MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Even before the plan is officially presented, the war is underway between Memphis city government and Shelby County Commissioners. City councilman Ed Ford Jr. is proposing charging more for vehicle inspections.
He also says people who live outside of Memphis, but drive to the city more than twice a week, will need to get their cars inspected as well.
Ford wants his official plan ready in a few weeks, but the critics aren't waiting.
There is a great divide between people who live in Memphis, and people who work in Memphis but live elsewhere.
For years city council members have said they didn't like the fact that Memphis residents had to get vehicle emissions tests for their cars, while those in Shelby County and elsewhere didn't.
"It's not even realistic," said County Commissioner Terry Roland, " I don't understand... to me it seems like a Prince Mongo issue."
Prince Mongo, for you guys who don't know, is Richard "Prince Mongo" Hodges, a Memphian who has repeatedly run for political office and claims he's from the planet Zambodia.
Ed Ford Jr. doesn't think his plan is from outer space. In fact, he says there are plenty of people who live in Memphis who will say what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
"The main issue that people were saying was, 'Why do we have to go through inspection and people outside do not have to go through inspection,' I'm solving that question with this answer," Ford said.
That's his opinion. Across the street, Shelby County Commissioners say the people they represent don't buy it, not at all.
Commissioner Chris Thomas said, "Already a lot of them don't want to go into Memphis, just because of the crime and other things. And this will be just another reason for people out in my district, the suburbs, to say, we don't want to go to Memphis. We'll keep our money in the suburbs and see how Memphis likes it."
"I think once again, you have mismanagement of funds on the city side. You have a spending problem, and so now they're looking for the county, once again, to help fund their budget," Thomas added.
Commissioner Terry Roland of Millington says both the city and county need to work together on keeping people in Shelby County. The Ford idea is going over like the shot heard round the world.
"What he's trying to do is start a war," said Roland. "We need to work on keeping people in this county as taxpayers. And being divisive and bringing up divisive issues is definitely not helping anything."
Ford wants to determine if people are coming into Memphis two times a week or more by using those license plate readers that are on the police cars. That's one way; red light cameras are another way.
County Commissioner Brent Taylor says this is reminding him a lot of that science fiction novel 1984.
"I don't like the idea of government using red light cameras, surveillance equipment to spy on citizens," Taylor said, "Whether they're citizens of DeSoto County or Shelby County or Memphis or any other municipality."