Carpenter's resignation could change dynamics of Commission - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Carpenter's resignation could change dynamics of Shelby Co. Commission

(WMC-TV) - With Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter resigning to take a job in Nashville, a power shift is looming.

After seven years on the Commission, Carpenter is making a move to the corporate world.

The Republican has not always voted along party lines, so whoever replaces him could vastly change the dynamics of the Commission.

Currently, Democrats hold a 7 to 6 majority on the Commission, where it takes seven votes to pass legislation.

"I would hope that we could elect a moderate Republican, because truly Carpenter was a moderate, and I would like to replace him with someone who has the same temperament that he has," Commission Chairman Sidney Chism said.

"I think it would somewhat disenfranchise the voters there that views would not be represented adequately by a person that is a Democrat or has a liberal philosophy," Commissioner Wyatt Bunker said. "It's proven to be a conservative district."

Some familiar names already surfacing as potential replacements, including former Shelby County Commissioners George Flinn, Marilyn Loeffel and John Willingham, former Memphis City Council members Jack Sammons and Brent Taylor, and former Shelby County Election Commissioner Brian Stephens.

"With the balance of power, it has always been a courtesy on the commission for a Republican to be appointed to a Republican seat or a Democrat to be appointed to a Democrat seat," Bunker said.

"This is a Democracy and whatever the majority says, that's the way it's got to be," said Chism.

The applicants will be interviewed on October 7th, and the appointments will be made on October 12th.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly