GERMANTOWN, TN (abc4.com) - With the upcoming vote on municipal school districts in the balance, Germantown and Collierville have jumped into the lawsuit over the merger of Memphis City and Shelby County Schools.
Councils in both cities met in emergency session Friday to make sure they have a voice before the Judge who is being asked to cancel the vote.
For Germantown residents the schools have been nothing but a headache from the beginning. Wes McBride says, "I think the whole thing's a joke the way it was done."
Germantown Alderman, John Drinnon says, "Our citizens need to know we didn't start this thing but we're trying to do what's best for the children of this area."
City leaders say that means residents need to vote on whether they'd like to remain in the new unified school district or start their own. Germantown Alderman, Mark Billingsley says, "If we don't act on this it wouldn't be right."
Just weeks from the election, Federal Judge Hardy Mays, who's been mediating the schools battle since the beginning, could cancel the whole thing. Shelby County commissioners filed a lawsuit last week to block the formation of individual school districts in suburban Shelby County. The municipalities aren't going without a fight.
Germantown and Collierville both voted to hire Burch Porter and Johnson law firm to represent them before Judge Mays. Germantown Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy says, "We feel the Judge can best understand our needs if they are expressed by someone who directly represents our communities and the school systems we hope to bring forth."
The suburban municipalities are expected to team up to cover the legal fees. Collierville doesn't want to spend more than $100,000. At this point Germantown has no cap, Mayor Goldsworthy says they just want to get the issue in the voter's hands.
Bartlett has called a special meeting for Saturday. The meeting with Judge Mays is Monday at 5:00 p.m.