As you can see from the picture, it was an exciting day. If by exciting you mean somewhat tedious and somewhat tolerable but hey, they can't all be the brouhaha that we sometimes get when certain commissioners are exposed for not living in their districts (they're just lines on a map anyways right?), I won't name any names but one of them rhymes with crooks and the other rhymes with bored....puns intended? I dunno... Anyhoo, rules are for the little people and those that can afford utilities, which apparently, some commissioners can't afford but I digress...(apparently a certain commissioner, who shall not be named but rhymes with bored, lived without utilities for a couple of years because he fell on hard times but suddenly was able to afford getting them turned back on the day the story broke about another commissioner who shall not be named but rhymes with crooks who was found not to live in her district after an altercation in a hospital parking lot with someone after the unnamed commissioner stole her parking space, preceded to hurling racial insults and then threw water in her face so that the police were called and assault charges were filed against this commissioner which then led the media to her " so called residence" which turned out not to be her residence but she says it's all because of racism or something....) So guess what? That last sentence was a super duper run-on sentence and I'm proud of it....
It was a short agenda, thankfully. The Pre-K funding vote took up a majority of the time. The resolution called for allotting 6 million dollars from any surplus this year to Pre-K funds. The Midsouth Sentinel is still working on how any surplus short of about 1.3 billion dollars is a surplus since when we have debt obligations of at least that much and when we figure that out, we will get back to you. Commissioners Mulroy and Ritz wanted the full 6 million though Mulroy was willing to live with 3 million if that's all they could get but Ritz was not happy at all which is nothing new, that's just how he rolls. Ritz seemed to have a big chip on his shoulder about the municipalities getting any of the funds from the 3 million, he wanted it to be just for Shelby County but if he could get the full 6 million passed then the municipalities could...shall we say...let them eat Pre-K?
One wonders if Ritz is just not still bitter over the fact that the municipalities were able to create their own school systems. He was all for Memphis giving up their charter and Shelby County Schools being one BIG school system which is why he had the county sue itself for what? A waste of money but some good work for attorneys. Ritz's beady eyes seemed to light up there for a while when his centrally planned scheme seemed to be going along fine and when Mick Wright of the Republican Party and some others (like me) decided to try and recall him since they couldn't remember the last time he voted like a Republican and seemed to vote for everything the people didn't want. He thought for a short time he could use this plot to remove him as a way to boost his standing in the community and give him some street cred to run for mayor but then we found out shockingly that it would be easier to remove Putin from the Kremlin than to recall a commissioner due to the conveniently written rules of the charter which allows all of about 10 months out of a 4 year term to perform such a mission. Well done, slimy butt-covering politicians! Ritz is term limited and for that, we are grateful.
Commissioner Roland was for it if the commission reduced the amount from 6 million to 3 million and wanted it administered through the Shelby County Education Foundation and not through the Shelby County Schools. There was a lot of debate about this idea when Commissioners Chism and Bailey were offended that the commission might not trust the SCS to spend it on Pre-K. Mulroy wasn't happy about this either but would take what he could get. One great question from Bailey was " if administered through the SCS and earmarked specifically for pre-k funding, would they have to spend it on pre-k? The answer was no which explains why the other commissioners wanted it to go throught SCEF which would be required to spend the funds exactly what it was planned for.
There was talk about whether or not if this passed, would it then be in the budget for next year too? Roland remarked that it would be in the budget IF we had a surplus. If we have a surplus, pre-K gets it, if not, too bad. You know, how you would treat your teenager begging for a new car. If you can afford it perhaps, but no we aren't going into to debt for it. Some on the commission think pre-k should be universal and another expansion of government. Others know that we cannot afford this and will not want to ask taxpayers to pay more property taxes to fund something that most of us grew up without. But hey, it's just monopoly money right? It passed with the amendment that reduced it to 3 million. That's better than the 6 million, and the best we could get right now.
I will wrap this up so that I don't bore you...there was a resolution urging the city of Germantown to release funds in the amount of 273,080 to the Germantown Community Television Foundation and disburse said funds to the Germantown Community Television Foundation. What the ??? You lost me at a resolution urging....A resolution to tell Germantown what to do??? Who does the County Commission think they are??? Several commissioners felt the same way and that it wasn't any of our business(Roland, ThomasBillingsly) while other commissioners were offended that Germantown wouldn't want Shelby County telling them what to do(Bailey, Chism).
There is no way to recap all the good stuff that goes on here. Missing things like Roland's one liners "A blind hog will find an acorn every once in a while" or just the doling out of taxpayer funds like there is no end to it. There really should be more citizens in attendance. Other than me, there was all of about 10 citizens from a county that has close to one million citizens. There were more people there waiting for grant money to be approved for their special project than citizens. If you don't like the direction your country is going in, well, it starts in the county with you. Hope to see you there next time!
Until then, stay tuned!