Man and woman ejected from Aldermen meeting

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Poplarville Board of Aldermen made a final decision regarding the operation of a homeschool in a residential area Tuesday night after months of public hearings and comments.
Kimra Torrence, the operator of the homeschool in dispute on North Jackson Street, and her neighbor and primary complainant Jim Brown, were present at the meeting. Both of their attorneys were absent.
Just as the Board began discussing the issue, a member of the audience stood in the doorway of the small meeting room and said the Board was taking a side by not allowing residents to speak. The man, who never identified himself to the Board, was forcibly removed from the meeting by Poplarville Police Chief Butch Raby. His removal was promoted by his repeated speaking over Mayor Brad Necaise in what Necaise said was a disrespectful manner. As Raby attempted to escort the man outside, blood was visible through the sleeve of his shirt. A woman who accompanied him made similar comments and was also escorted from the meeting.
Board Attorney Nick Thompson summarized letters from both party’s attorneys, Scott Gibson for Torrence and Grant Bennett for Brown. Gibson requested a decision be made that night, while Bennett requested it be delayed until June.
In regard to the matter of whether to amend the city’s zoning ordinance to allow tutoring in residential areas, the matter failed for a lack of motion.
In regard to the matter of whether Torrence’s homeschool meets the city’s definition of a school and is thus allowed to operate in a residential area, the Board voted unanimously in favor of declaring it as a school.
In a separate matter, The Board voted to instate Kolby Davis as interim code enforcement officer after the resignation of Guy Rae Holston.
City Clerk Jane O’Neal said she received five applications for the permanent part-time position and the Board voted to take them under advisement.
After receiving bids from five companies for maintenance of the city’s two cemeteries, the Board voted to take the bids under advisement to determine the lowest price and best service.
The Board also read proposals from three companies for garbage and solid waste disposal contracts.
The Board voted to extend the current contract with Waste Management to collect waste from 1,038 units at a price of $13.82 per month with no option for curbside recycling. Other bids came from Waste Pro of Mississippi for $20.38 and Team Waste for $15.84.
After receiving a request from Poplarville resident Marie Bowden to purchase five city-owned lots near Martin Luther King, Jr. Street and Barber Street, the Board voted that the properties were no longer used for municipal purposes and agreed to pay half of the appraisal cost pending Bowden’s consent.
The next Board meeting will be held June 6 at 5 p.m.

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About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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