MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) – He once threatened to knock a county commissioner right out of his chair and told a group they could, “kiss his entire rear end.”
Now he is the chairman of the Shelby County commission.
Terry Roland of Millington admits he has been controversial since first elected to the commission six years ago. But said as chairman, he will work to make every commissioner look good.
Roland is not the same guy who challenged Ophelia Ford of Memphis for a state senate seat, and lost.
It was an election where there were charges that people who had died had actually voted in that race.
Maybe it formed him into a fighter.
Terry Roland will admit he is a fighter.
“The last commission I was on had a lot of people pushing our backs up against the wall over schools or whatever. You know where I come from, if you push, we push back,” Roland said.
He can laugh about it now. But terry Toland was not laughing four years ago when other commissioners were heckling him in a speech about setting up new districts for the commission.
Veteran political reporter Jackson Baker recorded it all.
“You say anything I’m gonna knock you out of that chair,” Roland said.
Or there was the day when he had a special feeling about some of those who did not like his behavior.
“And they can all kiss me on my entire rear end,” Roland said.
Terry Roland never made any apologies.
“This is what you get. What you see is what you get,” Roland said.
Roland said he is older now. Wiser in how government works and he is on a county commission that can disagree about things in a less hostile manner.
“This county commission that I’m sitting on now has been excellent. We’ve got great people on it. We don’t fuss. We don’t fight. I’m not going to say we get along all the time but it’s just not as combative as the last commission was,” Roland said.
This is going to be an important year for Terry Roland.
He is very interested in possibly running for Shelby County mayor in a few years.
So this might be the years where voters say if he is made of the right stuff to do the job.