MILLINGTON, TN (abc24.com) - Down but not out, one Shelby County city is vowing to press on with its effort to start its own school district. The promise comes as Millington's "Plan A", to annex the community of Lucy, was dealt a blow late last week.
Millington needs Lucy to give it enough students to start its own municipal school district.
The Millington Board of Aldermen voted to annex Lucy but days before it was to go into effect, a Lucy resident who is also a Memphis lawyer, sued to stop it.
"Millington has never wanted Lucy until they needed us for our school kids," said Claiborne Ferguson. "Quite frankly, we don't need them."
Ferguson said he filed the lawsuit because the city's annexation bid is illegal.
"State law does allow for a municipality to annex us, however that same state law says that it can't be done out of fear, and Linda Carter has already said this is an annexation out of fear," said Ferguson.
"No we did not do it out of fear," said Linda Carter, Mayor of Millington.
In Lucy, residents like Richard and Darlene McClellan say they like their quiet community just the way it is.
"It is its own little quiet neighborhood," said Darlene McClellan. "Lucy is big, but it is real small."
"They are going to come out here and tell you what you can and can't do, and I hate that," she added, as her husband laughed.
Mayor Carter says the city is exploring other options, including annexing other areas or seeing if Lucy residents want to petition to hold an annexation referendum.
In the meantime, Carter says it will head to court to fight this legal challenge.
"We have been talking about annexing Lucy for 30 years, so I hardly think it is fear," she said.
"By the very nature of the law itself this is an illegal and unreasonable annexation," Ferguson countered.