The City Council's executive committee approved a resolution today to set up a new Charter Commission to come up with a plan for a new metro government.
"Just because we have a metro charter commission doesn't mean we'll have a metro government," said council member Shea Flinn. "It matters what consolidation looks like. ... This commission would create the document that tells us what we're talking about when we say consolidation."
Last month, the Shelby County Commission approved the formation of a consolidation charter commission. The City Council had to approve a sister resolution, and a plan for consolidation should come before voters in November of next year.
Both the city and county mayors are supposed to appoint representatives to the commission. However, the pending city mayoral election had council members trying to make sure that Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery did not appoint any of the representatives or that County Mayor A C Wharton — also a candidate for city mayor — did not appoint both the city and county representatives to the commission.
Many of the council members — including Flinn, Jim Strickland, Barbara Swearengen Ware, and Bill Morrison — said they were in favor of consolidation int theory.
Ware said she thought commission members should be elected, not appointed, and that representatives from the suburban municipalities should not be included on the commission.
"I don't believe the outlying municipalities who don't intend to participate in metro government should have a voice," she said. "They would not have to surrender their charter. How can you participate in something that you're not going to participate in?"