The votes of citizens in the Lucy area near Millington on the municipal school district issue or in Millington elections for mayor and the board of aldermen will not count because the recent annexation of the area is on hold.
That’s what Millington City Attorney Barbara Lapides advised the city’s mayor and board of aldermen Thursday, July 19.
Her advice came after last week’s quo warranto lawsuit filed against the city in Shelby County Chancery Court by attorney Claiborne H. Ferguson.
Ferguson, who is a homeowner and landowner in the Lucy area, filed the civil action July 11 to stop the annexation approved by aldermen in June. He claims in the suit that the aldermen took the action because without the area Millington would not have the minimum number of children – 1,500 – to form its own school system.
Confusion over whether residents of the Lucy area could vote on the municipal school district ballot question remained as early voting expanded to suburban voting sites this week including Millington’s Baker Community Center. With the question still in doubt even after Wednesday’s meeting of the Shelby County Election Commission, Carter and Lapides added a general item to the board of aldermen’s Thursday agenda on the situation.
“The effect of the filing of that action is to suspend the annexation so that as of now and for the future, until that lawsuit is resolved, Lucy residents are not citizens of the city of Millington and are not therefore entitled to vote in any Millington election,” Lapides said.
The city is contesting the claims Ferguson made about the intent behind its annexation.
But its response and the path to even a temporary resolution pending a full hearing will take weeks if not months.
Carter said she had been fielding calls during the day from Lucy residents expressing their “displeasure” with the lawsuit and its effect.
“I want to assure you that we are seeking other avenues to follow even as we speak,” Carter said, adding that an annexation referendum is one possibility.
The municipal schools referendum continues along with city elections for residents of Millington within the uncontested city limits. They and Lucy residents also continue to vote in countywide general elections and federal and state primaries on the ballot.
Carter also said Lucy Elementary School is part of the city of Millington – having been annexed earlier and that she had no idea why the rest of the area wasn’t annexed by Millington already. It is in Millington’s annexation reserve area.
“Stumbling blocks are just that. And we just have to find a detour – go in a different direction – back up and start again,” Carter said at the outset of the meeting.