MEMPHIS, Tenn. – As Shelby County continues to deal with a backlog of license plates, tensions are mounting between the Shelby County Clerk and the Mayor.
Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert said license plates have not been shipped since May 13.
Late Monday night, Shelby County commissioners approved postage funding of $540,000 to cover the cost of mailing the new license plates.
Halbert said that money was taken out of his budget.
RELATED: Shelby County clerk calls for investigation amid long lines and license plate delays
“We are being asked to authorize them to withdraw $540,000 from our postal dollar funds so that they can continue to handle our mail,” she said.
Halbert showed FOX13 photos of her and members of her staff hand-wrapping envelopes with license plates.
She said her staff sends bins of mail to the county mailroom every night.
This office then applies the postage and brings the mail to the post office, which Halbert says is illegal.
“I am not legally supposed to allow anyone to touch our plates. We get funds to do this work. If anything happened to him, we would be held responsible. This is where the chain of custody was broken,” Halbert said.
Halbert said he received a letter from Mayor Lee Harris telling him his office could take over its own mail operations starting July 1.
Meanwhile, residents just want to know when the long lines and wait times will end.
“It’s about 100 degrees and I’m scared of heatstroke with my conditions,” Belinda Webb said.
FOX13 also reached out to the mayor’s office and county commissioners about the matter.
Commissioner Mark Billingsley sent FOX13 the following statement:
“The citizens of Shelby County deserve to have their license plates secure. Clerk Halbert has been given all the resources and funding she needs to do her job. This is a leadership and management issue. is not a complex operation and there are good county staff working in the clerk’s office.The county commission is fed up with its excuses, as are our fellow citizens.
If you’ve purchased your plate and are waiting for it to come in, MPD says you’re still at risk of getting a ticket if your current plates and tags are expired. Halbert said drivers are expected to get their plates and tags within 14 to 21 days of purchasing them online.
If you haven’t received it by day 21, Halbert said you should contact his office.
She said people then have the option to come in and get a replacement, or her staff members can send another one straight from their desk instead of taking it to the mailroom first. County.
©2022 Cox Media Group