A First Step 

A First Step

Congratulations are owed to the Shelby County Commission, which on Monday put aside some significant disagreements in its ranks to create a new mechanism to consider privatization of the county's correction facilities. After much storm and stress, a controversial proposal for out-sourcing the management of the downtown jail and the county corrections center will finally get due consideration from the 13 members of the commission and Mayor A C Wharton and Sheriff Mark Luttrell. The medium will be a review committee (in keeping with the reigning discord, there is still dispute as to what exactly to call it) appointed jointly by the mayor, the sheriff, and the commission.

Not everybody is pleased -- especially not commissioners Walter Bailey and Cleo Kirk, both privatization opponents, whose principled resistance to the idea kept them from joining in the commission's vote to ratify the committee's creation. Commissioner Marilyn Loeffel abstained from voting, presumably in continuation of a protest against commission colleague Bruce Thompson, whose role in issuing Requests for Proposals had already drawn responses from three private prison-management concerns.

Maybe Thompson was cart-before-the-horse, but the establishment of the new review committee in effect superceded that controversy and gave a de facto sanction to the bid process.

The commission still has the final say on things, however, and it is empowered to adjudicate not only between separate bidders but also the still-unresolved dilemma of which motive should be preeminent -- that of fairness to employees whose jobs are threatened or that of potentially significant revenue savings for a cash-strapped county government. There are strong arguments either way, and it will take serious judgment to resolve the matter.

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.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Tiger Blue

Missouri 65, Tigers 33

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies Maul Hawks 131 - 117

News Blog

City Orders Lime Scooters Off the Streets

We Saw You

Science of Wine and more!

News Blog

Election Administrator Addresses Ballot Issues

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Shocktober V Gets Scary At The Time Warp Drive-In

Fly On The Wall Blog

Great Works of Literature as Written by the Shelby Co. Election Commission

News Blog

'Misleading' Ballot Questions Draw Ire from Voters

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Flyer Staff

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

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