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Shelby County Commission delays 'no confidence' vote for Shelby County Clerk's Office until next meeting

This comes after months of criticisms by customers, car dealers, and others about lengthy license plate mail delays & long lines outside at office locations.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Commission has decided to delay a 'no confidence vote' against the Shelby County Clerk's Office until its next meeting on Aug. 8, 2022.

Commissioners were originally set to vote on the issue Monday. But Monday afternoon, the sponsors of the resolution - Republicans Mark Billingsley and Brandon Morrison - pushed to defer the resolution until the next meeting and there was no objection. 

The rare type of resolution comes the same time County Clerk Wanda Halbert is on the ballot during early voting ahead of the August election, as the Democrat seeks another term. Now, the vote is scheduled after the August 4th election. 

"Commissioner Morrison and I would like to give the clerk (three) more weeks and move to the next full commission meeting in the hopes that we are going to have great results, in three weeks," Billingsley said. "That's why we'd like to defer this to the next full commission, with hopes that we are going to see demonstrative action with the cooperation of a lot of people who are helping."

The proposed resolution follows ongoing criticism from the public after weeks or months-long delays for new license plates, lengthy lines outside at office locations, and a slow hiring process to fill vacant positions.

Besides the 'no confidence' item, the commission resolution also asks the state to temporarily take over the distribution of license plates from the Clerk's office and cut down on a lengthy backlog.

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Earlier this month, a group of Memphis area car dealers also urged the state extend drive-out tags because new plates weren't arriving on time before those temporary tags expired. That left thousands of drivers vulnerable to being pulled over while out and about.

Wanda Halbert was not in the chamber when Shelby County Commissioners brought up the item and did not respond to a text from ABC24 for comment.

Earlier this month, Halbert said she supports the state assisting her office, described the long lines and indoor space constraints at locations as unacceptable, and said her office is trying to fill open positions as quickly as possible.

Halbert said her office will soon roll out an appointment system at office locations, so customers can cool off in their cars and be alerted on their phone when it's their turn.

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