Archive for the ‘Agenda Items’ Category

The True Facts About IRV Voting

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

October 16, 2018

 

I recently sent out an email and posted information on my website (www.memphisshelbyinform.com) giving my recommendation to vote NO-YES-YES on the three ordinances at the end of the upcoming ballot.

 

I then received an email from City Councilman Edmund Fore Jr. as shown below.

Mr. Saino,

I hope this message finds you in good health and spirit.

We disagree on many things, but I will say that you are spot on regarding these items. In fact, IRV has been repealed in several cities due to costs and the number of exhausted ballots that are thrown out. Taking to the local Comptroller, Shelby County would have to pay up to $6.3 million for new machines.

I would be glad to provide more information, as the local media has refused to give the public both sides.

I appreciate your attempt to educate the people, even when we disagree.

 

He also sent me to a website (www.yes2repeal.org)  and if you will look at the video on this site it explains the faults in Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) and he also sent me the document that you can read explaining the true cost and impediments of IRV. Enough said. Early voting starts tomorrow and please get out and vote and vote NO-YES-YES.

NO-YES-YES

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

October 15, 2018

 

Elections Are Coming and there are three interesting charter questions at the end of the ballot. There is a push by a local group. They are pushing for Instant Runoffs. The three items are written in a very confusing manner making it difficult to understand. I hope to make it simple.

 

ORDINANCE 5676 ASKS   VOTERS TO EXTEND TERMS LIMITS FROM 2 FOUR YEAR TERMS TO 3 FOUR YEAR TERMS. Our history of politicians hoping to get their pensions expanded as they did in 2001 with the pension resolution at the City of Memphis allowing elected and appointed officials to retire after 12 years regardless of age is an example of the need for terms limits. VOTE NO!!.

 

ORDINANCE 5669 ASKS VOTERS TO REPEAL INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING. Instant runoff voting was approved in 2008 without a lot of research and sold as a means to save money by not having runoff elections. Runoff elections are only required in the 7 single member Memphis city council districts. They are not required for the Shelby County 13 Shelby County Commission districts. The money that the proponents say will be saved varies depending on who you talk to. What will happen is confusion, delay, new equipment purchases necessary to implement a paper trail. MY RECOMMENDATION IS TO VOTE YES AND AFTER IRV IS KILLED, to go back to the court and get approval to elect the seven single member City Council members with plurality voting as is done in the 3 super districts and all 13 Shelby County districts. VOTE YES!!

 

ORDINANCE 5677 ASKS VOTERS TO AMEND THE CHARTER TO PROVIDE THAT THE CANDIDATE RECEIVING THE LARGEST NUMBER OF VOTES SHALL BE DECLARED THE WINNER, THEREBY ELIMINATING RUN-OFF ELECTIONS. VOTE YES OR NO!! If you vote NO we will still require runoff elections which is OK. If you vote YES we will probably have to go back to court to reverse the 1991 decision which required a majority vote and sometimes generated a runoff election. But if the court grants a reversal, there will be no need for instant runoff elections and its confusion and high costs. VOTE YES!!

 

 

There is a very important election coming up on Tuesday November 6th, 2018. Let us look at some of the important elections.

A new Tennessee Governor will be elected as our current governor is term limited. I am voting for Bill Lee.

 

Another important election is the United States Senate because of the retirement of our current senator, Bob Corker. I am voting for Marsha Blackburn.

 

Another important election is the District 8 United States House of Representatives and I recommend voting for David Kustoff. In my district I am voting for Charlotte Bergmann.

 

I am in Tennessee Senate District 31 and will be voting for Brian Kelsey.

 

I am in Tennessee House of Representative District 93 and there is no Republican running, so I will not be voting on this district.  I used to vote in District 83 and if I was still there I would vote for Mark White.

 

I have listed a complete ballot with my choices listed in red. Vote your convictions but please vote.

 

 

 

Sample Ballot
State and Federal General Election & Municipal Elections
 
General Election
 

 

Your ballot will contain four or five State and Federal races depending upon where you live. All ballots will have the race for Governor and US Senate. All ballots will have the correct district for the US House of Representatives and the Tennessee House of Representatives. Voters who live in Tennessee Senate District 29, 31, and 33 will have the correct race for their district on their ballots. Voters who live in Tennessee Senate District 30 and 32 will not see a Tennessee Senate race on their ballots since those districts will not be on the ballot until 2020.

 

State and Federal Offices

Governor of Tennessee Bill Lee Republican BILL LEE
Vote for One Karl Dean Democratic
Mark CoonRippy Brown Independent
Sherry L. Clark Independent
Justin Cornett Independent
Gabriel Fancher Independent
Sean Bruce Fleming Independent
William Andrew Helmstetter Independent
Cory King Independent
Matthew Koch Independent
Tommy Ray McAnally Independent
Jessie D. McDonald Independent
Toney Randall Mitchell Independent
Yvonne Neubert Independent
Alfred Shawn Rapoza Independent
Chad Riden Independent
Robert Sawyers Sr. Independent
Heather Scott Independent
George Blackwell Smith IV Independent
Jeremy Allen Stephenson Independent
Tracy C. Yaste Tisdale Independent
Mike Toews Independent
Rick Tyler Independent
Vinnie Vineyard Independent
Jaron D. Weidner Independent
Patrick Whitlock Independent
Joe B. Wilmoth Independent
Mark Wright Independent
United States Senate Marsha Blackburn Republican MARSHA BLACKBURN
Vote for One Phil Bredesen Democratic
Trudy A. Austin Independent
John Carico Independent
Dean Hill Independent
Kevin Lee McCants Independent
Breton Phillips Independent
Kris L. Todd Independent
United States House of Representatives District 8 David Kustoff

Erika Stotts Pearson James Hart

Republican This race will only appear if you live in US House of Representatives District 8.
Vote for One Democratic
Independent
United States House of Representatives District 9 Charlotte Bergmann Republican This race will only appear if you live in US House of Representatives District 9.
Vote for One Steve Cohen Democratic
Leo AwGoWhat Independent
Tennessee Senate District 29 Tom Stephens Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN Senate District 29.
Vote for One Raumesh Akbari Democratic
Tennessee Senate District 31 Brian Kelsey Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN Senate District 31.
Vote for One Gabby Salinas Democratic
 

Tennessee Senate District 33

 

Katrina Robinson

 

Democratic

This race will only appear if you live in TN Senate District 33.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 83 Mark White Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 83
Vote for One Danielle Schonbaum Democratic
Tennessee House of Representatives District 84 Joe Towns Jr. Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 84.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 85 Jesse Chism Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 85.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 86 Barbara Cooper Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 86.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 87 Karen Camper Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 87.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 88 Larry J. Miller Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 88.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 90 John J. Deberry Jr. Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 90.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 91 London P. Lamar Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 91.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 93 G. A. Hardaway, Sr. Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District

93.

Vote for One

 

Tennessee House of Representatives District 95 Kevin Vaughan Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 95.
Vote for One Sanjeev Memula Democratic
Tennessee House of Representatives District 96 Scott McCormick Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 96.
Vote for One Dwayne Thompson Democratic
Tennessee House of Representatives District 97 Jim Coley Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 97.
Vote for One Allan Creasy Democratic
Tennessee House of Representatives District 98 Antonio Parkinson Democratic This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 98.
Vote for One
Tennessee House of Representatives District 99 Tom Leatherwood Republican This race will only appear if you live in TN House District 99.
Vote for One David Cambron Democratic
City of Bartlett
City of Bartlett Mayor John Lackey Non-Partisan
Vote for One A. Keith McDonald Non-Partisan
City of Bartlett Alderman – Position 1 W. C. “Bubba” Pleasant Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Bartlett Alderman – Position 2 Mitch Arnold Non-Partisan These races will only appear on your ballot if you live within the City of Bartlett
Vote for One Emily Elliott Non-Partisan
City of Bartlett Alderman – Position 3 David Parsons Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Bartlett SchoolBoard – Position 2 Erin Elliott Berry Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Bartlett School Board – Position 4 Bryan Woodruff Non-Partisan
Vote for One
Town of Collierville
Town of Collierville Alderman – Position 1 William Boone Non-Partisan
Vote for One Maureen J. Fraser Non-Partisan
Town of Collierville Alderman – Position 2 Billy Patton Non-Partisan
Vote for One
 

Town of Collierville Alderman – Position 4

 

Tom Allen

 

Non-Partisan

These races will only appear on your ballot if you live within the Town of Collierville.
Vote for One Gregory D. Cotton Non-Partisan
Town of Collierville School Board – Position 2 Wanda Chism Non-Partisan
Vote for One
Town of Collierville School Board – Position 4 Eelco R. Van Wijk Non-Partisan
Vote for One Frank Warren Non-Partisan
City of Germantown
City of Germantown Mayor John Barzizza Non-Partisan
Vote for One Mike Palazzolo Non-Partisan
City of Germantown Alderman – Position 1 Scott Sanders Non-Partisan
Vote for One Brian D. White Non-Partisan
 

City of Germantown Alderman – Position 2

 

Jeff Brown

 

Non-Partisan

These races will only appear on your ballot if you live within the Town of Germantown.
Vote for One Mary Anne Gibson Non-Partisan
City of Germantown School Board – Position 2 Brian Curry Non-Partisan
Vote for One Betsy Landers Non-Partisan
City of Germantown School Board – Position 4 Angela Rickman Griffith Non-Partisan
Vote for One Robyn Rey Rudisill Non-Partisan
City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland Mayor Wyatt Bunker Non-Partisan
Vote for One Mike Cunningham Non-Partisan
City of Lakeland Commissioner Jeremy Clayton Burnett Non-Partisan
Vote for up to two. Michele Dial Non-Partisan These races will only appear on your ballot if you live within the City of Lakeland.
Michael Green Non-Partisan
Richard A. Gonzales, Jr. Non-Partisan
Clark Plunk Non-Partisan
City of Lakeland School Board Zachary Coleman Non-Partisan
Vote for up to three. Kevin Floyd Non-Partisan
Laura Harrison Non-Partisan
Deborah Thomas Non-Partisan
City of Millington
City of Millington Alderman – Position 1 Bethany K. Huffman Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Millington Alderman – Position 2 Albert “AL” Bell Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Millington Alderman – Position 3 Jon Crisp Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Millington Alderman – Position 4 Larry Dagen Non-Partisan These races will only appear on your ballot if you live within the City of Millington
Vote for One

 

 

City of Millington School Board – Position 2

 

Marlon Evans

 

Non-Partisan

Vote for One Cecilia “C.J.” Haley Non-Partisan
City of Millington School Board – Position 4 Cody F. Childress Non-Partisan
Vote for One
City of Millington School Board – Position 5 Barbara Halliburton Non-Partisan
Vote for One Donald Holsinger Non-Partisan
City of Millington School Board – Position 6 Austin Brewer Non-Partisan
Vote for One Larry C. Jackson Non-Partisan
 

City of Memphis

These questions will only appear on your ballot if you live within the City of Memphis.

 

NO-YES-YES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of Memphis Ordinance #5676 Shall the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be amended to provide no person shall be eligible to hold or to be elected to the office of Mayor or Memphis City Council if any such person has served at any time more than three (3) consecutive four-year terms, except that service by persons elected or appointed to fill an unexpired four-year term shall not be counted as full four-year term?
Vote No
I, Doug McGowen, Interim Director of Finance for the City of Memphis do hereby certify that the foregoing amendment shall have no impact on the annual revenues and expenditures of the City.
 

City of Memphis Ordinance #5669

 

Shall the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be amended to repeal Instant Runoff Voting and to restore the election procedure existing prior to the 2008 Amendment for all City offices, and expressly retaining the 1991 federal ruling for persons elected to the Memphis City Council single districts?

Vote Yes
I, Brian Collins, Director of Finance for the City of Memphis do hereby certify that without speculating about certain assumptions I cannot estimate whether the foregoing amendment will have any impact on the annual revenues and expenditures of the City.
 

City of Memphis Ordinance #5677

 

Shall the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be amended to provide that in any municipal election held as required by law, the candidate receiving the largest number of votes shall be declared the winner, thereby eliminating run-off elections?

Vote Yes
I, Doug McGowen, Interim Director of Finance for the City of Memphis do hereby certify that the foregoing amendment shall have no impact on the annual revenues and expenditures of the City.

 

NO-YES-YES

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

 

September 18, 2018

 

NO-YES-YES

 

There are three interesting proposals at the end of the upcoming November 6th ballot here in Memphis.

These three are very interesting and particularly difficult to understand but I will try to explain them to the best of my ability and research.

 

City of Memphis Ordinance #5676 Vote yes or NO

Shall the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be amended to provide no person shall be eligible to hold or to be elected to the office of Mayor or Memphis City Council if any such person has served at any time more than three (3) consecutive four-year terms, except that service by persons elected or appointed to fill an unexpired four-year term shall not be counted as full four-year term? Vote NO

 

 

This is an attempt by the political class to undue the terms limits put on the City of Memphis by voters. You can see what happens when politicians get too many terms in office. Look at the 2001 pension resolution by the City of Memphis when they approved elected and appointed officials to get immediate pensions after 12 years of service regardless of age. This cost the city of Memphis millions until finally rescinded. More recently the Shelby County Commission tried a similar plan which was vetoed by the outgoing County Mayor and may come up again with the new County Commission and new County Mayor. VOTE NO!

 

City of Memphis Ordinance #5677 Vote YES  or no

 

Shall the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be amended to repeal Instatnt Runoff Voting and to restore the election procedure existing prior to the 2008 Amendment for all City offices, and expressly retaining the 1991 federal ruling for persons elected to the Memphis City Council single districts?

 

Instant runoff voting is a very bad idea and it is being sold to save money by not having a run off election. Nationwide it has proved to not work and to cause confusion with the electorate. More importantly it does not necessarily lead to a candidate winning with a majority as is required in the single member districts of the City Council. A good example is the 2015 election to the City Council. City council races for Districts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 required runoff elections on November 19, 2015, with no candidates receiving majorities of the general election vote. A particularly bad example was the race eventually won by Worth Morgan.  There were 4 candidates in the first round that won 90% of the votes. In the runoff between Morgan and Springer, Morgan won by only 136 votes. If we had had instant runoff voting it is probable someone else would have won and that person would have won without a majority of voters thus violating the 1991 federal ruling. 2nd and 3rd choices do not count as a majority decision and you end up with a winning plurality candidate. Only a one on one runoff election insures a majority winner. VOTE YES!

 

City of Memphis Ordinance #5677 Vote yes or NO

Shall the Charter of the City of Memphis, Tennessee be amended to provide that in any municipal election held as required by law, the candidate receiving the largest number of votes shall be declared the winner, thereby eliminating run-off elections?

 

This is an attempt to change from a majority vote system to a plurality vote system. The County uses a plurality system for their 13 seats on the County Commission as to the 6 City Council members in the super districts. These runoff elections which happen only in the 7 City Council single member districts were caused by a 1991 court ruling should be reversed as circumstances and population has changed. VoteYES and pending the court ruling there will no longer be a need for runoff elections.

The New Shelby County Government Is Looking Like the Old City Government

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

September 4, 2018

The New Shelby County Government Is Looking Like the Old City Government

 

The new Shelby County government is just beginning and we all wish them well. We all want and need low cost and efficient government to furnish fire and police services, bring us our utilities, repair our roads, run our legal system, furnish medical services and educate our children.

 

Shelby County government has been well run for many years as compared to the City of Memphis. Let me give you several examples.

 

In 2007 the Governmental Accounting Standards Board issued GASB 45 which required that other post-employment benefits (OPEB) must be recognized as the benefits earned rather than as they are paid. The county in 2008 made certain positive changes as shown on the attached document. The City of Memphis did nothing until 2017 when they made changes to the benefit plan. The County OPEB unfunded liability went from $319 million in 2008 to $46 million today. The City of Memphis did nothing until 2017 when the benefit changes brought the unfunded liability from $857 million to $417 million, due to plan benefit changes.

 

The City of Memphis pension board regularly approves line of duty liability at 10 times the rate per employee as the County and the MLGW. This has led to an annual cost for LOD disability for the city of Memphis of some $17 million dollars per year, 10 times that of the County and the MLGW. The problem is the makeup of the pension board membership that grants these LOD disability pensions.

 

And finally, the new County pension scam allowing benefits for life with 12 years of service looks much like the January 2001 pension scam of the City of Memphis. That disastrous action allowed elected and appointed employees with 12 years of service to receive their lifetime pensions immediately.

 

It is noteworthy that the new county resolution passed with an 8-2 majority. Commissioner Walter Bailey sponsored the resolution saying that “since elected officials with term limits shouldn’t be penalized for their public service”. Commissioner Walter Bailey was term limited after his first two 4 year terms and then reelected later after laying out for a term for another term.

 

Now some politicians want to do away with term limits. The above scams only make me want to tighten terms limits so that term limited politicians do not twist the rules to feather their nests. We need term limits pension scam rules not only locally but also for the US House of Representatives and for the US Congress.

 

What are your thoughts?

ELECTIONS ARE COMING

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Elections Are Coming

 

July 11, 2018

 

There is an important election coming up on August 2, 2018. Let us look at some of the important elections.

A new Tennessee Governor will be elected as our current governor is term limited. You will be asked to choose whether to vote in the Republican or Democratic primary. I am voting in the Republican primary. For me it comes down to Diane Black or Randy Boyd. I met Ms. Black recently and was impressed. Mr. Boyd has the support of Mike Huckabee. Take your pick but I am voting for Ms. Black.

Another important election is the United States Senate because of the retirement of our current senator, Bob Corker. I am voting for Marsha Blackburn. She will have a tough fight in November against Phil Bredesen, the Democrat.

The most important local election is the County Mayoral election. Shelby County has been well run under Mayor Luttrell and David Lenoir is the best candidate and I will be voting for him.

Another important election is the District 8 United States House of Representatives between the current representative, David Kustoff, and George Flinn. I know and like George and while he has a high hill to climb I would vote for him, but I am not in his district. In my district I am voting for Charlotte Bergmann.

I am in Tennessee Senate District 31 and will be voting for Brian Kelsey.

I am in Tennessee House of Representative District 93 and there is no Republican running, so I will not be voting on this district.  I used to vote in District 83 and if I was still there I would vote for Mark White.

Another important election is the Shelby County Commissioners. I am voting in District 7 and will vote for Samuel D. Goff. I recommend the republican candidates where they are running.

I have listed a complete ballot with my choices listed in red. Vote your convictions but please vote.

Open The Purchasing Records

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Open The Purchasing Records

May 15, 2018

There was an interesting article in the CA entitled “Memphis has lost focus”. The article went on to quote the Chairman of the Memphis City Council, Berlin Boyd, saying “We can’t continue down this path and expect a different result”. Also Richard Smith of Federal Express and Chamber of Commerce chairman, demand that elected leaders gut or fix the city/county EDGE board. The EDGE board is well known for handing out tax freezes for various businesses. The Edge board also has rules for minority vendor participation for any EDGE granted pilot. The article stated that Mr. Smith urged the end of minority spending rules.

 

Concerning EDGE minority spending rules the article stated that Boyd said that the biggest beneficiary of the minority spending rules is white women. Assailed by critics, Boyd and Smith agreed to keep the spending rules in place.

 

I have railed against this minority spending requirement for several years. I am not against economically disadvantaged minorities getting a leg up. However what should be changed is the following.

 

The paperwork and legal qualification rules are very complicated and discourage otherwise qualified firms. There should be a common-sense method such as the better business bureau or other independent organization that gives a rating system based on customer satisfaction reports.

 

Most importantly the purchasing system should be open and transparent with the final bids and selection on line and open to all. If a minority firm is the low bidder, so be it. If it is not the low bidder and is selected, then the price differential should be no more than 3% to 5% and then the minority firm should be given a one to two year time to graduate to a no price differential status for future competitive bids.

 

The system now is not transparent and we do not know what minority spending rules are costing us and we do not know who are the beneficiaries.

 

 

 

 

This Is an Election Year! Who Can Vote?

Saturday, January 27th, 2018

This Is an Election Year! Who Can Vote?

 

January 26, 2018

 

We have some important elections coming up this year.

 

  • County mayor, county commissioners, county trustee, property assessor, county sheriff, circuit court clerk, probate court clerk, juvenile court clerk, county clerk, and county register. The date of this election is August 2, 2018. The following current county commissioners are not up for reelection due to term limits. Terry Roland, Heidi Shafer, Melvin Burgess, Walter Bailey Jr. and Justin Ford.

Tennessee will hold an election for governor on November 6, 2018. The candidate filing deadline is April 5, 2018. The Democratic and Republic primary elections are August 2, 2018. The current governor, Bill Haslam, cannot run as he is term limited.

 

There is a startling story out of California that should make us all think deeply about our constitutional republic. This is the headline.

 

CALIFORNIA TO REGISTER ILLEGAL ALIENS TO VOTE – AUTOMATICALLY

Court orders government to do so for all driver’s licenses issued.

 

WASHINGTON – California will take the next step in blurring the lines between citizens and non-citizens beginning April Fool’s Day when the state complies with a court order to begin automatically registering to vote all those who are granted driver’s licenses.

The state has long provided driver’s licenses to all who simply claimed, without proof, that they were citizens of in the country legally. There were no checks made or documentation required.

But beginning April 1 every person who gets a California driver’s license will be automatically entitled to vote.

“We are very pleased that Californians will have easier access to voter registration,” said Jeremiah Levine, an attorney with Morrison Foerster who represented the voting-rights groups. “We are especially satisfied that changes will be made before California’s statewide and federal primary elections.”

You expect this in California and this is a large part of the reason California went so heavily for the Democrat presidential candidate. But what is the federal law concerning voter eligibility?

Here is what Wikipedia says.

The right of foreigners to vote in the United States[1][2] has historically been a contentious issue. A foreigner, in this context, is an alien or a person who is not a citizen of the United States.

Since 1996, a federal law has prohibited non-citizens from voting in federal elections, punishing them by fines, imprisonment, inadmissibility, and deportation.[3][4][5] Exempt from punishment is any non-citizen who “reasonably believed at the time of voting (…) that he or she was a citizen of the United States,” had a parent who is or was a citizen, and began permanently living in the United States before turning 16 years old.[3] The federal law does not prohibit non-citizens from voting in state or local elections, but no state has allowed non-citizens to vote in state elections since Arkansas became the last state to outlaw non-citizen voting in 1926.[6] 11 local governments, 10 of them in Maryland, allow non-citizens to vote in their local elections (Takoma Park, Barnesville, Martin’s Additions, Somerset, Chevy Chase Sections 3 and 5, Glen Echo, Garrett Park, Hyattsville, and Mount Rainer). San Francisco allows noncitizens parents to vote in School Board elections (beginning in 2018).[7]

However, over 40 states or territories, including colonies before the Declaration of Independence, have at some time given at least some aliens voting rights in some or all elections.[8][9][10][11] For example, in 1875, the Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett noted that “citizenship has not in all cases been made a condition precedent to the enjoyment of the right of suffrage. Thus, in Missouri, persons of foreign birth, who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, may under certain circumstances vote.”[12]

By 1900, nearly half of the states and territories had some experience with voting by aliens, and for some the experience lasted more than half a century.[13] At the turn of the twentieth century, anti-immigration feeling ran very high, and Alabama stopped allowing aliens to vote by way of a constitutional change in 1901; Colorado followed suit in 1902, Wisconsin in 1908, and Oregon in 1914.[14] Just as the nationalism unleashed by the War of 1812 helped to reverse the alien suffrage policies inherited from the late eighteenth century, World War I caused a sweeping retreat from the progressive alien suffrage policies of the late nineteenth century.[15] In 1918, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota all changed their constitutions to purge alien suffrage, and Texas ended the practice of non-citizen voting in primary elections by statute.[14] Indiana and Texas joined the trend in 1921, followed by Mississippi in 1924 and, finally, Arkansas in 1926.[16] In 1931, political scientist Leon Aylsworth noted: “For the first time in over a hundred years, a national election was held in 1928 in which no alien in any state had the right to cast a vote for a candidate for any office – national, state, or local.”[17]

 

This is very interesting information. I believe that for all statewide and federal elections there should be a requirement that the voter must be a US citizen of the proper age and background and that there should be a national e-verify system with photo ID. For local elections this should be up to local officials to set the voting qualification requirements as local legal residents (green card non-citizens) who are property taxpayers probably should have some say in local government.

 

To me it is obvious that there are millions of non-citizens voting in national elections illegally particularly in certain states and this explains the desire of some politicians to allow unrestrained illegal immigration.

 

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

MLGW Rate Increases

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

MLGW Rate Increases

 

MLGW has proposed rate increases in gas, electric and water rates over the next few years. MLGW management says that part of the need for increases are related to decreasing sales in product. Well I decided to review the latest annual report available (the year ending December 31st, 2016).

 

The City Charter designates the disposition of revenue from MLGW three divisions, light, gas and water. MLGW is not a profit-making organization but it is required to breakeven and pay it debts and keep a reserve to cover its debts and emergencies with a proper margin. It also pays to the City of Memphis a payment like a for profit business would pay.

 

I have looked at the statements of the three divisions for the year ended 12/31/16 and the electric division lost $12 million dollars after paying $40 million to the City of Memphis. The Gas Division lost $14 million after paying $17.5 million to the City of Memphis. The water division made $9.8 million after paying $4.4 million to the City of Memphis. It is not clear if this includes the 2 million payment for the FedEx arena.

 

It seems clear to me that the MLGW needs a price increase to keep its financial situation secure. It is a well-run organization with well trained employees and with advanced technical knowledge.

 

Now I want to point out that MLGW employees have a much richer health care benefits then the City of Memphis and Shelby County employees. I am gathering current information of these benefits and will be publishing information as soon as I obtain the data.

 

People are becoming energy savers and the combination of advanced energy saving appliances like light bulbs and AC/heating units and smart meters are saving energy and this is a good thing for the ecology. Again this is a well run organization with competitive rates and I hope that whomever replaces Jerry Collins will be as able as he has been.

This and That About The Bicentennial Gateway Project

Monday, November 27th, 2017

This and That About The Bicentennial Gateway Project

 

I recently published the details about this huge proposed project but there were several unanswered questions that needed answers.

 

Here are the points that needed clarification and I pursued and got the answers.

 

On the list for original amounts spent for the presentation of this project was $518,270.97 paid to Stephen Schreiner & Renee Barrett. It turns out that that this amount was for the purchase of two pieces of property close to Bass Pro at 369 and 371 North Main.

Another question concerned the funding for this project which showed Annual Revenues from Land Leases of $297,000 the first year and a total of $3.7 million through 2031. The answer from the City of Memphis was the underlying assumption from the RKG report that the City might lease City-owned land to private entities, the specific land under consideration would be Mud Island. This is only an assumption, as no deal or structure has been developed for a project at this location.

Another question concerned the Brooks Museum of Art and the amount of support that the City of Memphis gives to the Brooks yearly. The City responded that in the FY 2016 net expenditures from the City to the Brooks was $571,448.00. I have attached the latest 990 form detailing the finances of the Brooks Museum. It basically depends on contributions from the City of Memphis and outside donors.

 

The other big factor is the type of bonds that are proposed to finance this and other similar projects like the Fairgrounds project. I am told they will be revenue bonds which generally mean that the City of Memphis, Shelby County and other governmental organizations with tax powers will not be on the hook if the project does not pay for itself on sales tax and property tax increasing revenues. Here is typical revenue bond language.

THE SERIES XXXX BONDS AND THE INTEREST THEREON DO NOT NOW AND SHALL NEVER CONSTITUTE A CHARGE AGAINST THE GENERAL CREDIT OR TAXING POWERS OF THE CITY, THE STATE OF TENNESSEE (THE “STATE”) OR ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE CITY, SHELBY COUNTY, TENNESSEE (THE “COUNTY”) and so on and so on.

So what this means, if it is revenue bond financing, that the bond buyer is at risk and will take the haircut if the income projections do not meet the projections. Hopefully they will and if so fine. If not, the bond holders suffer. However the reputation of the City will also suffer as it now happening in Puerto Rico and the City of Chicago and the state of Illinois and the City of Detroit in the past.

 

This downtown project and the Fairgrounds proposal needs a lot more discussion and disclosure. What are the risks and what are the rewards?

 

 

 

 

 

 

$281M Downtown Cultural Center And Now $160 M For The Fairgrounds

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

$281M Downtown Cultural Center And Now $160 M For The Fairgrounds

 

I have to give the administration credit for thinking big. And it all will be paid, we hope, with money generated by tax incremental financing due to increased tourism sales taxes and state economic development funds.

The presentation on the downtown cultural center by the administration was well done and presented. I looked at the plan and wondered what had been spent so far for the well done concept work. So I asked the City to tell me what has been spent so far for this work. Here is their answer.

 

Original amounts for the Bicentennial Gateway development project.

# Vendor Original Amount

 33400 RKG Associates $40,000 and another $40,000 for Amendment #1

 33401 SR Consulting $250,000 and another $150,000 for Amendment #1

 33413 Bass, Berry and Sims $250,000

 33885 CH Johnson Consulting $20,000 and another $18,000 for Amendment #1

 34548 Glankler Brown $25,000

 34607 Archimania $128,325

 34619 Stephen Schreiner & Renee Barrett $518,270.97

That is a total so far that they have admitted to of $1.439 million.

I will pursue this further as we need to know what has been spent in addition to the above plus what has been spent on the fairgrounds planning so far. If you have additional questions and want further information let me know.