MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - You’d swear in Memphis that old tires grew on trees. Every spring, it seems, is marked by the trash blooming in vacant lots all over the city. It’s a mess, and Memphis City Council member Lee Harris knows it.
So shiver me timbers matey, Ol’ Cap’n Lee is going to take the SS Dumpbegone on its maiden trip. Aaaaaergh. “We’ve got the wind at our back,” Harris says, “and we’re going to make some real return on that.”
When dealing with illegal dumps, it’s always good to have the wind at your back. When the wind is in your face, it brings the odor of people who don’t care. Harris is after people that don’t care.
His plan to clean up illegal trash dumps has succeeded in its first step. In a committee meeting, Memphis City Council members gave tentative approval to a plan where police would be able to impound vehicles used to dump trash illegally for up to six months.
“No trouble with the committee,” Harris said. “There are some details I’d like to work out with the administration and legal to make sure everything is in order.
One of the most important aspects of the Harris plan concerns hidden cameras. They would be sort of like the sky cops that tower over sections of this city. Some members of the council are concerned that there are so many cameras in Memphis that they are violating the privacy of people.
Harris understands. After all, he’s an associate professor of law at the University of Memphis. He still likes the idea, though. “I thin the momentum is still there for surveillance, which I will be pitching soon,” he says. “I’m going to propose raising fines as well. The only piece of the plan that will take some political will is the amnesty days,” he says. Under the Harris plan, there would be days when people could dump their trash at Memphis city facilities for free.
Harris hopes to have final approval of his plan by the end of September.