City councilman set to present legislation to combine Memphis and Shelby Co. government

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — City councilman Chase Carlisle said a combined Memphis and Shelby County government could do wonders for the local economy.

“A group of diverse people from the city and the county have come together and basically said we don’t think the status quo is working to grow prosperity and the economy for the city of Memphis,” Carlisle said.

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Carlisle said he will present legislation for the city council to vote on, forming a charter commission that will write a charter for a combined government.

“What an incredible opportunity to be able to say that we’re gonna have our moment now where you start with a blank piece of paper and write what do you want for your government?” he said.

Carlisle said this isn’t the first attempt at consolidating governments, with the last happening in 2010.

He said a more efficient government is another reason for consolidation but at its core, economic growth is the biggest.

“Amazon comes to town and they want to build a facility,” he said. “Okay, you need to talk to the mayor. Well, which mayor? Okay, you need to go talk to this body and that body. At some point they’re like you know what this mess is not worth dealing with, we’ll just go to north Mississippi.”

Carlisle said the goal is to give the people a choice.

“This is not someone telling somebody else what’s good for them,” he said. “This is saying hey look we want to form a group of people to write a constitution and give you the voters a choice in your government.”