MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Shelby County Commissioners make a pretty good taxpayer supplied buck for a part time job. Their salaries are $29,100 a year, including medical benefits. For that money, all commissioners are really supposed to do is show up four times a month, two for full commission meetings and two for committee meetings.
Others, such as Commissioner Terry Roland, do a lot more. “I take this seriously,” Roland said. “I didn’t do it for the money, you know. I’m here almost every day. This is, to me, the most important thing I’ve ever done because the decisions I make could impact so much and so many people."
Committee meetings are the real bread and butter of the commission. They are the places where new items are raised, discussed and debated. Commissioner James Harvey hasn’t been to a single committee meeting this year. Zero for 14.
Harvey has been working as a construction consultant in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s an issue not many of his fellow commissioners want to talk about, as several refused to be interviewed.
Roland thought about it before talking, saying, “I have been reluctant to bring it up, you know, until you just asked me about it. I figure it’s his district.”
Commissioners do get new jobs that force them off the board. Mike Carpenter had to resign from the County Commission last year after taking a job in Nashville. He was replaced by Brent
Harvey has been at 13 out of 15 commission meetings this year. At least, he’s there for awhile. “If we are close to five o’clock he has to leave because he needs to get on an airplane and return to Charlotte,” said Roland.
We tried to get in touch with James Harvey through his Shelby County Commission assistant. Harvey told her to give us all the information we needed.
What we really needed was to ask him whether he thinks his constituents are getting represented properly with his spending most days in Charlotte. When he returns to Memphis, we’ll ask.