Suburbs react to ruling on municipal school vote

Suburbs Can Vote
Shelby County School Board member David Pickler
Shelby County School Board member David Pickler
Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner
Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner

(WMC-TV) - The sign in his front yard says exactly what Lee Truitt of Bartlett plans to do on election day. It's says "vote yes" for city schools.

"Memphis decided to get rid of their school system," said Truitt. "We should be able to decide on ours also."

Truitt was happy to learn judge Hardy Mays refused to stop municipal school elections in the city's six suburbs following a day-long hearing in federal court.

"I feel great that he said yes, absolutely," said Truitt.

Many suburban leaders came to court to hear the decision for themselves.

"The voters of suburban Shelby County for the first time ever are going to have the opportunity to have their voices heard," said Shelby County School Board member David Pickler.

The Shelby County Commission sought to stop the suburban elections on the claim that legislation allowing municipal districts is unconstitutional.

"Very few judges will stop an election when it's in the process of being put together," said Shelby Co. Commissioner Sidney Chism. "So, I didn't ever think he was going to do that."

Creating further confusion among the electorate was one reason for the judge's decision. However, he has yet to rule on the broader question of constitutionality. So, it is possible any vote may be voided.

"Every roadblock that comes up, we kind of anticipate there will be another roadblock down the road," said Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner.

For now, suburban voters will have their say on municipal schools whether or not those schools are ever actually in session.

All parties meet back in federal court Friday morning to discuss how to proceed.

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