Letter to-goins-in-response-to-his-questions-about-referendum
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Letter to-goins-in-response-to-his-questions-about-referendum

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Letter to-goins-in-response-to-his-questions-about-referendum Letter to-goins-in-response-to-his-questions-about-referendum Document Transcript

  • EVANS I PETREEpc ATTORNEYS AT LAWMICHAEL R. MARSHALL DIRECT DIAL 901.521.4563MMARS HALL(S EVANS PETRE E.COM DIRECT FAX 901.374.7495 January 11,2011 Via Email Mark Goins, Coordinator of Elections Elizabeth Henry-Robertson, Assistant Coordinator of Elections Division of Elections 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 9th Floor Nashvile, Tennessee 37243-0305 Re: Referendum on Board of Education of the Memphis City Schools Resolution as Required by T .C.A. § 49-2-502 Dear Mr. Goins, I am in receipt of your letter of January LO, 2011. On behalf of my client, the Board of Education of the Memphis City Schools, please let this letter serve as their response. On December 20, 2010, the Board of Education of the Memphis City Schools ("Board of Education") passed a resolution entitled, "Resolution to Surender the Charer of the Memphis City Schools" (the "Resolution"). The Resolution has two paragraphs that describe what actions the Board of Education has directed. The second paragraph states, "the Memphis City Schools Board of Commissioners hereby request that the Shelby County Commissioners of Elections conduct a referendum that transfers the administration of the Memphis City Schools to the Shelby County Board of Education as required by Tennessee Code Annotated 49-2-502 to take place as the same time as any future election is conducted by the Shelby County Election Commission or as provided by state law, whichever occurs sooner." On December 22, 2010, the Resolution was forwarded to the Shelby County Election Commission with a cover letter requesting a referendum to be held. The Election Commission met on January 5, 2011, and pursuant to your letter of the same date, decided to defer their decision to act on the Resolution. Tenn. Code An. § 49-2-502 states that, "The school board. . . of any special school district (is) authorized and empowered to transfer the administration of the schools in the special school district to the county board of education of the county in which the special school district is located. Before a transfer is effectuated, however, a referendum shall first be conducted on the subject, and the school system of the special school district shall not be transferred to the county unless a majority of the voters who cast votes in the referendum vote in favor of the transfer. The referendum shall be held by the county election commission when requested by the school board of the special school district. . ." (emphasis added). Your letter of January 10 requests clarification as to whether the Board of Education considers the transfer of its administration of schools to the Shelby County Board of Education to be separate from surrendering its charter. As you know, the Board of Education speaks through its resolutions. The 1000 RIDGEWAY Loop ROAD. SUITE 200 I MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE 38120 PHONE 901.525.6781 I FAX 901.521.0681 I WW.EVANSPETREE.COM
  • EPPage 2Board of Education has unequivocally requested that a referendum as referenced in T.C.A. § 49-2-502be held. It has met all of the requirements for a referendum to be held.While neither the language contained in the Resolution nor the language of the statute explicitly makesthe surender of the Board of Educations charer a necessity, the effect under the law may do so.However, this seems to be beside the point as it pertains to the holding of a referendum. The Resolutionand the statute are clear in its request for a referendum to transfer the administration of the MemphisCity School system to the Shelby County Board of Education. We do not believe that the ElectionCommission has the discretion to decline to hold a referendum in this case. While we trust that theElection Commission wil schedule a referendum as required by law, we wil also take whatever actionnecessary to ensure that our clients lawfl requests are caried out.To that end, we hereby reiterate the Board ofEducations request that a referendum be scheduled inconformity with the statute and Resolution. We would suggest the following language should be placedon the ballot: "Shall the management and control of the Memphis City School System be transferred tothe Shelby County Board of Education?" Please advise us at your earliest convenience as to when thereferendum requested by the Board of Education wil be held.Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. I remain, Very trly yours, Evans I Petree PCMRM/mbcc: Richard Holden, Administrator of Elections, Shelby County Election Commission The Shelby County Election Commission Members Monice Moore-Hagler, Shelby County Election Commission Allan Wade, Esq. Dorsey Hopson, II Board of Commissioners of the Memphis City Schools