Board votes to take administrator’s county vehicle

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, April 5, 2016

TAKEN AWAY: Monday, the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors voted to no longer supply County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin with his vehicle.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

TAKEN AWAY: Monday, the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors voted to no longer supply County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin with his vehicle.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

Monday at the Pearl River County Supervisors meeting, the board voted to no longer supply a county vehicle to Pearl River County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin.
During the March 23 meeting, District II Supervisor Malcolm Perry and District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday disagreed about the reinstallation of a GPS tracking device on Lumpkin’s vehicle.
During that meeting, Holliday motioned that all GPS devices be transferred back to where they were except Lumpkin’s. The motion passed 3 to 1, with Perry voting against. District V Supervisor Sandy Kane Smith was not in attendance at the March 23 meeting.
As a result of that discussion, District IV Supervisor Farron Moeller said he received many calls from constituents about the matter.
“Part of my campaign platform was that the opinion of my voters is paramount to my opinion almost 100 percent of the time,” he said. “If a man can’t do that, then you’ve elected the wrong man.”
Moeller said he took it upon himself to conduct a poll. He said he called a number of people, some he didn’t know and some he has a lot of confidence in.
A number of them didn’t have an opinion one way or the other, he said. However, a lot of them had the same “steadfast” opinion, he said.
“Believing it be the will and opinion of the vast majority of the voters of District IV, I would like to offer a motion to the board that effective immediately, we no longer supply a vehicle to the county administrator,” Moeller said.
Perry seconded the motion and remaining board members voted yay. Holliday was not in attendance during Monday’s meeting.
Moeller told Lumpkin it was no reflection on anybody, but he has to go the way his voters tell him.
The board agreed to allow Lumpkin the use of a county vehicle for county business, if one was available.
On the topic of county vehicles, members of the audience inquired as to why $29,000 was spent to accessorize the supervisors’ county vehicles and why the vehicles needed to be four-wheel drive.
Moeller and Smith informed audience members about how their vehicles are utilized. Moeller said his toolbox contains tools for signage and for the past two weeks, he has used his four-wheel drive in Walkaih Bluff. Smith said his truck and trailer hitch has been used to transport trailers and generators. They also said they use their vehicles to respond to phone calls during all hours of the day.
“The trucks came without floor mats, but we bought them and eventually, I’m going to have to haul someone around that’s thinking about putting an industry here,” Moeller said. “It makes the truck worth more.”
Perry added that furnishing a truck is more cost effective than paying $.53 cents per mile in fuel reimbursement.

In other action:
• Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison asked county attorney Joe Montgomery to review a contract from Quality Correction Healthcare. The sheriff said the contract amount is about $445,000, which would result in a savings of $111,000 per year.
• During the March 23 meeting, Pearl River County Chancery Clerk Melinda Bowman was asked to report her findings of alleged improprieties by former Chancery Clerk David Earl Johnson. During that meeting, Bowman said that Johnson was running a separate set of books in tandem with the AS/400 data. During that meeting, the board approved a motion to have an independent audit done on both sets of books. Monday afternoon, Smith said the board received one bid from a CPA firm in Hattiesburg. They are waiting to receive more bids and will choose a firm to handle the audit at the next board meeting.
The next board meeting will be held on April 20 at 9 a.m.

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