Tempers flare over residency requirement - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Tempers flare over residency requirement

The Memphis City Council's executive session was supposed to cover a resolution to fill a residency loophole for city employees.

But the meeting took an odd turn that had one council member and the city attorney fighting it out.

The executive session began with discussion of a new ordinance to reinstate the city employee residency requirement, but City Attorney Elbert Jefferson said it was too late.

"You cannot now go back and retroactively take it back from them," Jefferson said.

The confusion began back in 2003, when the council voted city employees must live in the city.  But, as the ordinance made its way through the city attorney's office, the wording somehow changed and the public voted on the wrong ordinance.
 
"That should be deemed illegal," council member Myron Lowery said. "It is wrong.  It was not the will of this body."

The 2003 ordinance puts a loophole on employee residency in the city charter.

"How did the council say one thing and another thing happened and was offered to the public and who did that?" council member Wanda Halbert demanded.

City Council Attorney Allan Wade said 50-year city employee and former city attorney Dorothy Osradker wrote the language.  Osradker recently died after retirement.

"Blame it on the dead guy," Halbert responded.

"I'm personally unaware if Miss Dorothy's participation in the drafting is true, and she's not here to defend herself," Jefferson added.

Lowery said the bigger issue is government trust. 

Council members decided the ordinance needs more discussion, and moved it to the council's personnel committee.

The council says the ordinance needs much more discussion, so it will be moved to the personnel committee.  The council is also considering a fee from employees who live outside the city.


Click here to send an email to Kontji Anthony.

  • News on WMCTV.comNewsMore>>

  • 9-year-old dies in crash after driver falls asleep behind the wheel

    9-year-old dies in crash after driver falls asleep behind the wheel

    Sunday, May 20 2018 11:59 PM EDT2018-05-21 03:59:31 GMT
    Jaliya Lewis (Source: Family)Jaliya Lewis (Source: Family)

    Memphis Police Department is investigating a deadly crash that happened early Sunday morning.  Police were called to the scene on Spottswood Avenue and Goodwyn Street where a car hit a tree.  Three children were injured in the crash and taken to Lebonheur Children's Hospital. Two of the children are in non-critical condition. Nine-year-old Jaliya Lewis died from her injuries. Police say the children were unrestrained in the back seat of the vehicle and were thrown to the ...

    More >>

    Memphis Police Department is investigating a deadly crash that happened early Sunday morning.  Police were called to the scene on Spottswood Avenue and Goodwyn Street where a car hit a tree.  Three children were injured in the crash and taken to Lebonheur Children's Hospital. Two of the children are in non-critical condition. Nine-year-old Jaliya Lewis died from her injuries. Police say the children were unrestrained in the back seat of the vehicle and were thrown to the ...

    More >>
  • Two people shot, killed in Memphis

    Two people shot, killed in Memphis

    Sunday, May 20 2018 11:34 PM EDT2018-05-21 03:34:04 GMT
    (Source: WMC Action News 5 Archives)(Source: WMC Action News 5 Archives)

    Two people were shot and killed in Memphis on Sunday, according to Memphis Police Department. 

    More >>

    Two people were shot and killed in Memphis on Sunday, according to Memphis Police Department. 

    More >>
  • As the BBQ competition wraps up, organizers prepare for 901 Fest

    As the BBQ competition wraps up, organizers prepare for 901 Fest

    Sunday, May 20 2018 11:13 PM EDT2018-05-21 03:13:09 GMT
    (Source: WMC Action News 5)(Source: WMC Action News 5)
    (Source: WMC Action News 5)(Source: WMC Action News 5)

    After a successful BBQ contest, organizers of Memphis in May are on to setting up for the next event--901 Fest. 

    More >>

    After a successful BBQ contest, organizers of Memphis in May are on to setting up for the next event--901 Fest. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly