Thursday, February 17, 2011

County Commissioner Chris Thomas Objects to MCS Public-Information Plan on Referendum

Posted By on Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Chris Thomas
  • Chris Thomas
Shelby County Commissioner Chris Thomas, one of four consistent opponents on the commission to the prospective merger of Memphis City Schools with Shelby County Schools, has asked the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office to rule on the propriety of MCS’ decision “to spend tax dollars on an alleged marketing campaign concerning the MCS Charter surrender referendum.”

In a letter to Bill Bright, a lawyer on the staff of D.A. Amy Weirich, Thomas cites the fact that the MCS Board has employed Trust Marketing to publicize the facts involved in the citywide March 8 referendum, which will decide whether the MCS-SCS merger can go forward. Beverly Robertson, a partner in the PR firm, made a presentation on Trust’s intent “to break it all the way down” at the Board’s Monday night work session.

“Simply put,” asked Thomas, “can our tax dollars legally be used to fund this kind of campaigning? If not, what can be done to stop this?”

The District 4 commissioner may or may not have known when he wrote his letter that a county commission majority, at a special commission meeting Wednesday morning, had voted in favor of chairman Sidney Chism sounding out MCS about sharing the services of Robertson and Trust Marketing. By a 7-to-1 margin (another District 4 commissioner, Terry Roland, being the lone holdout), the commission voted to reserve the body’s contingency fund for the purpose.

On the ground that “they’ve got the votes,” Thomas did not attend the Thursday morning meeting, which was called primarily to amend the number —from 27 to 25 — of prospective interim members the commission intends to name to an interim all-county school board. Like Roland and two other commissioners, Wyatt Bunker of District 4 and Heidi Shafer of District 1, Thomas has opposed any and all aspects of the county commission’s involvement in preparing for a merger of the two school districts.


Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment


Speaking of School Consolidation


Readers also liked…

  • Cohen Tells It!

    In which Memphis’ Democratic congressman Steve Cohen, addressing an apparent GOP effort to muddy the waters on the Russian inquiry, not only takes no crap but gives it back where it came from. This is worth watching from beginning to end -- even for those who might disagree on the politics of the matter.
    • Jul 26, 2017
  • Another Big Shoe Drops with Lane's Entry in Sheriff's Race

    County Homeland Security director holds kickoff rally in Millington; considered major contender for GOP nomination.
    • Sep 13, 2017
  • Karl Dean in Memphis Next Week

    The former Nashville mayor, now a declared Democratic candidate in the 2018 Governor’s race, will be hosted by the Tennessee Voter Project.
    • Jul 5, 2017

Related User Lists

People who saved…

Most Commented On

© 1996-2019

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation