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“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” — Plato

Memphis & Shelby County Elected Offices

In order to determine the best candidate for office, it is important to understand the responsibilities of the elected position and the requirements necessary to hold the seat. For more information on the specific responsibilities and requirements of elected offices in City and County Government, please click on the links below.

City of Memphis Shelby County
City of Memphis Mayor Shelby County Mayor
City Council Shelby County Board of Commissioners
City Court Clerk Shelby County Sheriff
Memphis City School Board County District Attorney General
  Shelby County School Board

City of Memphis Mayor

 
Memphis City Hall

All administrative duties concerning the day-to-day operations of Memphis' government are the duty and responsibility of the Mayor. Each of the various divisions of city government has a director who is appointed by the Mayor with the City Council's approval. The directors are responsible to the Mayor to prepare a budget request for the City Council's consideration and approval.

It is also the duty of the Mayor to carry out the policy, laws, and regulations of the City of Memphis as established by the City Council and provided for in the City Charter and Code of Ordinances.

All recommendations of the mayor in the areas of law and policy must also be submitted to the City Council for approval.

This is a non-partisan, full-time position. Tthe City of Memphis Mayor is limited to serving two 4-year terms. According to our city's charter, candidates for Mayor must be:

  • At least 30 years of age,
  • Of good moral character
  • A resident of Memphis for at least five years preceding his or her election
  • Current on his or her taxes
Candidates may hold no other elected or appointed office, or directly or indirectly have any contract with the City of Memphis, at the time of their election.

More info

It is important to UNDERSTAND the RESPONSIBILITIES
" of the elected position and the REQUIREMENTS necessary to hold the seat"

City Council

It is the duty and responsibility of the Memphis City Council to consider the Mayor's budget request and to take final action on it which may consist of approval, rejection, or approval with amendments. Additionally, the charter gives the City Council the responsibility for setting the tax rate and establishing other lawful taxes and fees necessary to secure sufficient revenue to fund the budget as approved. Under the provisions of the City charter the council makes the laws that govern the city.

The City Council also serves as an appeal board for decisions of certain city government departments and boards; for example, decisions of the Land Use Control Board and the Alcohol Commission are appealed to the City Council.

The City is divided into seven districts, each of which is represented by one elected Council member, as well as two "super-districts," each of which are represented by three elected Council members. There are 13 total City Council members. Following their election, members of the City Council elect their own President and Vice-President; generally (however unofficially), these positions are granted to those members with the most seniority on the Council.

This is a non-partisan, part-time position; each Council member is limited to serving two 4-years terms. Candiates for City Council must be residents of the City of Memphis and of the district or super-district which they seek to represent.

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City Court Clerk

The City Court Clerk is responsible for the docket and minute books of the three Municipal Courts and the collection of traffic fines and forfeitures for the City of Memphis. He is responsible for a staff of approximately 70 employees with an operating budget of close to $3 million.

This is a non-partisan, full-time position. The City Court Clerk is limited to serving two 4-year terms. Candidates for City Court Clerk must be resident voters of the City of Memphis for at least five (5) years preceding his or her election. Exceptions may be made for candiates who have been residing for at least five years in territories which were annexed by the City of Memphis prior to their election.

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Memphis City School Board

The Memphis City School (MCS) Board of Commissioners is responsible for establishing goals for the Memphis City School system and adopting policies for its effective. The Board appoints a Superintendent to oversee the operation of MCS in accordance with its established educational goals and policies.

Approval of the budget is a major function of the Board. Commissioners support the hiring of teachers, administrators, and support staff who are responsible for educating the students.

The Memphis City School system is divided into seven districts, each of which is represented by one elected Commissioner, and two "At-Large" positions. There are nine MCS Commissioners.

This is a non-partisan, part-time position. Each Commissioner must be a resident of the City of Memphis for at least five years, and of the district from which he or she is elected for at least six months, preceding his or her election (or, in the case of a mid-term vacancy, appointment.) Exceptions may be made for candiates who have been residing for at least five years in territories which were annexed by the City of Memphis prior to their election.

More info