Elected officials should fulfill their duties

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

Governing bodies have a number of responsibilities to the public they serve.

Here in our fair city of Picayune, not only does the City Council decide the rate of property taxes, they also hire and fire those who run the day-to-day operations of the municipality.

And while Picayune is one of only a handful of counties within this state with the city manager form of government, where that person handles those day-to-day decisions, the Councilors and Mayor provide the guidance.

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Those decisions are made during the bi-monthly City Council meetings. And unlike other municipalities across Mississippi, or the nation for that matter, our City Council members

have historically done everything in their power to avoid holding executive sessions, and had a perfect record of having enough members present for a quorum. That was, until Tuesday.

For the first time during this administration, and the second time since Hurricane Katrina, a lack of attending Councilors led to Tuesday’s meeting not taking place. This comes less than a week after two Councilors walked out of a meeting to set the city’s budget for the next fiscal year when their motion was not approved. Those same Councilors were not present for Tuesday’s meeting. While it can’t be confirmed the reason these two Councilors were absent, their absence led to a lack of a quorum. No matter their reason for missing the meeting, it’s their responsibility to attend as many meetings as possible during the course of a year. That’s why they are elected, and why they receive compensation for their time.

It is our hope that all elected officials in every office within Pearl River County will put forth their best effort to fulfill their duties to the public by attending meetings, or consider stepping down from that position.