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VOL. 128 | NO. 88 | Monday, May 6, 2013

Commission Receives Schools Financials

By Bill Dries

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Shelby County Commissioners formally get the financials of Shelby County’s two public school systems Monday, May 6, in an action that is not expected to generate much debate.


But the financial statements for the fiscal year that ended June 30 is another step along the path toward the formal merger of both school systems effective at the end of the current fiscal year.


The commission meets at 1:30 p.m. at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

The commission becomes the sole source of local funding for public education with the start of the new fiscal year on July 1. That includes finding some new funding for the schools merger.

The budget proposal for the new fiscal year from the school board is due May 22 at the commission’s budget committee.

The countywide school board voted last week to undertake an inventory audit of both school systems leading up to the merger.

Meanwhile, county commissioners are certain to have much more to say about a “Second Amendment Preservation Resolution” on Monday’s agenda being sponsored by Commissioner Terry Roland.

It calls on the Tennessee legislature to “adopt and enact any and all measures as may be necessary to reject and nullify the enforcement of any federal acts … in violation of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee.”

The resolution, which was delayed in March, also asks county sheriffs across the state to “act on behalf of the citizens to defend them against infringement upon their rights and to hold the federal government to the limitations provided under the Constitution.”

“This here is doing nothing more than saying we support the Second Amendment and the Constitution as it is written,” Roland said during committee sessions last month.

But Commissioner Steve Mulroy, a law professor at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, disagreed.

“The resolution goes far, far farther than that in disturbing ways,” Mulroy said. “This is an echo to the Civil War and nullification. … We fought a war over that and we decided this. … We can’t do that. We don’t have the authority to do that and we shouldn’t claim the authority to do that. Are we really calling for Sheriff (Bill) Oldham to try to interfere with the FBI or ATF?”

Commissioner Heidi Shafer, however, cited new calls for background checks on gun purchases.

“I think it’s unfortunate that we’re seeing so much of a challenge to the Second Amendment. I think it is mostly misplaced,” she said, invoking the marathon bombings in Boston and the house-to-house searches for suspects.

“How many people were saying I really wish I had a gun to defend myself and my family,” Shafer said. “That’s what this is about. … We have a right to take care of ourselves and our family. This is one of the ways.”

Mulroy said no federal laws barred Boston residents from owning guns for their protection.

Also on Monday’s agenda is a five-year contract renewal for The Butcher Shop of Cordova LLC to continue as the tenant on the county-owned Agricenter International property at 107 Germantown Parkway. The 2008 contract between the restaurant and county government provided for a five-year renewal option at a 2.5 percent increase in rent.

The initial term rent is $18,812.50 a month or $225,750 a year.

The commission votes Monday on a set of multifamily apartment units to be built by Regency Homebuilders LLC on the southeast side of Lenow Road at Dexter Road.

The plan calls for 240 apartment units on 19.3 acres of land in the Gardens of Grays Creek planned development

And Memphis Stone and Gravel Co. is up for approval of a gravel pit at 10750 Pleasant Ridge Road. The site is an extension of an existing gravel and sand mining operation on adjoining property to the north.

Both sites are about 1.5 miles northwest of the Arlington city limits.

A conveyor system that runs along and crosses Millington-Arlington Road will take the material to the original site on the other side of the road for washing of it.

The site covers 22 acres of land that will be mined over a two-year period, according to plans submitted by the company.

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