Lucy residents can't vote on Millington school referendums, Election Commission says
Commercial Appeal: By Cindy Wolff
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
The referendums related to a Millington municipal school district were removed from Lucy residents' ballots Tuesday by the Shelby County Election Commission.
The school referendums appeared on Lucy voters' ballots on Monday, the first day of early voting in the suburbs. They were removed Tuesday on advice from the Election Commission's attorney, said Richard Holden, administrator of elections.
Millington's annexation of the small community was halted last week after Claiborne Ferguson, a resident of Lucy and a Memphis attorney, filed a lawsuit objecting to the plan. The suit was filed four days before the annexation was to take effect. Citizens who are being annexed had 30 days to challenge.
Mayor Linda Carter said she was unsure of where the challenge leaves the city in its effort to form a municipal school district. Millington was counting on the close to 95 children who live in Lucy to give the city enough students to meet requirements for a municipal school district.
If the lawsuit is settled or dismissed, the 30-day waiting period for annexation would begin again, Carter said. Without the students the city won't be able to create a municipal school district.
Carter said the city hasn't given up because there are other ways the city can annex Lucy. Residents can ask Millington to annex their homes or Millington can hold a referendum to ask Lucy voters if they want to be annexed.
Meanwhile, the city is moving forward with early voting. The only snag Monday was the mayor's enforcement of a city ordinance approved in 2010 that prevents campaign signs from being on any public property. As she was heading to church Sunday, Carter noticed the signs in front of Baker Community Center, the early voting location. She instructed the city's code enforcement officer to remove them Monday morning. Campaign signs could be held by supporters or put on a vehicle but not poked in the ground unless they were on private property and approved by the owner.
"This is just messed up," said Millington aldermen candidate Charles Read, who has ran for office four times. "This is the epitome of American democracy. Why would there be a problem with campaign signs at a polling site. It's ridiculous."