[As stated previously, the Flyer's cover story this week takes an early look at the consolidation process and players. To read it, click here.]
One a recent Saturday evening, Venita and Deadrick Doggett hosted a Rebuild Government meeting at their Bartlett home. The participants, spanning a range of ages and colors, included the Doggetts' neighbors, church members, and co-workers.
"We're trying to get people plugged in," says Venita Doggett.
The group had questions about legislative representation, if the real issue against consolidation had anything to do with race, crime, and, of course, taxes.
Though she lives in Bartlett, Doggett says she is for consolidation. As a research analyst for the Memphis City Council from 2001 to 2005, she has seen that government from the inside.
"I'm excited about the possibility," she says. "I think there's a lot of overlap between the city and the county. It makes sense. We're too large and interdependent not to be consolidated."
In her Bartlett neighborhood, there are still lots for sale and houses under construction. Though Doggett thinks the suburbs have grown at the expense of Memphis, she doesn't attribute all their growth to Memphians moving out.
"Memphis must be doing something right for the suburbs to be continually growing."