Those of you who know me personally know I’m a process junkie. For the rest of you, what I mean by “process” is the manner in which stuff gets done in government, specifically legislative bodies.
Yesterday’s meeting of the Memphis City Council was not only a study in process, but also a prime example of one of the problems facing Memphians. Our elected officials chose to chart their own course, despite widespread public outcry decided there was more need for a ninth Pharmacy in a 2 mile area than for the citizens to have a voice in the character of their neighborhood.
This is government at its worst on several counts. First, with all the opposition to the new CVS, and so many options nearby, there is a good possibility that there will not be enough local support for the business meaning that in the long-term we’ll be left with a building we don’t like that will be vacant. Second, the only two no votes came from the people who know the area best, Jim Strickland and Shea Flinn. The rest of the Council’s decision to ignore both the wishes of the locals and two of the four people who represent those locals is inexcusable.
From my perspective, this is why people don’t trust our local government. Bill Boyd, who represents District 2, which is nowhere near the intersection of Cooper and Union even noted that no amount of public outcry or lack of support would sway the Council. Let’s hear it for accountability and doing the business of the public.
Regardless of any referendum or potential change in government, this illustrates a major problem for our community. If our elected officials believe they know more about the communities they serve than the people who live in those communities, they’ve got their priorities all switched, especially when they don’t even represent those communities. The structure of our government matters little if elected officials can act with impunity toward the wishes of local residents. What the Memphis City Council did yesterday is paternalism at its worst, and they need to be held accountable for it. That’s the only way our voice will ever be heard.
On to the Coffee…
Smart City thinks the Council wasn’t too smart in their decision yesterday.
Guess what? We also have the highest sales taxes in the US.
The ACLU is going after a severely antiquated law.
Anger motivates voters? Who knew?
TN Citizen Action notes a Commercial Appeal editorial on predatory lending.
Have a good day out there!