VOL. 133 | NO. 67 | Tuesday, April 3, 2018
County Commission Approves Contract Moratorium
By Bill Dries
Shelby County commissioners approved a moratorium Monday, April 2, on all county contracts and budget amendments worth more than $50,000 through the end of August.
The 10-3 commission vote follows concerns some commissioners expressed last week in committee sessions about a multi-year contract worth $20 million for medical services to county corrections center inmates.
The contract is specifically exempted from the county’s ordinance setting percentage goals in awarding county government contracts to minority-owned businesses.
The moratorium, proposed by commissioner Van Turner, runs to the end of the current commission’s four-year term of office. The winners of the county general election in August including the county mayor’s office and all 13 seats on the county commission, take office Sept. 1.
The commission can make exceptions to the contract moratorium for health, safety and similar reasons but the exceptions must be approved by commission vote.
The moratorium comes as the commission is seeking to make changes in its minority business ordinance passed more than a year ago. Turner and other commissioners say it is not specific enough.
In other action Monday, the commission appointed deputy city public works division director Patrick Dandridge as the interim General Sessions Environmental Court Judge. Dandridge was chosen on the second round of balloting by the commission.
He serves in the position made vacant by the retirement of Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter last month. Dandridge serves until the results of the August special election for the position are certified and the winner takes office.
Dandridge, who had the endorsement of Potter for the appointment, is among those who are running to serve the rest of Potter’s eight-year term of office to 2022.
The deadline for candidates to file in that race and other nonpartisan races as well as state and federal primaries on the Aug. 2 ballot is noon Thursday.
The other contenders in the race as of the close of business Monday at the Shelby County Election Commission are attorneys Danny Kail and Robert “Price” Harris, Carlyn Addison, a magistrate in Memphis-Shelby County Juvenile Court and attorney Michael R. Campbell.