Monday, December 16, 2013

County Commission to Take Up Pay Raise for School Board Members

Matter is one of several controversial measures up for discussion on Monday.

Posted By on Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 10:56 AM

The Shelby County Commission
  • The Shelby County Commission

At its regular public meeting on Monday, the Shelby County Commission was scheduled to sift through the residue of what had been unusually lengthy and productive committee sessions last Wednesday.

At the top of the list of potential controversies was a proposal by Commissioner Mike Ritz to raise the salary of Shelby County Schools board members from $4200 to $25,000.

Although Ritz’s proposed ordinance passed the Commission’s education committee by a 4-3 vote on Wednesday, and thereby won itself a place on Monday’s consent agenda, it is certain to be yanked off and considered as a regular-agenda item, and its chances of passage are iffy indeed.

The salary change would require a two-thirds approval — or 9 votes on the 13-member Commission — and that is unlikely.

(Less controversial are ordinances establishing salaries for the Commissioners themselves and for the Sheriff and various constitutional officers, the latter to receive modest pay increases.)

Another item sure to be contested is outgoing Republican Commissioner Wyatt Bunker’s resolution expressing No Confidence in county Election Administrator Rich Holden. Wednesday’s consideration of the resolution in the general government committee indicated a split in Republican ranks that could result in passage.

Also contentious will be a resolution urging Governor Bill Haslam to expand the state’s Medicaid (TennCare) program under the Affordable Care Act.

Several matters pertaining to the end of litigation over school matters are on tap. The Commission is sure to ratify formally the liquidation (approved in committee on Wedne4sday) of a lawsuit against the city of Germantown, which has reached agreement with the SCS board over future school policy and, in particular, over the allocation of school buildings.

The Commission’s suit against Germantown was the last one pending in the long-running schools controversy.
Two other school resolutions, including one to approve lawyers’ fees, are on the agenda.

Also to be discussed on Monday are a triad of measures proposed by Commissioner Steve Mulroy — on offering incentives for improving blighted properties, another reprimanding Juvenile Court for retaliatory Acton against Commissioner Henri Brooks and Court monitors appointed by her; and an ordinance strengthening strictures against mistreatment of animals.

Up, too, is Commissioner Ritz’s resolution to prohibit use by TDZ’s (tourist development zones) of local tax revenues earmarked for schools, without express permission of the Commission.

The Commission’s action on Wednesday in declining to join with the City of Memphis in a joint planning commission for a new convention center may be revisited.

A plethora of other matters are on the agenda; so a lengthy meeting is to be expected.

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