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VOL. 133 | NO. 136 | Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Council Discusses Doing Away With Elected City Court Clerk

By Bill Dries

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Memphis City Council members discuss a proposal Tuesday, July 10, that would abolish the office of City Court clerk and divert its functions to the city treasurer’s office.

The change would require approval by city voters in a referendum proposed for the Nov. 6 ballot. If the referendum ordinance is approved on three readings, it would be the fourth ballot question changing the city charter to go to city voters on the November ballot.

The proposal would eliminate the elected position of city court clerk currently held by Kay Robilio ahead of 2019 city elections. And the Traffic Violation Bureau that is now a part of the clerk’s office would become part of the city treasurer’s office.

Memphis City Council members consider fourth ballot question for the November elections that would eliminate city court clerk’s office. (Daily News File/Houston Cofield)

The city court would remain in place, with those paying any imposed fines directly to the treasurer’s office instead of the clerk’s office. The ordinance also includes a provision that any court costs assessed are limited to $1.

The written ordinance does not include the name of the sponsoring council member. Council members will discuss the proposal at a 1:45 p.m. committee session.

The idea of doing away with or changing the clerk’s position has surfaced before. Robilio’s predecessor, Thomas Long, went to the council in 2015 weeks before his term of office ended and hers began. He urged the council to make the clerk a position appointed by the mayor as the director of a city division. He also said city court judges should also be appointed by the mayor.

The council meets at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St. Follow the meeting @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols, for live coverage and updates from committee sessions earlier in the council day.

In planning and development items, the council revisits plans for a new and used tire store at 975 N. Germantown Parkway. The Land Use Control Board recommended rejection of the project, and the council delayed a vote on the matter at its June 19 meeting.

The council also takes up an appeal of a two-home single-family residential development on East Erwin Drive south of Princeton Avenue. The council delayed a vote on the matter at its June 19 meeting to give the developer and nearby homeowners a chance to work out a compromise in the interim.

The council also votes Tuesday on a four-lot single family development by Park Place LLC at 1118 and 1130 E. Irvin Drive.

Council members review economic impact plans for the Parkside at Shelby Farms and University District developments at a 9:45 a.m. committee session. The plans are required by state law with the use of tax increment financing, or TIF, districts for each. TIF zones allocate the increment in increased city and county property tax payments with development back to a broader area for public improvements.

The council, at the same committee session, will also discuss the possibility of a TIF district for the Poplar Corridor Business District.

At the 2:15 p.m. council executive session, the council gets an update on the Tourism Development Zone plans for the Fairgrounds. The TDZ allocates increases in sales tax revenue for public improvements.

PROPERTY SALES 68 162 2,781
MORTGAGES 60 97 1,880
BUILDING PERMITS 148 769 6,470
BANKRUPTCIES 61 172 1,149