VOL. 126 | NO. 129 | Monday, July 4, 2011
City Council To Consider Ware’s Replacement
By Bill Dries
Memphis City Council members will discuss who should be the 13th council member during their Tuesday, July 5, executive session.
The executive session at 1:30 p.m. comes before the 3:30 p.m. full session of the council at City Hall, 125 N. Main St.
The council is not expected to make a decision Tuesday to fill the vacancy created by the resignation last month of District 7 council member Barbara Swearengen Ware. Ware resigned the day before taking pre-trial diversion on a charge of official misconduct.
She had been suspended from all council duties since late 2010, when the Shelby County grand jury indicted her on the corruption charge.
Council chairman Myron Lowery has set July 14 as the deadline for applicants for the council.
The full council is likely to make its decision at its July 19 session.
Tuesday’s council session is the first since the council approved a $661 million budget for the new fiscal year and an 18-cent one-time property tax hike without technically raising the property tax rate. The tax hike was also approved with one vote instead of a three-reading ordinance like the one used to set the tax rate for the coming fiscal year.
The council will vote on the first of three readings of an ordinance that would put on the Nov. 8, 2012, ballot a referendum to require a two-thirds, or nine-vote, majority on the council to increase taxes if the tax hike is a higher percentage than the rate of inflation.
Council member Kemp Conrad and Lowery, the sponsors of the measure, are also rolling out another November 2012 ballot item to change the city charter.
The new item, to be discussed in a 9:15 a.m. budget committee meeting, would require the mayor and council to have a five-year strategic budget plan. It would also consolidate the city operating and capital improvements projects budgets.
The parks committee, at 11:30 a.m., discusses moving $475,000 in Capital Improvement Projects funding for the Beale Street Landing project into the new fiscal year. The stalled riverfront project was recently revived with the announcement of a Memphis port for The American Queen steamboat and a Memphis base for the Great American Steamboat Co. that plans several dozen overnight river cruises a year on the Mississippi River, from and to Memphis.