South Cordova: Surprise! You're a Memphis Resident

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Updated: 7/02/2012 8:24 pm
MEMPHIS, TN ( - A large group of people are now citizens of Memphis, and they're none too happy about it. In fact many of those folks who live in the south Cordova area are meeting with a lawyer to stop it.

The legal fight has been going on for ten years. But early this year after saying they would appeal, nobody from south Cordova's anti-annexation side showed up at an appeals hearing. That was enough for a judge to say the case was over. The city threw the plan into high gear and without much warning, south Cordova is now part of Memphis.

It's day two of this neighborhood now being part of the City of Memphis. There are no gunfights on the street, blight hasn't suddenly popped up, and in fact the streets are cleaner than many carpets you'll find all over Shelby County. This is the new section of Memphis, and there are people who just can't stand it.

"It was a communications nightmare. Wake up on a Saturday morning, there it is in the headlines. Next thing you know Sunday, you're annexed," said Republican State Representative Steve McManus, who says the whole thing is just a money grab by Memphis. He's heard all the talk that many of these people were already getting city services, but weren't paying for them.

"There were no services rendered out here," McManus said. "You know when you get specific about services...if you ever needed to make a call to 9-1-1 your call went to the Sheriff's Department. It did not go to police. And we don't have any street lights here. We pay for our own garbage."

Memphis City Council voted to take this area of Cordova in 2001. It is a fight that has lasted more than a decade. City Councilman Bill Boyd says they had plans on going door to door in the annexed areas.

"The Mayor and I and some of the directors had planned to go out there Saturday door to door and pass out some flyers. But he didn't quite have all the information and he was a little afraid to go out there without it, the complete information, so he postponed it."

Several people wouldn't talk on camera, but said they had no idea this was going to happen. But Mark Sutton says he knew the day would eventually come. He said when he bought his house seven years ago, he knew the possibility of annexation would be there.

"I don't think we received any notification. I just think I saw it in the paper. But I knew there was a potential."

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