Suburban Cities speak out against consolidation

On January 2, 2008, in News 2008, by Mark Norris

By Janice Broach, WMC-TV
January 2, 2008

Mayor Willie Herenton brought up the word consolidation again in his state of the city address.

It is a fighting word for Collierville Mayor Linda Kerley.

“We’re going to fight him as hard as we can fight him as hard ad I have fought since 1999 when I was elected Mayor,” Kerley said.

Kerley says it’s clear Herenton knows the suburban cities will fight him and that’s why he’s changing his tactics.

“It seems to me the rational approach is to go to Nashville. We’ve got to go to Nashville,” Herenton said.

Going to Nashville to convince the governor and legislature to change the law that requires a majority vote in the city and county when it comes to consolidating law enforcement, government, and schools.

It essentially would not let the suburban residents vote on consolidation.

“That’s totally unfair. It’s Un-American. We need to vote,” Collierville resident Patty Jackson said. “The way things have been handled in the past that’s par for the course. But I would like a vote.”

Tennessee State Senator Mark Norris of Collierville said it is no secret the mayor wants consolidation, but he is not sure how he can cut out suburban voters.

“If he thinks he has a new way to skin a cat the least I can do is listen to him. At the end of the day it’s the law and the constitution of the United States. You can’t disenfranchise people and deprive them of a right to vote,” Norris said.

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