The Shelby County Commission has a new look and new leadership, along with the promise of a bipartisan approach to governing. Local 24 political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view.
Eight new members of the 13-member body sat for their first meeting on Monday. And the most significant piece of business conducted was the election of a new chairman in Democrat Van Turner and vice chairman in Republican Mark Billingsley.
Turner is emerging as a dynamic young political leader to watch going forward. And Billingsley was one of the few Republican commissioners who regularly pushed for compromise and consensus during his first term in office. With so many new members, that kind of leadership will be valuable as the commission works with, instead of against new county mayor Lee Harris on a range of issues from healthcare to education and economic development.
In fact, the only downside to the new commission convening for the first time was the ongoing and blatant refusal of incoming Commissioner Edmund Ford Jr. to give up his seat on the city council. Ford repeated to Local 24 News on Monday that he’s not leaving the council before the required 90-day time period to resign.
With kind of in-your-fact attitude, here’s what should happen now. The council should pass a resolution requiring any member who is elected and sworn in to another office to step down immediately. That is the only way to end his self-serving nonsense. And that’s my point of view.