Resident’s gripe adds levity to meeting

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, October 24, 2013

During the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday morning, Jimmy Buckley shared his grievance over the ordinance passed at the Oct. 7 meeting that allows property taxes to be paid in three installments.

Buckley’s complaint was not about the payments per se, but about what he said was the board stealing his payment plan idea, which was one of his future campaign platforms. Buckley claimed to have come up with the idea and presented a notarized document showing when he claimed to have thought of the payment plan.

Before Buckley slowly and haltingly read a prepared statement, Anthony Hales, supervisor for District 2, said, “If you have any hope of being elected for supervisor, you need to sit down before you fully embarrass yourself… it is already a law. It is not a plan, it’s not an idea stolen from you. It’s a law.”  

Buckley continued with his argument and “advised” the board that it should “stay away from my plan.”

Board President J. Patrick Lee responded, “You want us to go against state law?”

Buckley later handed the notarized document to Board Attorney Joe Montgomery and asked him to read the document aloud.

Montgomery refused to read the document and said, “I think that this is not a political forum for people to make political speeches. The board is here to conduct business.”  

After the board and Buckley spoke for close to 10 minutes, Buckley left the meeting.

Les Dungan, the county engineer, updated the board on the construction projects around the county.

Dungan presented two bids for the re-pavement of Sycamore Road between West Union Road and George Wells Road.

The lowest and best bid came from HSI Corporation for $32,640, Dungan said. The bid would cover cost of equipment and personnel. He said the county would purchase the materials for the pavement project.

The other bid Dungan received came from Pearl River Paving.

During Dungan’s report, Lee mentioned he had received a call from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The DEQ told Lee that the agency was following up on a citizen complaint about the J.J. Holcomb Road bridge replacement project.

Dungan said he has no worries about the call because he has all necessary permits and that the permits were in place.

Dungan also requested that Lee sign a letter to be sent to the Mississippi Department of Transportation prompting them to conduct a study on U.S. Highway 11 between Cemetery Road and Burgetown Road.

He said a concerned citizen pointed out that there was a new apartment complex on Burgetown Road that has caused an increase in traffic in the area over the last few years.

After discussion with the board and input from members of the audience and county employees present at the meeting, Dungan said there are three intersections along U.S. Highway 11 that should be studied by MDOT.

The board, with the approval from Montgomery, approved the election commissioners’ ruling that there be no school board elections for Pearl River County School District or Lumberton School District.

One board member, Conrad Ford, is  running unopposed for Lumberton School District. Jeff Jones and Natalie Glorioso are running unopposed for District four and three, respectively, in the Pearl River County School District elections.  

The City of Picayune receiving their curbside recycle bins this week sparked a conversation about bringing recycling to the county. Supervisor Sandy Kane Smith said the board has looked into recycling, but has found it to be too costly.

County Tax Assessor Gary Beech told the board that he had been receiving calls from residents complaining about mosquito spraying. He said the reason he has been receiving the calls is because the vehicle, which still has tax assessor painted on it, used to belong to the county before it was sold at auction. This caused laughs from the board and audience.

Also at the meeting, the board:

— Re-appointed Albert Lee as the county fire investigator.

— Appointed Tara Tebo as Guardian Ad Litem for the chancery court. The Guardian Ad Litem is appointed to look out for the interests of a child during legal proceedings, when the parents of the child are unable to.

— Accepted the sale of a land settlement for $14,440.28 statement.

— Acknowledged that MDOT would pay $6,205 toward an airport development project.

— Declared Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day, a holiday.

— Approved the purchase of a small pavement roller. Road Department Manager Dale Miller said the lowest bid he originally received was from Puckett Machinery for $19,500. Miller said because the department had rented a roller from them recently, the owner would take off three months of rent from the original bid price.

— Approved a $25,000 reimbursement for the Pearl River Basin Development economic development site certification. Lee said it is the final payment for $100,000 project.

— Approved an auction agreement with Martin & Martin to sell Road Department surplus.

— Accepted a check for $14,142.19 for scrap metal sold by the Road Department.

— Approved the claims docket

— Approved for Danny Manley to travel to the MCDEMA 2013 Mid Winter Conference in Choctaw on Nov. 11-13.

— Approved for one Sheriff’s Department officer to attend a handgun/shotgun instructor course in Pearl on Nov. 11-15, one officer to attend an optimum interdiction techniques course in Pearl on Oct. 29-31, and two officers to attend sex offender registration training in Pearl on Nov. 4.

The board adjourned the meeting until Nov. 4 at 9 a.m.