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Affected by May 26 tornadoes? Find relief resources here.

TN Politics: After the Storm, MLGW Needs a Watchful Public

About 60 percent of the city's main power lines are above ground and vulnerable to falling tree limbs during extreme weather events.

The public utility has estimated the cost of moving overhead power lines underground at between $3-7 billion. That cost would add up to a significant increase in residents' monthly power bill.

While MLGW customers have some of the lowest utility rates in the country, that is partially because of public pressure to keep bills low in a city with so many low-income households.

Sanford says residents may finally be ready to have the discussion about raising rates to avoid future outages.

Ranked Choice Rankles Kelsey

State Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) says he is confused by ranked choice or instant runoff voting, which Shelby County voters would like to see implemented here.

The method allows voters to rank their favorite candidates, and the favorites proceed to an instant runoff. Some advocates say this allows voters to pick consensus candidates, regardless of party affiliation.

Sen. Kelsey hopes to reverse the will of Memphis and Shelby County voters by asking the state's Republican majority to ban instant runoff voting in Tennessee. This would also accommodate Sen. Kelsey's knowledge deficit surrounding the process.

Sanford says Republicans should stall the bill in order to give time for citizens to educate Sen. Kelsey on how ranked choice voting works, but Sanford also notes that state Republicans have a history of approving measures to spite Shelby County voters for purely political reasons.

Copyright 2022 WKNO

A native "Florida Man," Christopher started in this business as a copy clerk at the renowned St. Petersburg Times before persuading editors to let him write. He moved to Memphis in 2001 to cover arts and entertainment at the Commercial Appeal. Since then, he has contributed to nearly every publication in Shelby County, writing features on everything from the Civil War to Civil Rights. Also, Elvis... a lot of Elvis.