Review of October 4, 2011 Board Meeting
Despite Bobby Gibson's comment that "the Attorney General is tired of my blog," I will give my recap of last night's board meeting. As reported by WDAM it was a packed house Tuesday night at Lumberton City Hall, but they failed to report that the extra officers (Lamar County Sheriff deputies) were there at the request of Mayor Miriam Holder. As usual, the meeting started with citizen's comments. Babbs Slade wanted to know if she could acquire the old Lumberton hospital for use as a personal care facility. She stated that she will present a proposal next month to the board for their consideration. In addition to the proposal, the board needs to conduct a background check as well. Karen Blankes of the Gold coast Skydivers thanked the board for cutting the grass at the airport. In the original MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) I thought the Gold coast Skydivers said they would cut the grass, but I guess the original agreement is now moot. She also reported that they raised $9,000 for the Wounded Warrior Fund and there were people from seven different states in attendance. It seems that the Gold coast Skydivers are doing rather well. Would someone remind me how much the City of Lumberton is receiving from the thousands collected each week? This is where the meeting got interesting. Barry Waites, of John's Discount Drugs thanked Mayor Holder, the board and Lumberton Police Department for their quick work in capturing those that robbed the drug store. Did Waites just thank the Mayor for helping in the same investigation that she was accused of hindering? Rachel Jefferson addressed the board about her desire to host the 1st Annual Dianne Bennett Memorial (will blog more about that later).
The board voted to give Ben Barrett an open monthly purchase order for use at NAPA and Lumberton Farm and Garden because an emergency might arise before the clerks get in the office at 8:00 a.m. and because Stephanie Mulling said it would be much easier for her to deal with on a monthly basis instead of going through the agony of filling out a p.o. for every, single purchase. Did I miss something? She has two assistants and it's too taxing on her to fill out individual purchase orders. Will this put an end to the monthly notes thanking the board for understanding why she didn't complete all of her monthly reports? If so, then it's a win win. The new building inspector said he checked the drug court and said the solution they are dumping into our water and sewer system is fine. Shouldn't the solution the drug court is using to drug test its participants be tested by the Public Works Director since he's over the water/sewer department?
Paige of Nicholson and Company addressed the board regarding the deficiencies in WSOM. (I will blog about that info in the next post.) The board finally voted to hire a CPA or accountant familiar with city budgets to come in once a month to audit the daily activities for the purpose of check and balance per the recommendation of Nicholson and Company. Alderman Rogers has tried to get the city to implement this plan for months, but the board finally voted to go forward. I wonder how many more months will they put off on the actual hiring of the accountant? There were only a few water bill issues/billing errors. The hours for trick or treating have been set for 4:30 p.m-7:00 p.m. on October 31, 2011.
The board went into executive session and they said no actions were taken, but Alderwoman Hale said she wanted to amend the agenda to hire the new officers presented by Hobson. In the midst of the discussion to hire the new officers, it was revealed that Officer K. Johnson is the next officer on the chopping block. The board said no actions were taken, but it was apparent that Officer Johnson was presented to the board for termination. The two new officers hired are Michael Decelle of Wiggins, MS who just came out of the police academy and Charles Lawther of Carrier, MS who has three years of law enforcement experience. They both were hired at $10.50/hr. as part time/ certified officers.