Supervisors welcome Joyce Culpepper to board

Published 1:22 pm Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Supervisors on Monday welcomed aboard interim District 2 supervisor Joyce Culpepper, who will serve as District 2 supervisor in the place of her late husband, Charles E. Culpepper, until a special election is held next November to fill the rest of his term.

In addition, supervisors heard Emergency Management Director Danny Manley say the U.S. Census Bureau is looking for part-time census employees, whom they will pay between $14.50 and $17.50 an hour, to help take the census this Spring.

Charles Culpepper died on Nov. 23 at his residence in Ford’s Creek Community after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 59 years old and was one year and 10 months into his first term. He had worked for the county in the road department for 19 years.

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He was buried on Friday, Nov. 27.

Joyce Culpepper was actually named and sworn in last week after board president and District 1 supervisor Anthony Hales nominated her and the rest of the board was polled. The vote for her was unanimous.

On Monday the swearing in was re-inacted.

Board attorney Joe Montgomery said that supervisors followed state law regarding the appointment last week.

He said it was similar to the situation when former supervisor Troy Stockstill died in office, and his widow, Betty, was named as interim supervisor in 2005.

Culpepper on Monday said that she will not make any decision right now on whether or not to seek the post in November. “That is a long way off. All I want to do right now is get settled in and just try to do what Charles and the people would want me to do,” she said after assuming her seat on the board.

About the census jobs, Manley said that the U.S. Census Bureau is looking for what he called “hundreds” of employees to help take the census in Pearl River County this Spring.

He said the jobs will pay from $14.50 to $17.50 per hour. He said tests began this week for the positions and will continue through December. Tests are scheduled for Dec. 8, 17, 22 and 28 at 2:30 p.m. at the WIN Job Center. A test was given Saturday at the Crosby Memorial Library and another is scheduled in Poplarville on Wednesday at the Emergency Operations Çenter and at the Old National Guard Armory on Dec. 14, 15, 16 at 2:30 p.m.

Manley said prospective candidates should call the Census Bureau at 1-866-861-2010 for information and to get on the schedule for a test. He said a person “get(s) started” by calling that number. “That is the only number you need to get into the system. You call that number and they will get you a testing date,” he said.

Manley said the positions are part-time but there is a possibility that some of the jobs could work into full-time positions.

Manley said he has nothing to do with the hiring except to convey the information about the Census Bureau’s needs. Manley was appointed by supervisors recently as a liaison between the census bureau and the county.

In another matter, Hales said that the county is working out a compromise with Don Burge on Don Burge Road. Burge constructed a fake bridge cover on the road approaching his residence, which is a public road.

The construction, which Hales said at the last board meeting was done without permission from the county, raised the question of whether the county is responsible for any accidents associated with the fake bridge cover since it is on a road dedicated for public use.

Manley told Hales that he had “checked out the bridge” and that it is high enough to allow emergency vehicles to get to two homes located beyond the fake bridge cover. The two neighbors are family relatives, officials said.

In addition, Hales said that if Burge would sign an agreement assuming all responsibility in connection with the fake bridge cover, along with his neighbor, who is a family member, then there would be no problem with the fake bridge remaining.

In other business, the board:

— Authorized travel for two officers to attend refresher training classes at Camp Shelby beginning Jan. 10, for one officer to attend basic class 229 in Pearl on Dec. 15 and also beginning Jan. 18. and for one officer to attend project sale neighborhoods anti-gang training conference in Jackson on Dec. 8-10.

— Authorized the clerk to advertise for bids on a new Department of Human Services -Justice Court building at Millard. The facility is expected to cost up to $3 million. Supervisors said no new taxes were added to pay for the structure. Most of the funds are state and federal money.

— Approved, upon recommendation of planning and development department, an application to alter theofficial plat of Lot 92, Hillsdale subdivision.

— Recessed to Monday, Dec. 14, at 9 a.m.