Judge to Consider Expanding Unified School Board

Judge to Consider Expanding Unified School Board

Judge Samuel Mays is deciding whether to expand the Unified School Board. The current 23 member board will decrease to seven by September, but Shelby County Commissioners want six more members.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Judge Samuel Mays is deciding whether to expand the Unified School Board. The current 23 member board will decrease to seven by September, but Shelby County Commissioners want six more members.

The judge wants this merger to be ready to go by this August, which is amazing because he is in no rush to rule on this issue.

The lawyer representing the suburban communities, Tom Cates, says why increase the members of board; bigger isn't necessarily better.

He notes, "Does anybody that has followed this situation think that 23 members of a board has been a paragon of efficiency?"

Cates says with what he's seen coming out of the Shelby County Commission, he doubts the six appointed by the commission will be very impartial.

"Seems rational that those six might be influenced by the people that appointed them."

Shelby County Commission Chairman Mike Ritz had to disagree, but he did his diss with dignity.

"The commissioners have been accused of a lot of things by Mr. Cates in the last six or seven months," Ritz said, "It's just another name calling."

Ritz says six more board members will be needed to give people decent representation, there's just one basic difference.

"We're ready to appoint them. If the Judge wants them to be elected, the earliest they can be elected is December."

He's right, according to Elections Commission attorney, John Ryder. "What we've been told is in order to make sure this process is done correctly, we need to give the IT people enough time to make sure everybody is in the right district."

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