Monday, September 22, 2008


It's always something is'nt it....

As I seem to keep telling people Change Memphis is about raising awareness about the potentially serious changes to the city and county governments via the Eight Charter Amendments on the November ballot. I am proud of the my involvement in this campaign, and incredibly proud of our hard working volunteers. Now I freely admit that there were sexier campaigns to work on this year. I could have joined my good friend Rick Maynard and worked for a great Congressman in Steve Cohen. I could have worked to help the Tuke campaign to unseat Lamar Alexander.I could be volunteering for Paul Shaffer in his bid for City Council. I could have joined in the Obama campaign as it evolved into a nigh-movement for positive change...but instead I joined a very unsexy campaign about voter registration/education, about...ballot initiatives....very unsexy indeed. Now it's no secret that ballot referendums are the red haired stepchildren of politics, and most people ignore them...often at their peril, but they ignore them all the same. So why bother?...why work myself, to say nothing of my interns to death over an unglorious campaign?....Well the fact is that someone needs to do it. there are plenty of good, smart, and hard working progressive folks to fight those battles I already named, but somebody has to be there to catch the things that fall between the cracks. To make sure nothing flies under the rader that could come back to haunt us later. That's what this campaign...our campaign is all about. Today, I was reminded of that when I learned about TWO PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN AMENDMENTS FOR THE NOVEMBER BALLOT.

Yup, that's right in addition to the TWO County Charter Amendments,proposed by the County Commission and the SIX city amendments, proposed by the Memphis Charter Commission, there are in fact TWO more initiative placed on the ballot by the PREVIOUS city council. These two items are listed as Ordinance 5232 and Ordinance 5265.

5232 originally proposed by former Councilman Dedrick Brittenum, would allow for the RECALL of a CITY COUNCILMAN

5265 proposed by Councilwoman Barbara Ware would set new residency requirements for City employees.

This how they will appear on the November ballot..

Shall the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be amended by adding
language to read as follows:
Recall of a Memphis City Council Member.

BE IT ORDAINED, that upon petition signed by a number of qualified
voters equal to ten per centum of the total number of votes cast in the
next preceding municipal general election of the City, excluding runoff
elections and filed with the Election Commission (provided that no
such petition shall be filed during the first two years of his term)
requesting the recall of a City Council Member, the Election
Commission shall call an election at the time of the next General
Election after the filing of such petition pursuant to State Law at
which said election the question shall be: “Shall the Memphis City
Council Member [Name of Council Member] be Recalled?” If a
number of voters equal to a majority of those voting on the question
shall vote to recall the City Council Member, the office shall be
vacated when the Election Commission shall declare the results, and
the remaining members of the Council fill such vacancy in the manner
prescribed by Ordinance.

I, Roland McElrath, Director of Finance
for the City of Memphis do hereby
certify there will be no revenue or
expenditure impact to the City if this
Amendment is adopted.

For the amendment __________
Against the amendment __________

Shall Article 27 Section 190 Subsection (b) of the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be
reinstated by submitting the following language to read as follows:
Section 190. Residence requirements of persons employed solely by the
City; [non-civil service employees and board and commission

(b) From and after January 1, 1985, all appointed employees not within the protection of
the civil service article shall be required to live and maintain a residence within the
boundaries of the City of Memphis as now defined or as may be hereafter defined;
such appointed employees shall include, but not limited to, the following specific
(1) Division directors who are appointed by the mayor and council
(2) All employees of the legal department.
(3) All staff employees of the mayor and chief administrative office.
(4) Executive secretaries of boards, commissions, division directors, and to the
administrative judge of the city court.
(5) All employees of the city council office.
Additionally all members of the various City of Memphis boards and commissions,
excluding joint city-county boards and commissions, shall be required to live and
maintain a residence within the limits of the City of Memphis, as now defined or as
may be hereafter defined, except that county residents may become members of the
board of trustees of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
Failure of any officer or employee to comply with the provisions of this section shall
be cause for removal or discharge from city employment. New employees shall be
allowed six (6) months after the date they are hired or appointed to comply with this

I, Roland McElrath, Director of Finance for the City of
Memphis do hereby certify there will be no revenue or
expenditure impact to the City if this Amendment is

For the amendment _________________
Against the amendment __________________


1 comment:

DovaEdge said...

In regards to Ordinance 5265 the wording makes mention of the division directors, legal... but the phrase to notice is "but not limited to". I want to make sure you understand that the employees of the Memphis Public Library are appointed. They are not covered by civil service protection. Many staff members live outside of the city limits which was permissible for employees hired before 2005. This ordinance takes the hiring date back to 1985. Many staff will be impacted if this does pass. Remember this is not just about the people at the top, it affects the front line staff of the Library. Please vote NO on this ordinance. Remember Library staff are considered appointed employees not protected by civil service protection.