Twas the Night Before Chirstmas. . Lumberton Edition
I know I said I wouldn't update the blog until December 28, 2011, but a questionable special called meeting is scheduled for tonight @ 6:00 p.m. The meeting was called by Rebecca Hale and Bobby Gibson, you remember them, the two that allegedly signed the paperwork approving the arrest of Mayor Holder. Well, I knew there was supposed to be a meeting, but I was told that the meeting was to grant Jerry Walters approval to take the suburban to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to retrieve a donated tanker, but the agenda that's posted at the library also has an agenda item to hire Timothy Ryan Byrd as Court Administrator at a pay rate of $10.50/hour. Seriously??? Apparently, Jerry Walters was in on the set up. From what I was told, Walters called Mayor Holder asking if he could take the suburban to Baton Rouge to get a tanker. Somehow, Walters managed to get Mayor to tell him to call the other aldermen and see if they could attend a special call meeting to approve his travel, despite telling her that he called Bobby Gibson and Kent Crider already. Knowing that the Mayor would inform him of the code regarding traveling outside the City of Lumberton, I must admit that this was a pretty shrewd move by Walters. But now that the agenda has come out for the meeting, another item was added and that was the intention of the meeting in the first place; to get Byrd hired despite the fact that the minutes from the last board meeting has not been approved (which was probably the reason why the city clerk was working during her week of vacation) and despite the fact that the board has not received the letter detailing the reason of her veto.
In case they missed the first lesson regarding the issue of a veto, I will offer them a refresher: Section 21-3-15, Miss. Code grants a mayor in a code charter municipality (such as Lumberton) authority to veto an ordinance (ordinance, resolution or order). The Attorney General's Opinion No. 2005-0385 explains that the mayor has 10 days after the minutes are approved to file a veto with the city clerk. If the minutes are not approved until the following month, the mayor's veto prior to 10 days after the meeting would be valid.
Stated another way, the 10 days starts when the minutes are presented to you by the city clerk, if you are authorized by a Sec. 21-15-33 board approval to sign the minutes. If you are not authorized to sign the minutes, when the board approves the minutes of the meeting containing the ordinance you are vetoing [Notes: (1) A veto must be in writing, state the objections to the ordinance and be presented to the city clerk within the ten days specified. (2) Sec. 1-3-67 provides for how days are counted; holidays, weekends and days when city hall is closed are counted, except for when they are the tenth day.] In other words, the meeting scheduled for Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 6:00 p.m. where they are scheduled to vote to hire Timothy Ryan Byrd before approving the minutes and/or overriding the mayor's veto will be an ILLEGAL meeting. Also, they must take into consideration of holding a meeting where the mayor is in jurisdiction. Just something to think about. . I thought we would have a peace at city hall during Christmas, but the Lumberton Board of Aldermen is determined to leave coal in our stockings by breaking yet another law.