Review of January 3, 2012 Board Meeting
The board meeting started with citizens comments. There was one inquiry regarding the old Lumberton Hospital. Crider stated that the board will draft an agreement with the company on January 10, 2012 at their workshop meeting with the fire department. Another citizen stated that she was harassed by a group of Lumberton Police officers at a road block. The citizen required the use of a cane and was the passenger of the car and was told that if she could pass a sobriety test, she would be allowed to drive the car home. Allegeldy, she was given several sets of commands and it was determined that a woman that required the use of a walking cane could not walk a straight line and sing "Itsy-Bitsy Spider." Unfortunately, this person was the victim of RWB( Riding While Black) but ironically, she's white. Amos Fagan was on the agenda to address the board, but no one motioned to allow him to speak. Alderman Rogers was out for medical issues. After the meeting, several citizens asked the aldermen why they wouldn't let Fagan, a disabled Veteran, speak, and Crider said that the agenda didn't state why he wanted to address the board. For those that had copies of the agenda could see that none of the other people listed to address the board had their reason listed either. During the reports from the department heads, it was noted that the FuelMan cards still have a lot of purchases of fuel by C. Franklin, who was fired several months ago. Why is his pin number still being used by the Lumberton Police Department or is this another way they're planning on justifying his termination by making allegations of theft of fuel?
William Kelly, Sr. wanted the board's approval to open a video rental store. He was told that he needed to present his plans to the board before a decision would be made. Jonathan Martin was promoted from part-time to full-time officer at a pay rate of $12.50/hr. The board voted to override the mayor's veto and hired Joel Burkhalter and Regina Newton as full time certified part time polce officers at a pay rate of $10.50/hr. The board also voted to override the mayor's veto and granted Roy Easley a pay raise to $12/hr. Afterwards, Mayor Holder informed the board and asked that the minutes reflect that the override at this point was an illegal vote. As stated by Mayor Holder, 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 this means 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.]
There was another discussion about purchasing a generator for the water treatment plant; this discussion has been going on since Katrina and still a decision wasn't made. There was also a discussion about purchasing a deck gun for the new pumper at the fire department and that too went without an affirmative vote. LVFD Cheif Walters presented the board with four quotes and the board stated that they knew this would help the department fight fires, but they didn't vote to purchase the much needed piece of equipment. Just last month, the board spent over $3,000 to upgrade the telephone system at city hall, but they're reluctant to purchase a piece of equipment that could help save a person's house.