Review of June 2, 2015 Board Meeting
The department heads gave their reports. Chief Cowart informed the board of the assessments on tickets mot getting paid. For months, she has brought this to the attention of the board but it doesn't seem to matter. It's odd that the tickets/fines are getting paid but the assessments aren't getting paid. A concerned citizen wanted to know why and was basically told they will deal with it when the state get ready for their money. During another part of the meeting, Chief Cowart provided the best zinger of the night, "we don't need security cameras we need police officers; we're safe." The city attorney is in his third month investigating the request to put speed bumps down at Pecan Ridge. Danny Davis reported that the mosquito truck will be back on the road this year. He advised citizens to use caution when outside because some mosquitoes are immune to the solution. It was noted that late fees will be waived this month on water bills because they were sent out late due to inclement weather. The board approved minutes from regular called meeting, May 5, 2015, and special called meetings on May 12 and 27, 2015.
Mayor Winston gave his monthly address. The video is on Facebook. His message was to pray that this city advances. He cherry picked Psalms 127 to describe Lumberton. When Alderman Quincy Rogers told him we need to find money to get more police, Winston responded by saying prayer is free. I'm an advocate of prayer but this is not prayer meeting, it's a board meeting. Winston had a platform for prayer but he stepped down as pastor of Sweet Beulah. The few people that bothered to vote didn't vote for a Pastor, they voted for a mayor. Winston is also in the marketplace every Saturday praying. Yes we need prayer but we also need people that can make good business decisions. This is a city not a congregation. If he want to hold a monthly prayer meeting then schedule one. We attend church but there's also a business side to church. One of the most volatile events at church is the business meeting. The meetings start off with prayer but at some point they have to get down to business, pay bills and plan for expansion or cuts. Essentially, Winston's response to the call for more police was
"And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?"-James 2:16 KJV
The following water refunds were approved: Kileang Choung, Kimleang Choung, Mamie White and Teri Cope. The board approved unpaid claims for May 2015 in the amount of $41,448.13 general fund and $25,312.87 WSOM. They also approved paid claims May 2015 in the amount of $19,789.75 general fund and $212.20 WSOM. Payroll in the amount of $50,519.00 for the month of May 2015 was approved. There will be a public hearing on July 7, 2015 to revise the limb and debris ordinance so the citizens won't get charged for pick up of these items. The motion to install security cameras in the police department failed. The board voted to go into executive session to discuss personnel issues but it was interesting that they called Ronald "Foots" Davis into executive session. After a lengthy session, the board returned and announced that no action was taken. There were a few citizen comments before the meeting was adjourned. It was a rather calm meeting. I think the presence of news cameras may have caused them to behave. Noticeably absent was any discussion about the $600,000 loan Winston and McGraw said they secured in Jackson, MS. When the city was offered the $2.5 million dollar Army Corp of Engineers grant, they were shouting from the mountain top but they secure a $600,000 loan and they're not saying a word. Well, guess what? I'm going to keep asking where's the check until a valid answer is given. Sooner or later, the news outlets are going to wonder why you're crying broke with a $600,000 loan.