t been paid anything,” Perry is quoted as saying at one point in the interview.

Perry said Harvey never discussed the matter with him, and that Harvey had not talked with Kenny Shaw before Perry called Horne.

Perry said Shaw made it “perfectly clear” that Morgan wanted a specially called meeting.

Harvey said he talked with Shaw.

“I said, ‘Call Clay and tell him what your problem is and he will let me know what I need to do thereafter,’” Harvey told Presley.

Perry called the investigation “silly” and “politically motivated,” as well as politically timed. The report surfaced the same week that early voting began in advance of the primaries.

Perry said he was responding to a call from a constituent, a primary task of the commission staff.

“You can write it any way you want, and in the end, I’m still staff,” Perry told The Daily News. “I’ve been doing constituent service for 15 years. That’s all that was – constituent service.”

Presley said the investigation was prompted by a phone call from Horne and authorized by Shelby County Commission chairwoman Joyce Avery. Perry said he is to meet Monday with Avery.

The Beer Board’s next meeting is Thursday . Presley told The Daily News at that time, the board will consider new questions about who owns The Daq.

“Unfortunately, there is a rather stark inconsistency or discrepancy between what was represented back on March 18 and what we received in document form,” Presley said.

Horne told Presley that after last month’s vote to delay, Wilkins asked how long it would take The Daq to get a permit. Wilkins is an assistant county attorney hired to advise the Beer Board.

Wilkins denied any attempt to sway Horne or the board.

“No one has lobbied anybody that I know of on the planet Earth about this application,” he told Presley. “I don’t know these people. I have had no affiliation with any of these people.”

Note: An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect location for The Daq. We regret the error.

...

18. Surprises Possible as Primary Filing Deadline Nears -

Although today marks the filing deadline for the May 4 Shelby County primaries and independent candidates on the Aug. 5 county general election ballot, plenty of political drama remains.

In fact, the filing deadline is often just as important – and surprising – as election day.

19. Temporary MED Fix Just That: Temporary -

The Regional Medical Center at Memphis will get $10 million from Shelby County government to keep its emergency room open through June 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

The Shelby County Commission’s 9-3 vote this week takes the money from the county’s $73 million reserve fund.

20. 2009 Year In Review -

2009 was a year without a script – and plenty of improvising on the political stage.

It was supposed to be an off-election year except in Arlington and Lakeland.

2008 ended with voters in the city and county approving a series of changes to the charters of Memphis and Shelby County governments. Those changes were supposed to set a new direction for both entities, kicking into high gear in 2010 and ultimately culminating two years later.

21. Avery Looks Past Interim Post to Long-Term Challenges -

We last talked with Shelby County Commissioner Joyce Avery when she began her one-year tenure as chairwoman of the commission in September.

22. Probate Clerk Thomas Files Petition To Run For County Commission -

Probate Court Clerk Chris Thomas is the first candidate to file a petition to run in 2010 for the Shelby County Commission.

23. Latest Public Housing Options Unveiled at Levi Road -

Batsell Booker remembered the excitement he felt in 1972 when his family moved to public housing on Horn Lake Road in Southwest Memphis.

“They were the best thing I had ever seen. … You wouldn’t think that today,” he said. “But we had some great times.”

24. Fire Protection Latest Issue For Charter Commission -

The Metro Charter Commission has a “project manager” to help meet its tight deadline for a consolidation charter proposal.

The concept is a new one to government undertakings. But at its Thursday meeting, the group agreed to make Lou Etta Burkins, a project manager at FedEx Express, its project manager. The move was suggested by commission Chair Julie Ellis and adopted by the group with no objections.

25. First MED Task Force Meeting Focuses On State Funding -

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz identified Tennessee as the primary deadbeat for failing to pay its share to The Regional Medical Center at Memphis during the first meeting today of a special task force looking for ways to help the financially struggling hospital.

26. MED Task Force Members Appointed -

Shelby County Interim Mayor Joyce Avery and County Commissioner Joe Ford, who will become county mayor Dec. 10, have appointed a task force to brainstorm short- and long-term solutions to the revenue crisis at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis.

27. MED CEO Finalists Question Hospital’s Board -

Comments about “getting rid of the board over at The MED” made by Shelby County Mayor-elect Joe Ford shortly after being chosen for the post Tuesday caused some awkward moments the next day when hospital members interviewed candidates to lead the Regional Medical Center at Memphis.

28. Ford Wins Appointment as County Mayor -

Joe Ford’s picture on the fourth floor of the Shelby County Administration Building came down minutes after he won the appointment Tuesday as interim Shelby County mayor.

29. Joe Ford Claims County Mayor's Office -

A long time goal of the Ford political organization was realized Tuesday afternoon when Shelby County Commissioner Joe Ford was appointed interim Shelby County Mayor effective Dec. 10.

30. UPDATE: Joe Ford To Become County Mayor -

A long time goal of the Ford political organization was realized Tuesday afternoon when Shelby County Commissioner Joe Ford was appointed interim Shelby County Mayor effective Dec. 10.

31. Commission to Make Another Run At Choosing County Mayor -

The votes for an interim Shelby County mayor haven’t been along party or racial lines, but there’s still time. Shelby County Commissioners will try again today to appoint someone to the county’s top job.

32. County Mayor Deadlock Moves to Next Week -

The pressure of 24 roll call votes didn’t change any minds. Attempts at persuasion between the votes didn’t change any votes on the Shelby County Commission.

So now commissioners on both sides of the body’s deadlock over an interim county mayor are counting on another tactic to break the draw between Commissioners Joe Ford and J.W. Gibson – time.

33. Commission Deadlocked On Next County Mayor -

Joyce Avery will serve as Shelby County Mayor until Dec. 10.

Shelby County Commissioners decided Monday that she will serve the full 45 day period in the county charter. But they weren’t able to decide who will be mayor after Dec. 10.

34. UPDATE: County Commission Deadlocks On Mayoral Choice -

Joyce Avery will serve as Shelby County Mayor until Dec. 10.

Shelby County Commissioners decided Monday that she will serve the full 45 day period in the county charter. But they weren’t able to decide who will be mayor after Dec. 10.

35. A City in Transition -

Just before sunrise on a rainy Tuesday morning, the armed officers raided the city office. They didn’t make any arrests, but they took files, interviewed employees and served search warrants. And they temporarily closed the Memphis Animal Shelter.

36. 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.

...

37. Buehler Homes Proposal Approved -

A plan by Buehler Homes to build 125 rental homes on 140 parcels of tax delinquent land was approved Wednesday by the Shelby County Commission.

The 7-4 commission vote was at the end of a two and a half hour meeting with a lot of emotion and even more questions.

38. Buehler Homes Proposal Clears County Commission -

A plan by Buehler Homes to build 125 rental homes on 140 parcels of tax delinquent land was approved today by the Shelby County Commission.

The 7-4 commission vote was at the end of a two and a half hour meeting with a lot of emotion and even more questions.

39. City Mayoral Transition Yields Crowded To-Do List -  

Memphis Mayor-elect A C Wharton Jr. will be appointing a new city attorney once he takes office next week.

Elbert Jefferson, the city attorney Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery tried to fire just minutes after taking the oath of office on July 31, Friday sent a second resignation letter to Lowery. The two met for an hour Sunday evening at City Hall and Lowery accepted Jefferson’s resignation.

Jefferson’s attorney, Ted Hansom, and city Chief Administrative Officer Jack Sammons were also present. Jefferson turned in his key card, the keys to his city car and his laptop.

“The drama is over,” Lowery said Monday. “For my part, I wish it had never happened.”

Dramatis personae

In a resignation letter last week to Wharton, Jefferson had expressed hope that he would be hired for some position in the new administration. Over the weekend, he used the same text in the new letter but addressed it to Lowery instead. He requested the city pay his legal fees as well.

The resignation letter to Lowery made moot an ouster suit filed by Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons. Criminal Court Judge James Lammey, who was to hear the case, reset a final report to Oct. 27, citing Jefferson’s departure.

“A hearing on the issue of suspension would be an inefficient use of judicial resources, of the state of Tennessee and of the resources of the city of Memphis, and considering (Jefferson’s) current health status, would be an unnecessary tax on (Jefferson’s) well-being and a possible threat to his health,” Lammey wrote in the court order.

Jefferson was scheduled to return to City Hall from sick leave Monday. He apparently believed the new mayor would be in office by the time he returned.

An audit of city financial affairs is standard procedure in a change of administrations. Wharton is naming team members to review the offices of the city attorney, human resources and finance and administration. He was also to name members of his transition team Monday.

Time-, battle-tested

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter and Methodist Healthcare executive Cato Johnson will head the team.

The other members are:

- Herman Morris, attorney and 2007 candidate for Memphis Mayor.

- Tomeka Hart, Memphis Urban League CEO and Memphis school board member.

- Jim Strickland, attorney and Memphis City Council member.

- Rev. Dwight Montgomery, Southern Christian Leadership Conference Memphis chapter President.

- Jose Velasquez, Latino Memphis former executive director.

- Nisha Powers, Powers Hill Design Inc. President.

- Paul Morris, attorney and former chairman Center City Commission.

- Douglas Scarboro, The Leadership Academy vice president.

- Steve Reynolds, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. CEO.

- Diane Rudner, Plough Foundation chairman.

- Darrell Cobbins, Universal Commercial CEO.

Johnson has more experience serving on such task forces and ad hoc committees than any other leader in the city’s corporate community. Most recently, Johnson was one of two business leaders on the ad hoc committee exploring single-source local funding for education. He also served as a leader of the Mid-South Fairgrounds renovation committee and has been involved in similar capacities with every major construction project for a civic use in the past 15 years.

Carpenter’s appointment is certain to fuel speculation that he might be tapped for some role in the new administration. However, Carpenter has already been holding fundraisers in anticipation of a bid for re-election to his commission seat in the 2010 county elections.

Wharton is tentatively scheduled to take the oath of office Oct. 26.

The Shelby County Commission also meets that same day and could receive Wharton’s resignation and declare a vacancy in the county mayor’s office with a vote to appoint Wharton’s successor-to-come in November. Until that vote, County Commission Chairwoman Joyce Avery will serve as interim mayor.

“It will be a day in which I come to work at one place and leave work from another place,” Wharton told The Daily News.

But the Shelby County Election Commission will meet earlier than expected -- Thursday afternoon -- to certify the Oct. 15 election results. Once the results are certified, Wharton is free to resign as Shelby County mayor and take the oath as Memphis mayor.

Cooperative efforts

Meanwhile, Wharton has asked City Council Chairman Harold Collins to consider delaying a council vote today on the five appointees the city mayor is to make to a metro charter commission. The council set today’s vote with the intention of having whomever won the Oct. 15 special election appoint members of the panel.

“I won’t be there on the 20th. … I’m seeing if they are in a position to put it off until I’m actually over there,” Wharton told The Daily News, as he has had attorneys researching if a council vote in November would meet timelines for such an effort set out in state law.

“I believe that they may be able to meet on Nov. 3,” Wharton said.

Wharton has already named the 10 appointees to be made by the Shelby County mayor to the panel. The County Commission approved all 10 earlier this month.

While it appears he will make the other five, Wharton said he will ask the council, through Collins, to effectively pick the five nominees, whom Wharton would then send to the council as his appointees.

“I chose all 10 over here, which I had to do by law. If I could find some way around it that passed legal muster, then I would do that,” he said. “But we’ve researched it and I know of no way in which the city mayor can say … ‘I’m not going to do that.’ You can’t transfer it.”

Wharton and Lowery were to discuss the matter at a meeting Monday afternoon. Lowery told The Daily News he had received no suggested appointees from council members, but would be willing to submit names the council wants on the charter commission.

...

40. Update: Wharton Names Transition Team -  

Memphis Mayor-elect A C Wharton Jr. has named eleven more people to his transition team.

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter and Methodist Healthcare executive Cato Johnson will chair the group. The others include:

- Herman Morris, attorney, former president of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division and 2007 Memphis mayoral candidate;

- The Rev. Dwight Montgomery, president of the Memphis chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference;

- Nisha Powers, president of Powers Hill Design Inc.;

- Tomeka Hart, Memphis school board member and Memphis Urban League president and CEO;

- Darrell Cobbins, Universal Commercial President and CEO;

- Jim Strickland, attorney and Memphis City Councilmember;

- Jose Velasquez, Latino Memphis’ former executive director.

- Paul Morris, attorney and former chairman Center City Commission.

- Diane Rudner, Poplar Foundation chairman.

- Steve Reynolds, Baptist Memorial Health Care President & CEO.

- Douglas Scarboro, The Leadership Academy vice president.

In other transition developments, the Shelby County Election Commission will meet Thursday afternoon to certify the results of the Oct. 15 special mayoral election.

The meeting is earlier than Wharton had expected. Once the results are certified, Wharton can resign his post as Shelby County mayor at any point and take the oath of office at City Hall. The Shelby County Commission will then declare a vacancy in the county mayor’s office and commission chairwoman Joyce Avery will become acting mayor until the commission appoints someone to serve the year remaining in Wharton’s county term of office.

...

41. City, County Brace for Change After Wharton’s Mayoral Win -

The transition begins today at Memphis City Hall.

The first full week after the special mayoral election should see plenty of speculation about who might be leaving the municipal building and who might be coming with Memphis mayor-elect and soon-to-be former Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

42. Wharton Wins In A Walk -

It wasn’t ever close.

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. was elected mayor of Memphis Thursday in vote totals that never dipped below 60 percent.

His closest rival in the vote count was Memphis mayor pro tempore Myron Lowery who didn’t crack 20 percent in the vote count. Former city council member Carol Chumney, who finished second to then-mayor Willie Herenton in 2007, finished third with attorney Charles Carpenter in fourth place.

43. UPDATE: Wharton Wins -

It wasn’t ever close.

 

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. was elected mayor of Memphis Thursday in vote totals that never dipped below 60 percent.

 

His closest rival in the vote count was Memphis mayor pro tempore Myron Lowery who didn’t crack 20 percent in the vote count. Former city council member Carol Chumney, who finished second to then-mayor Willie Herenton in 2007, finished third with attorney Charles Carpenter in fourth place.

 

Wharton takes office once the Shelby County Election Commission certifies the vote count which remains unofficial until an audit and an Election Commission vote to certify.

 

When that happens, Wharton’s move to City Hall will be followed in rapid succession by several other political changes.

 

Shelby County Commission chairwoman Joyce Avery becomes interim county mayor for up to 45 days. She is the first woman to hold the office.

 

“To be mayor of Shelby County, even for a short time, is a sacred trust,” Avery said in a written statement. “I will do all that I can to deserve that trust and to prepare things for the interim mayor who will follow me.”

 

The County Commission will meet to select someone to fill the remaining 11 months left in Wharton’s term of office as Shelby County mayor. Commissioners Joe Ford and J.W. Gibson have expressed interest in the appointment and have each said they would probably not run in the 2010 election for county mayor if appointed.

 

Wharton will serve out the remaining two years left in the term of office of Willie Herenton who resigned at the end of July.

 

Wharton left no doubt Thursday evening that he will be a candidate for re-election in the regularly scheduled 2011 city elections.

 

In his victory speech at Minglewood Hall, Wharton boasted that his campaign had “saturated” the city.

 

“We do it like a postage stamp,” he said. “In case anybody has any doubts that was meant for 2011.”

 

Wharton had already organized his campaign to run in 2011 before Herenton announced his resignation. Several of Wharton’s rivals in the race questioned whether Wharton and Herenton were working together on the timing of Herenton’s departure. Wharton denied there was any collusion. But Wharton clearly benefited from having the best campaign organization in a shortened campaign. It wound up being even shorter than the 90 days called for in the newly revised Memphis charter because of a conflicting state requirement that took precedence.

 

He never called Herenton by name, but Wharton told supporters Thursday evening that his election marked the end of a short political campaign and “the end of a much longer era of apathy, of divisiveness … of hatred, of discord.”

 

“I know that that’s true because tonight you made it clear that Memphis is ready to come together at last. We are and always have been one Memphis,“ he said, echoing his campaign theme. “The question moving forward is whether we will grow and flourish as one or not.”

 

During the campaign, Wharton refused to speculate about who he might replace among the slate of division directors provided for in the city charter. He said it would be improper to promise jobs during the campaign.

 

"We all know some big changes are going to be necessary,” he said on election night. “We know that it’s going to take work, time and trust. So as you look to me to deliver the change we need and the progress and unity you asked for, I am asking you to carry that same banner into your homes, into your neighborhoods.”

 

The resounding victory ends a tenure of eleven weeks in which Lowery began dismantling some parts of Herenton’s administration virtually from the moment he took the oath of office on July 31. Lowery said late in the campaign that he was only interested in serving the next two years.

...

44. Commission to Appeal Second Juvenile Court Judgeship -

The battle over more than one Juvenile Court judge is on its way to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Shelby County Commissioners voted this week to appeal an earlier ruling by the Tennessee Appeals Court to the high court. The Supreme Court could choose to hear the case or deny the request for an appeal, which would leave the appeals court ruling in place.

45. Commissioner Avery Addresses Her Priorities -

Joyce Avery has been chairwoman of the Shelby County Commission since September.

The Republican from commission District 4 is serving her second and final four-year term. The district includes all six of Shelby County’s suburban municipalities, which include Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland and Millington.

46. Wrangling Expected Before Juvenile Court Ruling’s Appeal -  

The loser was expected to appeal.

But the Shelby County Commission will have a debate at the very least and possibly a close vote before any appeal of this week’s Tennessee Court of Appeals ruling on a second Juvenile Court judge’s position is approved.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled this week that the Shelby County Commission cannot fill a second Juvenile Court judge’s position.

The ruling not only reverses a Chancery Court ruling and plans by a majority on the Commission, it also holds that part of a private act by the Tennessee Legislature is unconstitutional. Passed in 1967, the law provided for a second judge’s position.

The commission was not unanimous when it voted to create the position but did not fill it.

The move in early 2007 by the commission prompted Juvenile Court Judge Curtis Person Jr. to file the lawsuit the appeals court ruled on this week.

“It’s always been very clear, to me anyway, that this power could never be delegated by the Legislature,” Person, a former state legislator, told The Daily News.

“A court without a judge is an anomaly,” he added, quoting from the court ruling. “It was something that I felt I had to do to protect the court and to determine the future of the court. Therefore it had to be dealt with. It’s a huge constitutional issue.”

Hot air ahead

Person noted it is the second ruling of its kind from an appeals court panel on the issue in the past year. The previous lawsuit involved a city court created in the city of Jellico, Tenn.

“This opinion is much longer and has a lot more detail in it … about why it can’t be done,” Person said.

Commissioner Deidre Malone, who led the charge for the second judge’s position, said Monday she was disappointed by the decision. But she also said she would ask the commission to appeal the ruling to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

“My recommendation is going to be that we appeal,” Malone said. “My hope is that we kick it up to the state Supreme Court.”

The possibility of an appeal came as no surprise to Person.

“Certainly they have that right,” he told The Daily News.

Commission Chairwoman Joyce Avery was opposed to the second judgeship and praised the court’s decision.

“I think the court ruled in a correct manner. I always felt that Judge Person was elected as judge and he should remain as judge without two judges,” Avery said.

The differing opinions that remain are an indication that more debate is ahead before the commission decides on an appeal.

“There will be a lot of debate,” Avery said at the end of a nearly four-hour meeting with a relatively short agenda that did not include word of the ruling. “As you’ve seen today, commissioners like to talk.”

Catch-22

In 1967, Person supported passage of the private act in his role as a state legislator. The legislation unified what had been separate juvenile courts in Memphis and Shelby County.

The commission’s action and the appeals court ruling focused on a part of the private act known as “Section 20.”

The section created a second division of the unified Juvenile Court and authorized the County Commission to appoint a judge to that division.

The legislation also included a clause that said if Section 20 was ever declared unconstitutional, the rest of the legislation would stand on its own.

“We have concluded, however, that the General Assembly did not create or establish a court because it did not provide for the judgeship,” read the appeals court opinion written by Judge Patricia J. Cottrell. “While the General Assembly may have begun the process of establishing a court, it did not complete it. Because we find that Division 2 was not created in 1967, and, in fact, has not existed since that time, we find this argument by the commission inapplicable.”

Appeals court Judges Frank G. Clement and Richard H. Dinkins agreed for a unanimous opinion.

Chaotic times

Malone proposed the second judge’s position following Person’s election in the 2006 county elections. Avery and other critics argued the drive to create another position was a response by those who backed Veronica Coleman-Davis, who lost to Person in the election.

Malone and proponents argued a second and even third or fourth judgeship would not cost the county any more money and could replace a system of Juvenile Court referees who work under the Juvenile Court judge. The system of referees was put in place during the 40-year-plus tenure of the late Kenneth Turner, who did not have a law degree.

Person also served as a referee during Turner’s tenure as Juvenile Court judge.

He argued more than one judge controlling the direction of the court would create “chaos” and insisted the system of referees works well.

Critics of the current system pointed to other criminal and civil courts that operate efficiently with multiple divisions and one judge who serves as the administrative judge, usually on a rotating basis.

But Person points to a footnote in this week’s ruling that he said demonstrates the unique nature of Juvenile Court.

“Judges have duties regarding administrative aspects of the courts,” the footnote reads. “In order for a judge to perform these ministerial duties, it is necessary to know whether the Juvenile Court is composed of one or two divisions.”

Oops, their bad

Commissioner Steve Mulroy, a law professor at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis, said the opinion was a “strained reading of the 1967 act’s text.”

“We should have the Tennessee Supreme Court decide this matter once and for all,” he said.

Person’s suit also alleged a violation of the state open meetings law following the first vote in late 2006, just weeks after Person won an eight-year term as Juvenile Court judge.

Malone acknowledged some private discussion with other commissioners prior to the first vote.

Weeks later, she moved to rescind the action and take a second vote. The resolution was approved again.

The appeals court ruling held the second attempt was all the remedy that was needed to the violation of the state law.

“Where … the governmental body acts quickly and decisively to correct any mistake in its procedure, the primary goal of the Open Meetings Act has been accomplished,” said the ruling. “We do not believe that the Legislature intended to hinder such correction of error, but rather to encourage it.”

...

47. Not So Fast For Buehler Proposal -

Shelby County Commissioners delayed action this week on the transfer of 140 parcels of tax delinquent property to developer Harold Buehler.

48. Appeals Court Sides With Person in Juvenile Court Lawsuit -  

The Tennessee Appeals Court ruled Monday that the Shelby County Commission cannot fill a second Juvenile Court judge’s position.

The ruling not only reverses a Chancery Court ruling and plans by the Commission. It also holds that a private act by the Tennessee legislature passed in 1967 which provided for a second judge’s position is unconstitutional.

The commission was not unanimous when it voted to create the position but did not fill it.

The move in early 2007 by the commission prompted Juvenile Court Judge Curtis Person Jr. to file the lawsuit that the appeals court ruled on this week.

Commissioner Deidre Malone, who led the charge for the second judge’s position, said Monday she was disappointed by the decision. But she also said she would ask the commission to appeal the ruling to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

“My recommendation is going to be that we appeal,” Malone told The Daily News. “My hope is that we kick it up to the state supreme court.”

Commission chairwoman Joyce Avery was opposed to the second judgeship and praised the court’s decision.

“I think the court ruled in a correct manner. I always felt that Judge Person was elected as judge and he should remain as judge without two judges.”

The differing opinions that remain are an indication that more debate is ahead before the commission decides on an appeal.

“There will be a lot of debate,” Avery said at the end of a nearly four hour meeting with a relatively short agenda that did not include word of the ruling. “As you’ve seen today, commissioners like to talk.”

Malone proposed the second judge’s position following Person’s election in the 2006 county elections. Avery and other critics argued the drive to create another position was a response by those who backed Veronica Coleman-Davis, who lost to Person in the election.

Malone and proponents argued a second and even third or fourth judgeship would not cost the county any more money and could replace a system of Juvenile Court referees who work under the Juvenile Court Judge. The system of referees was put in place during the 40 year plus tenure of the late Kenneth Turner who did not have a law degree.

Person also served as a referee during Turner’s tenure as Juvenile Court Judge.

He argued more than one judge controlling the direction of the court would create “chaos” and insisted the system of referees worked well.

Critics of the current system pointed to other criminal and civil courts that operate efficiently with multiple divisions and one judge who serves as the administrative judge, usually on a rotating basis.

Person voted for passage of the private act in his role as a state legislator before becoming a referee. The legislation unified what had been separate Juvenile Courts in Memphis and Shelby County.

The commission’s action and the appeals court ruling focused on a part of the private act known as “section 20.”

The section created a second division of the unified Juvenile Court and authorized the County Commission to appoint a judge to that division.

“We have concluded, however, that the General Assembly did not create or establish a court because it did not provide for the judgeship,” the appeals court ruled in an opinion written by Judge Patricia J. Cottrell. “While the General Assembly may have begun the process of establishing a court, it did not complete it. Because we find that division 2 was not created in 1967, and, in fact, has not existed since that time, we find this argument by the Commission inapplicable.”

Appeals court judges Frank G. Clement and Richard H. Dinkins agreed for a unanimous opinion.

The ruling noted that both sides in the lawsuit agreed that the Tennessee Constitution bars the legislature from delegating its authority to establish and create “inferior” courts including Juvenile Courts. Citing an 1879 Tennessee Supreme Court ruling, Cottrell wrote that the definition of a court includes “a judge or chancellor performing the judicial functions.” The court also ruled in 1916, “The presence of a judge or judges is necessary as an essential element of a court.”

...

49. UPDATE: Appeals Court Rules No Second Juvenile Court Judge -

The Tennessee Appeals Court ruled today that the Shelby County Commission cannot fill a second Juvenile Court judge’s position.

The ruling not only reverses a Chancery Court ruling and plans by the Commission. It also holds that a private act by the Tennessee legislature passed in 1967 which provided for a second judge’s position is unconstitutional.

50. Malone Gears Up for County Mayor Run -

Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone stood under a carport in Orange Mound earlier this week and kicked off her campaign for Shelby County mayor in 2010.

The timing of the campaign kickoff at her grandparents’ house with her mother, other family members and her friends in attendance had been planned months ago to follow the end of Malone’s year-long tenure as County Commission chairwoman. Malone turned over the chair Monday to fellow Commissioner Joyce Avery.

51. Commissioners Seek Mattila’s Replacement -

Shelby County Commissioners are scheduled to fill the vacancy in the county trustee’s office by the end of this month.

Commissioners voted this week to interview candidates at committee sessions on Sept. 23. The full commission is scheduled to vote on the appointment at its Sept. 28 meeting.

52. UPDATE: Commission Approves Metro Charter Commission -

Shelby County Commissioners voted Monday to form a Metro Charter Commission. The resolution passed on a 9-2 vote.

Memphis City Council members are to discuss a similar resolution today in executive session with a vote by the full council likely in two weeks. If the council approves its side of the joint resolution, the Memphis and Shelby County Mayors would then begin appointing citizens to the 15 member body. That body would write a charter proposal to consolidate Memphis city and Shelby County governments.

53. County Commission Approves Metro Charter Commission -

Shelby County Commissioners voted Monday to form a Metro Charter Commission. The resolution passed on a 9-2 vote.

Memphis City Council members are to discuss a similar resolution Tuesday in executive session with a vote by the full council likely in two weeks. If the council approves its side of the joint resolution, the Memphis and Shelby County Mayors would then begin appointing citizens to the 15 member body. That body would write a charter proposal to consolidate Memphis city and Shelby County governments.

54. County Commission Preps For Consolidation Vote -

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. already has a list of possible nominees to a Metro Charter Commission. The names have been submitted by Shelby County Commissioners.

The commission will vote Monday on a resolution that would authorize the city and county mayors to form the group that would draft a consolidation charter proposal. The Memphis City Council is scheduled to discuss a companion resolution Tuesday in its committee sessions.

55. UPDATE: Metro Charter Commission Clears Commission Test Vote -

The formation of a Metro Charter Commission passed in a key test vote this morning before a committee of the Shelby County Commission.

The committee approved the resolution authorizing the 15-member commission to draft a blueprint for a consolidated Memphis and Shelby County government.

56. Ford Downplays Rumored Mayoral Ambitions -

Joe Ford for Shelby County mayor?

“I’m not positioning myself for it. … I have not talked to anybody about it,” Ford said when asked if the rumor was true. “Nobody’s said anything to me about it. Really, I hadn’t thought about it.”

57. Chairmanship Battle a Preview Of Coming Political Landscape -

The political fortunes of the Shelby County Democratic Party haven’t been this high in awhile.

Democrats have high hopes for the 2010 county elections. In the 2006 elections, four Democratic challengers of Republican incumbents in countywide offices came within 1,000 votes of wins. Democrats picked up a countywide office in the 2008 elections when Otis Jackson, one of the four Democrats who got close but not close enough two years earlier, upset Republican incumbent Chris Turner in the General Sessions Court clerk’s race.

58. Commission Approves Tax Rate, Names New Chairman -

Shelby County Commissioners approved a county property tax rate of $4.02 on the third and final reading this week.

The rate is two cents higher than the state certified tax rate of $4, which is the rate the state estimated would produce the same amount of revenue under the recent property reappraisal as the old rate of $4.04. The certified rate included an allowance for appeals of reappraisals.

59. County Leaves Wiggle Room In Tax Rate -

In setting the Shelby County property tax rate for the coming fiscal year, county officials have planned for the loss of as much as $1.06 billion in tax value from successful challenges to property value this year.

60. Not So Fast -

A proposed ordinance to prohibit employment-related discrimination in Shelby County government based on sexual orientation failed in a County Commission committee Wednesday morning on a 5-5 vote.

The measure, sponsored by Commissioner Steve Mulroy, will head to the full commission Monday for a vote on first reading but without the support of committee approval behind it. If Monday’s vote results in another tie or clear defeat, the measure at that point will have died.

61. Pyramid Transfer Includes Suburban Sweetener -

The deal to continue city funding of the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department has a $2 million bonus if county government can get other Shelby County municipalities to join in its funding.

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners this week approved a deal that would continue city of Memphis funding for the local Health Department for another year and sell off the county’s share of The Pyramid to the city.

62. Local Political Candidates Popping Up Like Daisies -

Candidates for the 2010 Shelby County elections continue to bloom in the political springtime of an off election year.

This weekend, County Trustee Paul Mattila opened his re-election bid with a large gathering at his home in Millington that dodged rain clouds.

63. Health Department Talks To Continue Next Week -

No deal on continued partial city funding of the local Health Department in exchange for turning over Shelby County government’s share of The Pyramid to the city.

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners this week rejected a vote on the proposal by the Herenton administration to buy the county’s share of The Pyramid and partially fund the local health department in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

64. No Commission Vote On City's Pyramid Health Dept. Offer -

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners considered and, at least for now, rejected a vote on a proposal by the Herenton administration to buy the county’s share of The Pyramid and partially fund the local health department in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

65. No Commission Vote On City's Pyramid Health Dept. Offer -

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners considered and, at least for now, rejected a vote on a proposal by the Herenton administration to buy the county’s share of The Pyramid and partially fund the local health department in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

66. Probate Clerk to Run For Commission Seat -

Shelby County Probate Court Clerk Chris Thomas won’t be running for re-election next year. Instead, he’ll run for the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.

67. Democrats Pull Off Commission Trick -

Before this week’s meeting of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners, Commissioner Steve Mulroy was offering magic tricks. Moving a foam cup with static electricity was the trick of the day at that point.

68. County Commission To Fill Vacancy -

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners should return to its full complement of 13 members today.

The commission is scheduled to select a replacement for David Lillard, a Republican who resigned from the commission this month following his appointment in January as state treasurer. Whoever wins the appointment will serve the year and a half remaining in Lillard’s four-year term of office.

69. Bass Pro Deal Trundles On -

The same team that negotiated the development agreement with Bass Pro Shops will do the talking for city and county governments on a lease of The Pyramid to the fishing and hunting retailer.

Earlier this week, the Shelby County Board of Commissioners approved the yearlong development agreement on a 9-3 vote. It’s the same agreement approved in October by the Memphis City Council.

70. Bass Pro Development Agreement Approved On 9-3 Vote -

There is a development agreement between Bass Pro Shops and Memphis and Shelby County governments.

The Board of Shelby County Commissioners approved the development agreement Monday afternoon on a 9-3 vote. The Memphis City Council approved the same agreement earlier this month.

71. Bass Pro Development Agreement Clears Last Hurdle -

There is a development agreement between Bass Pro Shops and Memphis and Shelby County governments.

The Board of Shelby County Commissioners approved the development agreement this afternoon on a 9-3 vote. The Memphis City Council approved the same agreement earlier this month.

72. Pyramid Decision Sets Stage For Further Debate -

Shelby County government will stay in The Pyramid business for now.

A move to sell the county’s share of The Pyramid, The Mid-South Coliseum and Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium to the city of Memphis for $5 million failed this week on a 5-6 vote of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.

73. Commission to Weigh Pyramid Role – Again – Next Week -

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners added to the anxiety Herenton administration negotiators are already experiencing over talks to bring Bass Pro Shops to The Pyramid.

The commission this week voted to delay a proposed selloff of the county’s share of The Pyramid, the Mid-South Coliseum

74. Malone to be Sworn In As Commission Chair -

Shelby County Board of Commissioners member Deidre Malone will take the oath of office today as its new chairwoman. Her term will last a year.

Commissioner Joyce Avery will become chairwoman pro tempore.

75. Full-Time Deputies Responsible For Courtroom Security -

After much debate, the Shelby County Board of Commissioners has decided to keep only full-time sheriff’s deputies in courtrooms to serve as security officers.

A resolution initially proposed by Commissioner Wyatt Bunker would have allowed for the courts to replace some of the full-time deputies with part-time retired deputies. The resolution was offered as a way for the county to save money during the current fiscal year.

76. Commission Moves Forward With More Charter Changes -

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners will meet twice next week for the second and third readings of two new sets of county charter changes for voters to consider.

During two days of deliberations this week, the commission approved proposed changes to five countywide offices – sheriff, trustee, register, county clerk and assessor – that would fix legal problems in the current county charter noted in a 2007 Tennessee Supreme Court ruling. Those changes are the same ones voters rejected by a narrow margin in the Aug. 7 elections. But on the August ballot they were attached to a term limits proposal.

77. Commission Delays Courtroom Security Resolution -

Budget shortfalls are a main reason Shelby County judges could begin seeking alternative courtroom security arrangements.

A resolution that would encourage judges to consider outside security methods such as incorporating the use of part-time retired Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies has been proposed by Shelby County Board of Commissioners member Wyatt Bunker.

78. 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.

79. Deadlock Leads To State Legislation -

One of the two Memphis legislators sponsoring a bill that would keep the Shelby County charter much the same as it is now said he put the legislation in the hopper in Nashville because of fears the Shelby County Board of Commissioners would become deadlocked.

80. Payroll Tax Idea Rides Again -

The idea of a payroll tax is back just two and a half months after it was declared dead by Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners this week approved a resolution backing legislation in Nashville that would permit a tax on income earned within Shelby County by residents and nonresidents.

81. Officials Want Would-Be Pyramid Developers To Put Up or Shut Up -

Shelby County Board of Commissioners members and their counterparts on the Memphis City Council don't seem to be interested in seeing anymore artist renderings or PowerPoint presentations of what might be in The Pyramid.

82. Mattila Vows Not to Cause Shake-Up; Wharton Concerned Over Bass Pro Deal -

Shelby County Trustee Paul Mattila doesn't plan to make any changes in faces at the office he took over this week after winning appointment by the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.

Mattila secured the appointment during a busy day at the County Building that saw Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. react for the first time to proposed terms of development of The Pyramid by Bass Pro Shops.

83. Mattila Wins Trustee’s Post, Wharton Has Problems With Bass Pro Terms -

Paul Mattila, a legislative assistant to the late Shelby County Trustee Bob Patterson, was appointed Monday to be the new Shelby County Trustee. In balloting by Shelby County Commissioners, Mattila beat Debra R. Gates, chief administrator under Patterson and interim Trustee since Patterson’s death last month.

84. Mattila Wins Trustee’s Post, Wharton Has Problems With Bass Pro Terms -

Paul Mattila, a legislative assistant to the late Shelby County Trustee Bob Patterson, was appointed today to be the new Shelby County Trustee. In balloting by Shelby County Commissioners, Mattila beat Debra R. Gates, chief administrator under Patterson and interim Trustee since Patterson’s death last month.

85. Despite Vote, Police Merger Idea Not Dead -

The idea of one law enforcement agency for Memphis and Shelby County failed to clear a key hurdle last week at the Shelby County Board of Commissioners meeting. But both sides in the dispute expect it is not the end of the discussion or the effort to merge at least some functions of the Memphis Police and the Shelby County Sheriff's departments.

86. Thompson Trial Set for March 31 -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Bruce Thompson's pending corruption trial appears to be on a fast track. U.S. District Jon P. McCalla this week set a March 31 trial date on the charges of extortion and mail fraud.

87. Commission Distances Itself From Salton Cos. -

Shelby County Commissioners have taken at least a temporary step back from a construction contractor whose name has surfaced in the most recent federal corruption investigation.

The two-week delay this week in approving a $274,422 contract with Salton Cos. LLC came less than a week after former County Commissioner Bruce Thompson was indicted on federal extortion and mail fraud charges.

88. Vote Delayed on Chamber Funding of Interest Groups -

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners had a lot to say Monday about whether nonprofit civic groups with ties to groups that endorsed or ranked candidates in recent elections should get any money from the Memphis Regional Chamber Foundation and under what terms. But they ultimately delayed a vote on the terms for up to $1 million in funding.

89. Commission Drills Down Further On Ethics -

The Shelby County Commission is tinkering with county government's ethics ordinance three months after it took effect. Free tickets to University of Memphis football games and the use of the word "or" in a crucial part of the ethics rules are behind the proposed change.

90. Second Juvenile Court Judge Position Hinges on Appeal -

There won't be any move by the Shelby County Commission to fill a second Juvenile Court judge's position until the issue is decided by an appeals court.

Chancellor Kenny Armstrong refused to lift a stay of such an appointment Monday afternoon. As that was happening, commissioners, at their bi-monthly session, were opening a new front in the political discussion about changes to the court.

91. Porter-Leath Snags Head Start Contract -

Shelby County Commissioners Monday approved a contract with Porter-LeathChildren's Center to provide Head Start services to 460 children.

The number of children in the contract between Porter-Leath and county government represented a compromise from 1,120 in the initial contract proposal. And the compromise followed an emotional and often bitter debate about who should teach children enrolled in the early child care program and how many children they should teach.

92. Flood Zone? -

When Willie and Rena Jeffries bought their home in 1995, the property directly behind theirs was being used as a horse pasture.

In the years since, a major developer has turned the pasture into a subdivision - and turned their 2,600-square-foot, two-story home into a major disaster area, they allege in a lawsuit filed last week in Shelby County Chancery Court.

93. Archived Article: Lead - By Andy Meek

County Studies Development Moratorium

Committee will explore idea to stop residential construction

ANDY MEEK

The Daily News

As president and chief executive officer of her own marketing firm, Deidre Malone knows how to pl...

94. Archived Article: Casino (lead) - Board moves ahead with casino study

Board moves ahead with casino study

By ANDREW BELL

The Daily News

The Shelby County Commission narrowly pushed forward a plan Monday to explore the feasibility of turning The Pyramid into a casino.

...

95. Archived Article: Law Briefs - The Memphis Bar Association presents the 2003 Health Law Update from noon to 4 p

The Memphis Bar Association presents the 2003 Health Law Update from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday in the MBA conference room, One Commerce Square, Suite 1050.

Topics co...

96. Archived Article: Daily Digest - Archer-Malmo nabs

Archer-Malmo nabs

international honors

Archer-Malmo representatives will travel to New York later this month to accept two John Caples International Awards for direct marketing creative work.

The agency earned a second ...

97. Archived Article: Law Focus - Schools, sewers deciding factor in county expansion

Board contends schools deciding factor in county growth By MARY DANDO

The Daily News

The sleepy, historic community of Lucy, situated between Raleigh-Millington Road and U.S. Highway 51, c...

98. Archived Article: Comm Briefs - Memphis Tax Assistance Program, a non-profit service, will offer free tax assistance during February to working families with The Dutch Treat Luncheon is 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Audubon Cafe, 4002 Park Ave. The guest speaker is State Rep. Larry M...

99. Archived Article: Govt Briefs - The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development has announced a series of conferences to be held throughout Tennessee during April and May The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development has announced a series of conferences to be held throughout Te...