The Sun Herald
The Picayune Item
But unless other members of the commission follow Asper’s example, Bryant’s choice for Asper’s successor may be limited to Hancock County.
That’s because no more than two members of the commission can be from the same coastal county.
Other commission members are Richard Gollott and Jimmy Taylor, both of Harrison County; and Steve Bosarge and Shelby Drummond, both of Jackson County.
When those commissioners had to present Bryant with three possible candidates to replace fired MDMR Executive Director Bill Walker, they had the option of selecting anyone from anywhere.
But unless more commissioners resign, Bryant’s options will be much more restricted.
So again, we urge the remaining commissioners to follow Asper’s lead and permit the governor to appoint a fresh group of commissioners. Such a clear and clean break with the past would go a long way toward re-establishing the credibility of both the CMR and the MDMR.
A federal audit has confirmed that during the tenure of the previous executive director and the current commissioners, the MDMR became a rogue agency. Millions of tax dollars were misspent or mismanaged.
And the public has yet to learn the results of ongoing investigations by the state Auditor’s Office and the FBI.
Just as the commissioners held Walker accountable for problems at the MDMR during his tenure, so the commissioners should themselves be accountable for what took place as a result of their lack of proper oversight.
The members of the commission are appointed by the governor, but they do not serve at his pleasure. Once confirmed by the state Senate, they serve for four years — even if they have lost the confidence of the public.
Bryant needs fewer obstacles and more options to restore both the CMR and DMR as respected and responsible agencies of state government
Commissioners Bosarge, Drummond, Gollott and Taylor should remove themselves from the eye of this storm and give Bryant as free a hand as possible to act as quickly as prudence permits.