Picayune City Council should work together

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 17, 2016

Picayune’s administration is divided over the simple matter of board appointments when they should be working together to bring in the best possible person.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Councilor Larry Breland submitted an ordinance he wanted the council to approve, or consider.
When the matter came up for discussion, Breland asked council members to share their opinion on the ordinance.
But when they did, he or Councilor Lynn Bogan Bumpers made statements against the opinions of those opposed to the ordinance.
As they discussed Breland’s idea of setting up board appointments on a rotating basis, it was evident the rift between the council is growing.
Over the course of several meetings, Breland has alleged there are not enough people on these boards who live in either his or Councilor Lynn Bogan Bumper’s districts, including the housing authority, school board, utility authority and planning commission.
The other council members have valid points as well, expressing concern that a rotating system will likely not find the most qualified person.
Certainly, every district should be as evenly represented on these boards as possible, but it will never be perfect.
Additionally, while Breland said during a previous meeting the matter is not racially motivated, he did say Tuesday night that, “What y’all are doing is eliminating the minority position on these boards and that’s not right.”
So what is the right answer? The council needs to get together and work toward a universally agreed upon method of appointing people to boards. What that will involve is cooperation on all sides of the matter, not just one.
Enacting Breland’s suggestion of a system where only one person makes the appointment based on when it’s their turn in the rotation is not the answer. Such a system will not provide the best-suited person for these appointments.
But at the same time, maybe the council could come together to look at Breland’s proposed ordinance and modify it to create a more equitable system of board appointments.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox