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VOL. 132 | NO. 225 | Monday, November 13, 2017

Commission Takes Final Votes on Pay Raises, Resolution Backing SCS

By Bill Dries

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All 13 Shelby County commissioners are now defendants in a lawsuit filed late last week by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell after the commission met in special session and voted to ratify a decision by chairwoman Heidi Shafer to hire counsel for possible litigation over the opioid epidemic.

Luttrell’s lawsuit claims the decision and ratification action violate the county charter.

All sides in the matter are due Tuesday, Nov. 14, before Chancellor Jim Kyle.

Shelby County Commissioners are due in Chancery Court Tuesday in their legal dispute with County Mayor Mark Luttrell. On Monday, Nov. 13, they take a final vote on pay raises for 19 of the county’s highest elected positions. (Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)

Before that, however, the commission faces the third and final vote Monday on ordinances that would raise the pay of 19 of county government elected positions, including all 13 commission seats, effective with the winners of the 2018 county elections.

The ordinances would give double-digit percentage pay raises to the county mayor, sheriff, assessor, trustee, register and county clerk. Nine yes votes – representing a two-thirds majority – are required for the pay-raise ordinances to pass.

The first- and second-reading votes were short of the nine votes.

Commissioner Van Turner said after the second reading last month that he was open to amendments to the ordinance to get the nine votes needed for passage.

The commission meets at 3 p.m. at the Vasco Smith Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

Follow the meeting @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols, for live coverage of the session.

Also on the agenda Monday is a resolution supporting the decision of the Shelby County Schools board last month to refuse to release student information to the state-run Achievement School District or charter schools. The Tennessee Department of Education had ordered SCS to turn over the information. SCS officials have joined leaders of the Metro Nashville Schools system in refusing to turn over the information.

The state is taking the Nashville school system to court over its refusal and is expected to include SCS in the legal action.

The commission also votes Monday on an inter-local agreement with the city of Memphis for joint ownership and expansion of a radio communications system for both fire departments, the Memphis Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and other emergency response agencies between the two governments.

The project has a total cost of $58 million, which will be split between the city and county based on “shares equal to their percentage of use,” according to the agreement and resolution.

By agreement of both governments, that comes to a 49 percent ownership interest for county government and 51 percent for Memphis. It includes upgrades to the radio system “that will eliminate current obsolescence issues and will expand the system.”

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 90 140 15,764
MORTGAGES 100 162 18,210
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 21 2,426
BUILDING PERMITS 194 315 32,829
BANKRUPTCIES 57 116 10,129
BUSINESS LICENSES 25 50 5,228
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 35 64 6,213
MARRIAGE LICENSES 26 50 3,463

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