Council Approves MCS Charter Surrender

On January 18, 2011, in News 2011, by Mark Norris

WREG.com
January 18, 2011

FAST FACTS:

Memphis City Council Sides With MCS In Surrender Of Its Charter
Resolution won’t take place until March 21st
Council wants city not county residents to vote on the issue

(Memphis 01/18/2011) In a unanimous vote, Memphis City Council members fire a pre-emptive strike at State Senator Mark Norris and legislators in Nashville.

The council’s decision essentially telling legislators, they’re going to have a battle on their hands if Norris continues his legal maneuvers at the State Capitol.

The Republican senator is trying to change the law to make sure county residents can vote on Memphis City Schools decision to surrender its charter.

That’s like someone coming into your home saying that others who don’t live there have a right to make decisions,” exclaimed Memphis City Councilwoman Wanda Halbert.

The council’s vote means they agree with the Memphis City School Board to surrender its charter.

With the council now on the school district’s side, MCS could surrender its charter without putting it to a vote of the people.

But even though they agree the district should surrender its charter, council members still want Memphians to vote.

“So I pray that you vote my colleagues, vote yes and allow the citizens of Memphis to have their say on this issue,” pleaded Janis Fullilove.

The resolution goes into effect March 21st.

But there’s an option in the resolution that still allows the issue to be brought to a vote of the people and to add safeguards against any actions taken in Nashville.

“When you count in what legislators are trying to do, put us in the corner for a dual vote I think that’s totally unacceptable,” said councilman Jim Strickland.

“If Nashville acts in accordance with the legislation they have this council can come back on 24 hours notice and end the discussion,” explained councilman Shea Flinn.

The council members say they want the charter issue to be decided by a vote of the residents of Memphis not Shelby County.

Their vote Tuesday night tries to ensure that…but they know they’ll probably be in for a legal battle.

 

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