MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - One of the longest running governmental soap operas appears to be over. Shelby County voting districts are now set, with a plan that was supposed to be approved by the beginning of the year.
Walter Bailey, who has been a Shelby County Commissioner off and on for the last 35 years, says a judge has taken care of everything. There’s a new voter district plan and everybody needs to be happy. “The only unfortunate thing,” Bailey says, “is we are six months overdue.”
Tell your landlord that next time you’re six months late on your rent. Sorry, it’s just one of those unfortunate things. Imagine telling a teacher that you’re report will be six months late. Just one of those things, and it took a judge to do the job commissioners were supposed to do. “It’s just politics,” says Bailey. “Nothing unusual.”
Politics in Shelby County government has often had the charm and dignity of a wrestling match, especially when debating the new voting districts. There often was fighting and yelling over issues, and commissioners could never get more than seven votes for a plan.
Finally, Bailey took the case to a judge. The Shelby County Commission rules say 8 votes are needed for new voting districts, but state law says only seven, and the judge agreed.
There will be thirteen districts, each represented by one county commissioner. Bailey says it will mean better representation for people. It will really take effect in next year's election.