Luttrell, Chism spar over school merger vote - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Luttrell, Chism spar over school merger vote

Mayor Mark Luttrell Mayor Mark Luttrell

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Bickering between the Shelby County Commission and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell escalated Wednesday night. Their squabble is over a letter from the mayor about the Memphis and Shelby County School merger.

Earlier this week, Action News 5 showed you the letter the mayor sent to the commission. Now, the commission chairman is drafting a letter of his own.

Shelby County Commission Chairman Sydney Chism is in a war of words with Luttrell.

"He can't continue to pick fights with this commission," Chism said.

Luttrell's letter said he declined to sign three items the commission passed to create a commission-controlled school merger transition. The letter said the commission failed to follow proper protocol, because a new state law says the state controls the merger.

"Until a federal court tells us otherwise, I intend to follow the law as I know it," Luttrell told Action News 5.

Chism plans to write the mayor back, saying the commission will move on without his blessings. He says Luttrell would have been better off keeping the comments to himself.

"Because if he doesn't sign it, it goes into law," Chism said. "If he tries to veto it, we pass it."

Chism said the people come first, but warns there are consequences to contention.

"This commission sets the policies and okays the items that come before us on a weekly and a monthly basis," he said.

"We'll agree on more things than we disagree, but occasionally, we'll have disagreements," Luttrell said. "We'll just have to work through them and talk through them when we have them."

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly