MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam will meet with the suburban mayors of Shelby County next week, asking them to hold back on setting up their own school districts.
A transition team is looking at the issue as well as the upcoming merger of Memphis and Shelby County Schools, and the governor wants the team to finish its work.
"I'm meeting with the suburban mayors next week and it's no secret we'd love to slow that train down," said Haslam. "I honestly think the transition planning committee has done great work."
The governor has argued one thing through all of the school merger talks: Let the process work itself out before doing something drastic.
The trouble is, he's been ignored.
Since most of the mayors are Republicans and the governor is Republican, he hopes they'll just back off a bit and let that transition team do some transitioning.
Haslam told abc24.com, "I think it's been a really, really good example of how things can work. I think the product is going to be outstanding. I'd like to seem them finish that task before we make some final decisions."
Watching quietly from the sidelines is Memphis Mayor A C Wharton. He hasn't said much of anything on this whole school issue.
"I have not been that outspoken on it because we have the transition planning team. They're working diligently," he said. "Since I don't have a vote, it's best for me just to let them do their work."
The governor says he's been concerned about legislation kicked around in Nashville that would directly affect Memphis. He says the cities and towns should be in charge of their issues, and not Nashville.
He's got a veto, by the way, and he says he'll use it, even though it takes just a simple majority in the state house and senate to override that veto.