Shelby County Clerk responds to Mayor’s request to move Poplar Ave. office

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 5:14 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert has responded to a letter sent by Mayor Lee Harris on Wednesday saying that the Poplar Plaza location will need to relocate by the end of the business week.

Mayor Harris gave her 48 hours to respond about what she plans to do with the location.

In her response, the clerk expressed her concerns and woes about the leasing agreement at the Poplar Avenue location.

Halbert by Jacob Gallant on Scribd

“We need to get IT in there, obviously there is technology needs, we want to make sure that it is set up for the clerk’s office and Clerk Halbert’s specifications,” said Mayor Lee Harris spokesperson Kelly Roberts.

Harris said in his letter that the strip mall’s lessor has made numerous calls to Halbert asking that she consider moving to a different location within Poplar Plaza that better suits her needs.

The director of the Paul Mitchell hair school next door to the clerk’s office says they have complained to their landlord about lack of parking and other concerns.

“Lines start very early in the morning. They wrap all the way around to our school blocking both entrances,” said Caroline Salman, who said it was particularly bad over the summer when the clerk’s office dealt with extremely long wait times for car tags.

In an email addressed to Shelby County Commission Chair Mickell Lowery Clerk on Friday, Halbert said there is only one location under consideration within Poplar Plaza that has been offered.

She says it’s about 200 square feet bigger than the current location, but it wouldn’t fix the present issue.

Halbert is suggesting that while they find a permanent solution, the county should open two locations in the area.

She says she is in discussion with a property owner of a closed bank at Quince and Perkins. Halbert said there is plenty of parking there and could ease congestion at the poplar plaza location.

“Chairman Lowery, I am an independent elected official. The mayor is not my boss or the boss of the county commission. Will you please allow our team to make a public presentation to ensure the commission, we are hard at work,” said Halbert at the end of her response.

It’s unclear at this time when that meeting will take place.

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