County Commissioners and City Council Members vow to - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

County Commissioners and City Council Members vow to start collaborating

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

It's the beginning of some positive collaboration and change for the City of Memphis. That is what County Commissioners and City Council members said when they held a joint meeting Saturday morning to see how they can resolve their issues and work as one.

Both sides met at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis in midtown to discuss their disagreements and hopefully begin resolving them.

"Today's meeting is just a start to begin collaborating," said Melvin Burgess, Shelby County Commissioner.

Councilwoman Wanda Halbert says she learned something new at the meeting, something that is a big problem all around Shelby County.

"The county is responsible for blight of commercial properties and the city is responsible for residential but the county doesn't always take care of those issues and the citizens of Memphis want to know why," said Halbert.

Halbert says it's often a funding issue but that needs to be taken care of. County Commissioner Burgess says both sides need to stop saying the words "us" and "them" when it comes to other issues like our current school system rezoning efforts.

"I would like to see more collaboration with our schools now that they are county funded, how we can better fund our schools, because that is the key to economic development, "said Burgess.

Both commissioners and council members say they have a problem communicating with each other. This means they are often doing the same work and doubling their efforts, instead of collaborating and saving taxpayers money. But they also believe that won't solve everything.

"The consolidation or merging of services is not necessarily going to solve everything, its people being held accountable is what is going to resolve it," said Halbert.

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