A close reading of state law and and Germantown Code has revealed that at least two members of the Industrial Development Board may not be serving legally, according to Alderman Dean Massey.
His concerns are covered in this Commercial Appeal article:
Germantown Alderman Questions Industrial Development Board Makeup
Alderman Dean Massey raised the point during an appearance before the
board at its meeting Tuesday evening. He asked the board to postpone the
meeting until the city's administration and aldermen have time to
discuss the issue at a retreat Friday, but the board declined the
request and proceeded with the items on its published agenda..............(snip)
Massey then outlined language in state statute that, according to his
interpretation, prohibits city employees and "officers" of the city from
serving on an industrial development panel. Massey also cited city code
that he believes defines "officers" as not only the mayor and aldermen,
but also appointed members of boards, commissions and committees
established by ordinance, charter or state law.........
Two IDB members, Mike Harless and Keigh Saunders, also serve on the Planning Commission.
Although Patrick Lawton had no real comment, I found it interesting that the Collierville Administrator was quoted saying that Collierville has a policy that a person may not sit on more than one city commission.
Although the Commercial Appeal article did not specify the laws/ordinances involved, Mr. Massey later clarified that in this post to the Facebook group Germantown Bulletin Board:
I asked the Industrial Development Board to postpone their last meeting
to give their own directors, city and BMA time to determine if TCA
7-53-301 precludes the members of the IDB from serving on other
commissions, such as the planning commission and financial advisory
commission. TCA 7-53-301 states, "No director [of the IDB] shall be an
officer or employee of the municipality." Germantown Code states,
"Officer shall mean the mayor and any member of the board of aldermen
and any appointive member of a board, commission or committee
established by ordinance, charter or state law." I believe our state
legislators intended to create separation between the city managers and
the industrial development board, and I maintain that the members of our
quasi-judicial commissions should not serve as members of the
Industrial Development Board. I felt like it was in the best interests
of our citizens to meet with the Industrial Development Board, and
Chairman Evans was gracious to give me a few minutes to speak. The men
and women serving on the IDB have made invaluable contributions to our
city, so I did not enjoy bringing this issue before them. For the record, I am grateful for their service to our city.
And, he noted later:
To be fair, the members of the IDB and city administrator think I am wrong, so I have asked for a legal opinion. It is possible that I am wrong, but if you read my previous post, I think you will understand why I raised the issue.
This issue will likely be discussed at the retreat tomorrow.