County Commission writing new residency rules

MEMPHIS, Tenn. –The County Commission is considering new rules when it comes to residency.

It all starts with where you live, and how you prove it when the question arises. While Henri Brooks only has a few weeks left on the commission, board members say they need to clarify the rules before this happens again.

Commissioner Steve Mulroy says it’s time to clear the air.

“The law is silent on what residency means, and exactly how that immediate removal thing is going to work. Who makes the determination, what’s the standard of proof?” he said.

Mulroy wants to rework the rules after they fell apart in chancery court while trying to oust Brooks from the County Commission. The county’s attorney said since Brooks didn’t prove she lived in her district, she forfeited her seat. Judge Kenny Armstrong disagreed, and said the commission must make that decision.

But first commissioners need to nail down what residency really means.

Mulroy said, “There are multiple, and interfering and conflicting definitions of residency for different purposes. Domicile for purposes of getting instate tuition, versus residency for tax purposes, versus residency for voting registration. They are all different.”

Not everyone agrees. Commissioners Sidney Chism and Walter Bailey say the current rules are good enough. Bailey says the board shouldn’t have this kind of authority, and it should be left up to the county attorney.

“I don’t want to be accused of witch hunting because we don’t like a particular commissioner,” Bailey said.

The commission voted three pieces of mail sent to your home address as the best way to prove where you live. It still needs a full vote from the board in the coming weeks.

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