VOL. 126 | NO. 203 | Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Taylor Appointed To Commission - CCHS Claims Family Planning Contract
By Bill Dries
Former Memphis City Council member Brent Taylor is the newest Shelby County Commissioner.
Taylor, a Republican, won the District 1 Postion 3 seat vacated by Republican commissioner Mike Carpenter this month.
Taylor was the choice of a majority of the 12 remaining commissioners Monday, Oct. 17, on the third round of voting. It was a choice between Taylor and former Shelby County Election Commissioner Brian Stephens.
With the commission back up to 13 members, the body approved a $785,000 four year family planning services contract with Christ Community Health Services.
The contract involving a state pass through of federal grant money was a hard fought contest in which Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region, which had been providing the services for the county, argued against CCHS getting the contract.
Both health care providers brought their supporters to the meeting.
Commissioners voted 9-4 to approve the contract backed by the Luttrell administration.
In the non-party line vote, Democrats Melvin Burgess, Walter Bailey, Sidney Chism and Henri Brooks voted against the contract.
The commission also turned back an effort by Brooks to amend the second phase plan for the Uptown development.
The second phase involving Uptown West development closer to the river and still south of Chelsea Avenue would have changed under Brooks amendment to de-emphasize Uptown West and instead move north of Chelsea with more housing rehabilitation.
Brooks argued the Uptown development so far has been “gerrymandered redevelopment,” -- “cherry-picked redevelopment” that has left pockets of slums untouched and neighborhoods surrounded by new houses as their older houses continue to decay.
But developer Henry Turley, who has teamed with Belz Enterprises, in the Uptown development, argued that Brooks’ plan would derail the carefully made plans to bring the entire area back to prosperity.
“It was a simple idea,” he said of Uptown. “But it is not simple to do.”
Brooks amendment was defeated on a 3-8 vote. She and commissioner James Harvey and Melvin Burgess voted for the amendment.
The original phase two plan was then approved on a 10-1 vote with Brooks, who represents the area, as the lone “no” vote.