Special Called Meeting, Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The Mayor and board of aldermen set a special called meeting for Tuesday, November 8, 2011. Since a public hearing was set for that date, they decided to also hold a special called meeting to address the issues with the water bills and to make a decision on amending the ordinance for water bill adjustments. Anyone that has any issues with their water bill should contact the city clerk to have their names added to the agenda because amendments can not be made to an agenda for a special called meeting. If you would like to address the board regarding any water billing issues, you should have your name added onto the agenda by Friday, November 4, 2011.
In addition to discussing water billing issues, Bobby Gibson requested that the board include his request to change the zoning of a tract of land that belongs to Benjamin Winston, Sr. and Paul Ockmond. Gibson requested that the land designation be changed to commercial. Mayor Holder stated that the land owners needed to submit their request to the board and give details of their plans for the land before they can consider any zoning changes; otherwise, the change would be considered spot zoning. I think this is one of the main reason for disbanding the planning and zoning committee. Now it's becoming more and more clear who's pulling the strings on the board and two of the major puppeteers are finally coming forth. I thought that Gibson and Johnson would have to recuse themselves from any vote in this matter in accordance with Article 3 of Mississippi Code 25-4-101, but again, the law governing elected officials does not seem to apply to them or at least in their minds. Gibson also stated that the request for the change in the designation of the land was requested by Winston Enterprises but the only listing on the Secretary of State's website for Winston Enterprises is for a woman named Stara Winston of Jackson, MS as noted by the link (just click on Winston Enterprises to see the document.) But this could just be another loophole to get around the conflict that may arise from Gibson's and Johnson's participation in the vote to change the land designation. Hopefully, someone will make sure that they point out that Bobby Gibson is still business partners with Ben Winston (click on officer and directors and you will note that Bobby Gibson is still listed as Vice President/Director of B and B Enterprises and Construction, Inc.) Like I stated, this is probably one of the main reasons behind the disbanding of the planning and zoning committee, but the board has failed to realize or just don't give a buck (not a typo) that although they got rid of the planning and zoning committee, the City of Lumberton is still operating under Ordinance 187 unless they vote for its repeal.