MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The man behind one of the most controversial proposals to come out of the Memphis City Council in years says he wants a little time.
Ed Ford, Jr. wants to put off his plan to charge for motor vehicle inspections. The plan would force anybody who lives outside of the city to get an inspection if they come to town two or more times a week. It would also impose a seven dollar charge for the inspections.
He still wants to work out how he'll track people coming into the city of Memphis. He also wants to make sure that the Environmental Protection Agency likes the idea.
Ford knows a lot of you who live in the county don't like it. Frankly, he doesn't care.
Councilman Ford wants to have his plan ready. By September he wants to have another letter from the Environmental Protection Agency saying they like his plan. He wants to find the most feasible way to track people driving in and out of the city.
Ford says his plan will make the Memphis air cleaner, not to mention raise a few millions for the city budget. Some of that money will come from people who don't live in Memphis.
"The individuals I represent say if people are coming in, polluting our air, utilizing our resources, let everybody pay their fair share," Ford says, "and those are the people I listen to."
Basically Ford is telling you folks who live in Millington or Collilerville or Bartlett who don't think it's fair to have to get your car inspected in Memphis to talk to the hand, because the head isn't listening.
Don't make threats about leaving Memphis either, he doesn't buy them.
He says, "I think if you have a compelling interest and you work here, you're not going to quit your job over a small fee."
Ford has another small fee idea. He wants to charge owners of apartments a registration fee, ten bucks per property. He wants to use the money to fight blight. But the people with the Memphis Area Association of Realtors say no new laws are needed.
"Why then are we looking at another proposed ordinance that would require a ten dollar registration fee?' asked Rosemarie Fair with the association of realtors.
She then proceeded to answer her own question.
"I think it's a way in which he can help try to balance the budget."
The auto inspection plan does have support from members of city council. Memphis Mayor A C Wharton thinks the plan is fair and thinks it's a good one.