Commissioners vote on teacher residency requirements - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Commissioners vote on teacher residency requirements

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Teacher residency requirements once again sparked debate among Shelby County commissioners Tuesday.

For the final time, commissioners voted on two controversial proposals.

The commission voted eight to five to exempt current Memphis City School employees from the county's residency requirement as the merger quickly approaches. It then voted against putting residency rules to a vote of the people, despite a plea from just one member of the public.

"I really don't like this ordinance because you have one set of people working under a different set of conditions than another set of people," said Ann Grovenor.

The Shelby County Commission voted to exempt current MCS teachers from the county's residency requirement.

But things got more heated over discussion to scrap residency rules altogether through a referendum.

"If you're for getting rid of residency requirements for one you ought to be in favor of getting rid of them for all of them," said Terry Roland, Shelby County Commission.

"It would encourage people who don't live in Shelby County to come here and absorb jobs and not pay their share of taxes," said Walter Bailey, Shelby County Commission.

The commission voted against putting the issue to a public vote.

Commissioner Roland predicted legislative action.

"Shelby County is the only county in Tennessee that has a residency requirement, so it ain't going to be hard to get this reversed in Nashville, especially when it comes to this body," he said.

Others considered his comments out of order.

"Listen, we got one vote. Nobody owes anybody, make your case and close your mouth and you'll find yourself in a better position," said James Harvey, Shelby County Commission.

In the midst of the debate, Commissioner Henri Brooks brought up a personal matter dealing with alleged discourteous by her colleagues, indirectly comparing the behavior to that of the KKK.

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