Residents do not have legal authority to demand referendum - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Advisory opinion: Cordova residents do not have legal authority to demand De-annexation referendum

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State Rep. Steve McManus, who represents the Cordova area, requested the formal opinion by the attorney general. State Rep. Steve McManus, who represents the Cordova area, requested the formal opinion by the attorney general.

(WMC-TV) - The state attorney general said in an advisory opinion that Cordova residents, or any Tennessee residents at that, do not have the legal authority to demand a referendum for de-annexing from the City of Memphis.

The formal opinion by Attorney General Robert E. Cooper was published on the official website of the Tennessee Attorney General.

In his analysis, he said that the Tennessee Constitution establishes the process for the creation and alteration of municipalities and their boundaries. He also said the General Assembly provides the exclusive methods by which municipalities may be created, merged, consolidated and dissolved and by which municipal boundaries may be altered.

Cooper confirmed under state law that any de-annexation referendum must be initiated by the legislative body of the incorporated city or town, like Memphis City Council, by passing an ordinance calling for a referendum on the issue.

The Shelby County Election Commission rejected the referendum request from Cordova residents in May for similar reasons.

It was said then by legal experts that a city, not citizens, must initiate a de-annexation effort.

State Rep. Steve McManus, who represents the Cordova area, requested the formal opinion by the attorney general.

Keep checking WMCTV.COM for updates on this developing story.

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