Apparently, Shelby County is taking a page from the Obama administration and trying to run things by royal decree...or by executive orders if Congress won't behave.
In order to save you the tedium of a seemingly innocuous subject, here's a brief summary:
The mayor of Shelby County appointed Ross Dyer to be the county's attorney.
- Trust issues about between between mayor and commission...The contest for power between Luttrell and the Commissioners, a majority of whom would seem to believe the charter gives them ultimate authority vis-à-vis the Mayor, heated up this year at budget time when Luttrell disagreed with several Commissioners about using some of a budget surplus for a one-cent tax decrease. Ultimately, no tax decrease was approved, but the fissure widened with a later apparent acknowledgement by Luttrell that the $6 million surplus that he forecast during budget negotiations might actually turn out to be as large as $21 million.
- The commission wants to hire their own attorney since Ross Dyer apparently thinks his power is absolute...Not unexpectedly, a bid by the Shelby County Commission to hire Julian Bolton, a former commissioner, as the commission's independent attorney has been turned back by the existing county attorney, Ross Dyer. Dyer cited the county charter in ruling basically that the new attorney — any new attorney — would have to be agreeable to him and would have to be a member of his staff. (Well, alrighty then...all hail the county attorney..HERE HERE!)
- On Monday Luttrell vetoes Shelby County Commission’s resolution to hire its own lawyer Wow, pay attention to how he uses his veto power. Spoiler alert: it's not about returning tax money to the people. HE COULDN'T REDUCE TAXES BY EVEN ONE RED CENT. Sorry, back to the story.
- There might be a meeting Thursday called by Chairman Roland ...Roland had previously indicated privately that County Attorney Ross Dyer, who has resisted the independent-counsel idea on grounds that the county charter does not allow it, might be confronted with a choice between altering his view and facing a possible ouster move from the Commission. That could come with a Council vote to reconsider his hiring.
(Oh snap! Things just got interesting. Ross Dyer is like...yes it's all good if you just agree with me and all my decrees. The chairman says ...oh yeah? You talkin to me? YOU'RE FIRED!...and the mayor says...Oh man, can't we all just get along? You know...and just agree with me and my bro? And the people be like...dudes, grow up already. The mayor is NOT the King of the county and neither is the mayoral appointed attorney. Moving on.)
This situation is fluid and we will keep you posted, but talk about shenanigans. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the mayor's chosen attorney might have conflicts of interest in representing both the executive and legislative branches.
Yes, I know the county has to approve him. But then he starts acting like a Czar. Shelby County - we have a problem. If this isn't nipped in the bud all you'll have in the future is a County Commission made up of puppets. Only those who pledge allegiance to the county attorney decrees need apply.
Did I mention Ross Dyer threatened to remove commissioner immunity from lawsuits if the commissioners dared disagree with him? Oh yeah, a real recruiting tool for qualified commissioners to run for office.
The ultimate power rests with the people so use your power and call your commissioners and the mayors office and tell them what you think...call 222-1000 to leave a message or click here to email the commissioners...for the mayors office call 222-2300 or click here to email him
President Obama's rule by executive order has neutered Congress. Is this the example we are going to follow?
The commission is there to represent the people. The mayor is there to see that the county fulfills its duties under the law and lawfully exercises its power - not HIS power.
The commission has hired independent attorneys before. What's changed?