Commissioners Keep Free Lunch, Raise Property Taxes

Commissioners Keep Free Lunch, Raise Property Taxes

Whoever said there was no such thing as a free lunch needs to meet Shelby County commissioners.
MEMPHIS, TN (loclamemphis.com) - Whoever said there was no such thing as a free lunch needs to meet Shelby County commissioners.

Faced with stiff budget cuts, commissioners voted Monday evening against a resolution to cut the free lunches they receive on the Mondays they have commission meetings.

"People don't pack lunches these days," said Commissioner Henri Brooks.

Commissioner Heidi Shafer proposed cutting commissioners lunches on both Monday and on Wednesday, when commissioners meet in committee meetings.

"I certainly don't think bringing your own lunch, the way you have to at every other job, is too much to ask," Shafer said. "The little bit of money we are utilizing for anything that is not essential is a waste."

Commissioner Steve Mulroy then requested the resolution be modified to just cut Monday lunches, citing the long days commissioners spend in committee. In the end, the resolution failed.

"It is really not a big deal, it is really not a big deal," Brooks said.

"They should maybe set aside some lunch funds for all those who have to sit through that circus they call a county commission meeting," Paul Garner said outside the meeting.

During the same meeting, commissioners voted to increase the property tax rates next year from $4.02 to $4.38.

"I'm getting a double whammy," said Mark Cordle, a Germantown resident. "I would probably pay between $700 and $900 in taxes per year."

"It means I'm going to have to cut my budget, less entertainment, less spending for less travel," he added.

After the meeting, Brooks defended the lunches.

"It is just convenient, I would have to leave my full-time job, go to Whole Foods, get my lunch out on Poplar, who knows what time I would get back down here," Brooks said.

"Lunch? Come on now. Make some tuna fish the night before and bring your own, like I do," Karen Spencer McGee said after the meeting.

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