Charter Commission proposing staggered terms for City Council members - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Charter Commission proposing staggered terms for City Council members

Nine of 13 Memphis City Council members were replaced January 1st. To keep that from happening again, the city's Charter Commission is proposing staggered terms. But, it is not that easy.

Though the Charter Commission voted today to stagger City Council terms, there will be public hearings and you still have to vote on it in an upcoming election.

Then, there is the fact that everyone in office now has a four-year term.

Charter Commission Chairman Myron Lowery said they figured out a method to stagger the terms without cutting any of the current terms short.

They propose having one unique election next time around.

"Either the Super District or the district people would run for a two-year period and then come again and run for a four year period and after that everyone would be on a four-year cycle," Lowery said.

The commission felt this would prevent the council from losing so much experience at once.

As both a charter commissioner and city councilman, Lowery says this is no slight on the new crop of council members.

In fact, he said he has not even seen any evidence of a learning curve up to now.

He said every city in Shelby County has staggered terms except Memphis.

They still have to work out the details of staggered terms with the Election Commission. However, you will now vote on this sometime this year.

Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.

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