Shelby County Keeps Residency Requirements But Not For All

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(Memphis) The Shelby County Commission says some people can be exempt from the county residency requirement, but not everyone.

The commission approved grandfathering in MCS employees who will become county employees when the schools merge this summer.

They say they are doing this to make sure the schools can attract and maintain those good teachers who work in Memphis city schools but live outside of the county.

Thanks to another vote at the county commission meeting, voters in Shelby County will not have a chance to throw that residency requirement out altogether.

The commission voted down an ordinance that would allow Shelby County voters to change the county charter and get rid of the requirement.

Commissioner terry Roland says the Results of these votes are hypocritical, “Now you are telling the people of Shelby County that they do not have the right to vote on it then maybe this Shelby County Commission doesn’t have the sense to vote on it and we do need to get the state to step in."

Commissioners who supported not letting the voters remove the requirement say it gives people who pay taxes here an exclusive chance to work for the county.

“They don’t pay taxes.  They don’t contribute to this county, to the welfare and well-being of this county.  All they do is absorb the benefits,” said Commission Walter Bailey in support of the residency requirement.

Shelby County is the only county in the state that requires its employees live in the county if they work for it.

Roland now threatens to go to the state legislature who he believes will outlaw the requirement across the state.