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Board advises PHS Student Council

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors had plenty of advice for Poplarville High School Student Council members, who attended the board meeting on Monday.

Student Council advisor Ann Bosworth thanked the board for allowing the council to sit in on the meeting and for the opportunity to see county government in action.

District I Supervisor and board president Anthony Hales welcomed the council and asked all present elected officials to take a few minutes to introduce themselves and tell the council a little about their positions.

Chancery Court Clerk David Earl Johnson told the group one of the key skills they will learn in high school is to communicate well with others.

“People come to me with problems. I don’t necessarily solve problems, but I can put them on the right road to the right answer. The most important component you’ll get out of education is communication. It’s the most important factor you can pick up at your school. If you can’t communicate, you’re not going to go very far in life,” Johnson said.

 Board attorney Joe Montgomery said he does not think people appreciate how much the board does for the county.

“I’ve been board attorney since January. I did not fully appreciate and understand what the board and public elected officials do. I did not realize how many problems they deal with, how many problems they solve, and how important the policy decisions are these people have to make. I did not realize the depth of the problems the sheriff’s department has to make. I don’t think anyone understands how important the board is. They operate your government and protect your citizens,” Montgomery said.

Hales encouraged the students to stay involved with government affairs and to remain conscious of who their officials are and what they are doing.

“So many people are unaware of what government does for you. So many decisions are made by your government that affects your life. Study your government so you know what they do to affect you. Take an interest in things. You may decide you want to be in this someday. It all starts where you’re at. Learn and find out for yourself what your government can do for you. My biggest disappointment is most people don’t know or understand what I can or cannot do,” Hales said.

In other business, District V Supervisor Sandy Smith asked what the county can do to motorists caught on roads that are closed to through traffic.

Smith said Old Highway 11 is closed in Carriere to through traffic, and signs are posted that read “Local Traffic Only,” but that motorists still travel on the road.

“That road is really dusty, and I know we have people on that road that are just passing through,” Smith said.

Sheriff David Allison said he receives daily calls from residents in that area with complaints about the motorists on that road.

“I’ll get the deputy chief up there to issue a citation or two to people just passing through and see if that helps. We’ll start on that today. We have already been patrolling more because of the complaints,” Allison said.

County Engineer Les Dungan said that in other counties, if a road is marked with a “Local Traffic Only” sign, and a deputy follows a car from one end to the other of the closed area of the road, then the deputy is allowed to write a ticket to the offending driver.

Emergency Management Director Danny Manley brought a request to the board from the McNeill Fire Department for assistance with making some improvements to the fire department building. Manley said the building is used as a voting precinct by the county, and the department is asking for trusties to help perform tasks such as hanging sheetrock and other skilled labor jobs.

The board told Manley they would take the matter under advisement.

The Pearl River Basin Development District made a presentation to the board to help the new board members understand the purpose and actions of the District.

“We have some ways of providing assistance to the county, such as subsidizing loans and grants,” said Executive Director Mike Davis. “We also helped design the master plan for the lake project at Millard.”

The board recessed until Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 9 a.m