The 10-member Memphis City Council will convene for the first time in 2019 this afternoon, January 8th, and attempt to fill its three vacant seats.
The District 1 seat has been vacant since the resignation of Bill Morrison on November 1st. Since then, the council has been at an impasse, unable to award any one candidate the seven votes needed to win.
Council members spent hours debating, cast more than 100 votes, and four council members staged a walkout over the course of the two months spent trying to fill the seat.
Both of the top two contenders for District 1 — Lonnie Treadaway of Flinn Broadcasting Company and Rhonda Logan, director of the Raleigh Community Development Corp. — are no longer in the running. Logan was eliminated by the council at its December 18th meeting, and Treadaway pulled his bid for the seat earlier last month.
Now, only Tierra Holloway, Paul Boyd, Mauricio Calvo, and Danielle Schonbaum remain as candidates for the District 1 seat.
Councilman Worth Morgan said Monday he is unsure how the votes will go Tuesday afternoon, but his main goals are finding a resolution to fill the empty seats and reconciliation among his colleagues.
The council will also look to fill the the vacant District 6 and Super District 8-2 seats vacated by now-Shelby County Commissioner Edmund Ford. Jr. and Janis Fullilove, who was elected to be the Shelby County Juvenile Court Clerk in August.
The six candidates for the District 6 seat include Edmund Ford Sr., father of Ford Jr.; Arveal Turner, a youth tennis coach; and Memphis Police Department officer Davin Clemons, who is the LGBTQ liason for the police department.
The others are Perry Bond, Lynette Williams, and Vera Holmes.
Among the 11 vying for the Super District 8-2 seat are Austin Crowder, teacher at Soulsville Charter School; Steve Lockwood, executive director of the Frayser Community Development Corp.; and Mark Jones, a local filmmaker seeking to be the first openly gay person to serve on the council.
Isaac Wright, Pearl Walker, Yvonne Nelson, Tonya Cooper, Gerre Currie, Anita Drake, Edward Douglas, and Cheyenne Johnson are also in the running.
The appointments are slated for the end of the council’s meeting, which will begin at 3:30 p.m. at Memphis City Hall. Following the filling of the three seats, the council is also set to vote on a chair and vice chairperson for 2019. However, if tonight's meeting follows suit of the previous attempts to fill the vacancies, it could extend late into the evening.
If the council is unable to reach a consensus and fill the three seats, a special election could be held.