(Memphis) The war over schools will continue to rage as a the Shelby County Commission committee defeated a plan drop the lawsuit.
The lawsuit is aimed at stopping the suburbs from creating their own districts.
Most commissioners seem to agree the lawsuit isn’t playing a big role in the negotiations right and the suburbs will get ultimately get their schools, but most of them can’t commit to the idea of dropping the lawsuit.
Commissions who want to keep the lawsuit say it helps with leverage in negotiations, opponents say the commission doesn’t even need leverage because the negotiations are between the county school district and suburbs, and it’s just paying an attorney big bucks to sit in on those meetings.
Opponents say it’s about turning off the attorney money spout, but for now the tap is still running with your dollars pouring into attorneys pockets.
You’ve already spent more than $5 million.
Commissioner Heidi Shafer believes the lawsuit, is a waste.
“Why are we spending the tax payers money to keep a live a lawsuit that costs us a ton of money and divides the community. I see no good reason to keep it going.”
Commissioner Chris Thomas is sponsored the resolution.
“I think they really feel like they want to have a big hammer over the municipalities to negotiate. But although this is between the school board and the municipalities we`re paying an attorney.”
The measure failed 7 to 4 in committee, but Thomas says he isn’t losing hope because some commissioners weren’t there and others may change their mind.
Commissioner Mike Ritz hopes that doesn’t happen because it’s important commissioners have a say in what happens since the county helps fund schools.
“There`s nothing about the current lawsuit that is preventing anything from occurring between any suburbs, the group of suburbs and the school district,” said Ritz.
Ritz says attorneys are not planning to move forward with the lawsuit in court, but he wants to save it as an option.
This was the first vote in committee, and just because it failed doesn’t mean it’s dead.
Commissioners will vote on it again in two weeks during the full commission meeting.