It’s time to get back to work for local politicians

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This is the latest in a weekly blog by Local 24 News’ Mike Matthews.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( – Everything slows down at election time.

Over the years I’ve seen it happen over and over.

Politicians don’t vote on the big stuff, the controversial stuff, before an election. They care about winning.

Elections are over. Now it’s back to work.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris realizes he’s got a lot of work to do to get any support on his plan to increase registration fees on those who own more a third car by $145.

Newly named Commission Chairman Mark Billingsley says from what he’s seen, the Harris plan doesn’t have a chance.

There’s one issue.

The big one now concerns residency requirements for police officers and firefighters in Memphis.

Police Director Mike Rallings, Mayor Jim Strickland, and even Sheriff Floyd Bonner want to do away with them.

All say it makes finding officers and deputies a heck of a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

They want you folks to get a chance to vote on it in November of 2020.

Of course, you did vote on it, twice in the last fifteen years.

In 2004 you approved making officers and firefighters live inside the Memphis City Limits.

In 2009 you changed that to requiring them to live inside Shelby County.

This is one of those issues that politicians didn’t want to touch before elections. Many don’t want to touch it now.

But it’s the price one pays getting on that glory train known as public service.


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