Rossie Creel to remain school resource officer while mayor

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Poplarville’s mayor-elect Rossie Creel said he plans to keep his position as a School Resource Officer for the Poplarville School District while serving as mayor.
“If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to eat,” Creel said, noting the part-time pay of the mayoral position.
Creel, who accepted the SRO position in February, said he investigated whether holding both positions would be a conflict of interest before deciding to run for office.
Creel said according to Mississippi Attorney General opinions, it is permissible to serve in two positions of the same branch of government; in this case both positions are considered part of the executive branch.
According to an Attorney General opinion 1993 WL 669108, an alderman is an officer in the legislative branch of government.
After he takes office in July, Creel said being mayor would be beneficial to Poplarville students and their law-related education.
By being directly involved in city government, students can have a first-hand look at the process, he said.
Though Creel will have an office in City Hall, he said most of his mayoral duties would be done after 4 p.m. due to his schedule with the school district.
In reference to if and how he would hold office hours, Creel said he “hadn’t thought about it,” and the matter would be something to discuss.
In an effort to make himself and the Board of Aldermen more available to the public, Creel said he hopes to increase the city’s social media presence and hold events like coffee with the mayor and the Board to encourage more discussion, without the intimidating presence of an official Board meeting.
Creel said maintaining a social media presence would help increase transparency and make all events and programs available to the public.
He said he’s also exploring the idea of holding town hall meetings where residents can voice their opinions.
Creel said he’s confident in each department head’s ability to effectively do their job, so he has no plans to micro-manage each department.
“We’re a small town so we understand each other,” he said.
Creel also said it’s important to remember than running a city is not like a business.
“It’s not the same as the corporate world, so can’t run it like the corporate world,” he said.
With three new members of the Board, and two returning, Creel said he’s looking forward to tackling several emergency projects before moving to a new agenda.
With two incumbents, one previous Board member, one former state senator and successful businessman and a newly elected official, Creel said he hopes their cumulative expertise and experience will push the city forward.
The new Board will be sworn in July 1 at 1 p.m. in City Hall.

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About Julia Arenstam

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