Even the most naïve advocates of city/county counsolidation are aware that sentiment for the changeover in the part of Shelby County outside the City of Memphis is minimal to non-existent. What is not so well known is that the outlook for a favorable vote in Memphis itself is also dimming.
A sign of this was a largely unnoticed vote taken in the last month by the steering committee of the Shelby County Democratic Party to oppose the Charter resolution. While this vote is by no means reflective of the opinion of city residents as a whole, it does represent — by definition — the conviction of the leadership corps of the political party which has most traction in Memphis’ inner city.
The steering committee’s vote was taken to the membership at large of the party’s executive committee last Thursday night at a meeting which otherwise was dominated by post mortems of the just-concluded countywide election and by the continuing controversy over the consequences of an election-day voting-machine glitch.
As much because of the time and energy devoted to these other matters as for any reason, the executive committee voted to postpone any final action on repudiating the Metro Charter until its next monthly meeting when all the members will have been presented detailed copies of the Charter proposal to consider.
During a brief discussion of the Charter proposal, members of the party’s steering committee explained that one of their chief objections to accepting the consolidation resolution was a sense that it keeps the local governments of other county municipalities intact — with their mayors and legislative bodies continuing — while dissolving the existing structure of Memphis city government.