County commission votes to keep free lunches - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

County commission votes to keep free lunches

Posted: Updated:
One commissioner described the debate as two dogs fighting over a biscuit. One commissioner described the debate as two dogs fighting over a biscuit.
  • News on WMCTV.comNewsMore>>

  • Lakeland woman fights off attacker in home invasion

    Lakeland woman fights off attacker in home invasion

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:17 PM EDT2014-07-24 20:17:34 GMT
    A Lakeland woman fought off a stranger who attacked her with a knife in her own home, and then she hid with her 8-year-old cousin in a closet until Sheriff's deputies arrived. Shelby County Sheriff'sMore >>
    A Lakeland woman fought off a stranger who attacked her with a knife in her own home. She then she hid with her 8-year-old cousin in a closet until sheriff's deputies arrived.
    More >>
  • Man escapes Dyer County jail

    Man escapes Dyer County jail

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:15 PM EDT2014-07-24 20:15:07 GMT
    (WMC) - Dyer County officials are looking for a jail escapee. Edward Copeland could be in the area of East Court Street in Dyersburg, Tenn., where deputies are currently searching. Copeland was in theMore >>
    Dyer County officials are looking for a jail escapee.More >>
  • Mid-South teacher raises money for classroom tools

    Mid-South teacher raises money for classroom tools

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:31 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:31:19 GMT
    (WMC) – When Erin Johnson started writing a proposal in May for chrome books and TI Inspire calculators, she had no idea where the money would come from. "I was thinking nobody's gonna give cause totalMore >>
    When Erin Johnson started writing a proposal in May for Chromebooks and TI-Nspire calculators, she had no idea where the money would come from. Her friends and family began "investing in her students." Now, she hopes others will follow suit.
    More >>
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - One commissioner described the debate as two dogs fighting over a biscuit.

The Shelby County Commission currently uses some of its Legislative Operations budget as lunch money to pay for the commissioners' meals on meeting days.

It's the second time the hot lunch debate has come up for a vote and it had some commissioners hot under the collar.

"People are struggling to buy their own food and I don't think we should act like we're better than them," said Chris Thomas, Shelby County Commissioner.

For a second time, Thomas proposed cutting the commission's $16,000 per year lunch budget.

"We just voted to layoff some employees," said Heidi Shafer, Shelby County Commissioner. "To vote for ourselves to have free lunch looks terrible."

The resolution launched a second meaty debate. The first time around, the majority of the commission voted to keep the taxpayer lunches. They said they should get the free lunch because they cannot leave the building all day on commission days.

"Having the lunch here promotes and supports a commissioner's use of time," said Walter Bailey, Shelby County Commission chairman.

Bailey accused Thomas of grand standing.

"These trivial gestures of appearing austere are just empty piousness," he said

"To say it's trivial and pious, I'll just keep the source in mind," responded Thomas.

Bailey asked if coffee, drink and juice machines would be installed in place of the free lunches. And that's when Commissioner James Harvey got fed up.

"I look at us and we're sitting here acting like a bunch of idiots," he said.

Citizens are more concerned with issues than the free lunches, continued Harvey.

Commissioners Bailey, Burgess, Ford, Harvey, Mulroy, Brooks and Chism voted to keep the free lunches. At one point, Thomas offered a compromise to cut the fund from $16,000 to $9,500. Commissioners voted it down.

After the final vote, Thomas opened his microphone and said he hopes everyone noticed that all the Democrats were the ones who voted for the free lunches.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow