VOL. 131 | NO. 158 | Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Council Takes Final Vote On Residency Referendum
By Bill Dries
Memphis City Council members take a final vote Tuesday, Aug. 9, on an addition to the Nov. 8 ballot that would ask city voters to approve new residency requirements for future city employees.
The referendum ordinance is a proposal to require all city employees hired after a certain date to live in the city of Memphis. The current requirement is that city employees must live within Shelby County.
The measure, proposed by council member Martavius Jones, is opposed by the administration of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
Through the first two readings of the ordinance there has been some debate among council members about the concept. There is expected to be more Tuesday before the final vote.
Jones has said he is open to some amendments as well, which could delay the final vote until the second meeting in August.
The deadline to submit such items for the November ballot is several days after the council’s Aug. 23 session.
The council meets Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St. Follow the meeting @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols, for live coverage as well as updates from committee sessions earlier in the council day.
During a 10 a.m. committee session, council members get an update on the roll-out of police body cameras from police brass.
A 12:30 p.m. committee session will include an update on the future of the Memphis Area Transit Authority.
The council also takes up the federal Urban Renewal Area status of the Tri-State Bank Building, 180 S. Main St., at a 1:15 p.m. committee meeting.
The 70-year-old bank sold the building on the northeast corner of Beale and Main streets to Belz Investco GP earlier this year in a $3 million deal.
Under terms of the deal, Tri-State leases the building from Belz for up to 18 months as the bank looks to relocate its headquarters and main branch.
The bank bought the land in 1973 from the Memphis Housing Authority as an urban renewal property. With the designation came restrictions on what the property could be used for. For those restrictions to change, the warranty deed required all other owners of urban renewal property in the area to give their consent.
The resolution to lift the urban renewal covenants for land use includes statements from all of those other parties consenting to lifting the restrictions.
And council members will discuss the redevelopment plan for Raleigh Springs Mall at the 2 p.m. executive session, with the plan scheduled for a vote by the full council at the 3:30 p.m. session.
The executive session will also include a discussion on possible reuse of the Mid-South Coliseum with no item on the Coliseum on the full council's agenda.
The plan includes demolishing everything on the site to make way for park land, a lake and walking trails as well as a new city library, a police traffic precinct and a new precinct building that would replace the Old Allen Station, which is the oldest precinct building in the city.
Up for third and final reading Tuesday are changes to the ordinance that reconstituted the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board. The amendments to the ordinance make it clear that all meetings of CLERB are open to the public under the state’s open meeting law.
The CLERB board closed part of its first meeting since being reconstituted.
The changes also include limiting what had been the power of CLERB to subpoena witnesses, including police officers, using the council’s subpoena power.
Council attorney Allan Wade has said the council cannot legally delegate the subpoena power to another body.