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Shelby County Commission expected to vote on CLERC, Land Bank ordinances

As the page turns on the first month of 2024, Shelby County Commissioners are scheduled to attend to old business with a pair of proposed ordinances set for their third and final readings during today’s commission meeting.

CLERC

Sponsor Erika Sugarmon’s proposal seeks to align the proposed three-person Citizens Law Enforcement Review Committee with provisions in Tennessee state law concerning civilian oversight boards of law enforcement agencies.

Governor Bill Lee signed a bill last May that abolishes civilian oversight committees with over seven members.

The product of a 2022 resolution, CLERC will be tasked with providing oversight to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. It will function as a Shelby County counterpart to the replacement for Memphis’ erstwhile Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board. 

The seven-person Police Advisory and Review Committee (PARC) was created by the Memphis City Council at the end of October, after an ordinance sponsored by former Mayor Jim Strickland passed. 

Established in 1994, CLERB was a 13-member board tasked with reviewing grievances against Memphis Police Department officers by civilians. Its members were appointed by the Mayor of Memphis and approved by the Memphis City Council.

OUT WITH THE LAND BANK, IN WITH REAL ESTATE DIVISION

The vote will be followed by the move to replace the current Shelby County Land Bank, by creating a county real estate division to oversee the sale of delinquent tax properties.

Founded in 2007, the land bank’s decline in revenues began in 2020, during the COVID pandemic. In addition to increasing individual wealth, the proposal is also expected tackle blight through home ownership.

Startup costs for the county-run institution are estimated to run $300,000. Half of the costs will go to manpower. The three employees needed to get the office up and running would earn $50,000 annually.

The last time the ordinance was voted on, on Oct. 16, 2023,  it passed 6-4. 

Commissioner Britney Thornton is the sponsor.

Both ordinances require a seven vote majority to pass in their final readings.

OTHER PLANNED COMMISSION ACTION

A resolution to allocate $2.5 million in ARPA funds to The Hospitality Hub will be brought up, after being sent down without recommendation on January 24. Founded in 2007, the area nonprofit works to connect displaced individuals and families experiencing homelessness with resources to find a permanent residence.

The resolution is sponsored by Thorton.

Members will also discuss a one-time stipend for all eligible Juvenile Court Clerk’s Office employees. The item requires an expenditure from the Juvenile Court Clerk Excess Personnel Budget Funds from the General and Grant Operating Budgets of up to $72,000, or $43,500 and $28,500, respectively. 

Commissioners Mickell Lowery and Charlie Caswell are the resolution’s sponsors.

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