Changing wording in the minutes confusing

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Last week the Poplarville Board of Aldermen made a motion to rescind wording from its minutes, creating a situation where those monitoring the matter would be confused.

The matter centers on allegations that a Poplarville Police officer forced organizers of a concert to shut the event down early in September of this year. The organizers claimed that they felt discriminated against and brought their concerns to the Board during several meetings to seek resolution.

The Board was told by the organizers that someone higher than the officer involved gave the order to shut it down. A couple of meetings later, the Board approved a motion to state that the officer acted on his own accord, under no direction by the Board, Mayor, or police chief, and that “action” would be taken against him for closing the event early.

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At that point it appeared that the matter was on its way to being resolved. That is until the Board rescinded that motion last week, deleting any wording alleging that the officer acted on his own and that action would be taken against him.

To further address what really happened, the Board has promised to hire a third party investigator.

The organizers involved in the matter indicated to the Picayune Item, before learning of that change, that they were planning to hold future events within Poplarville, potentially attracting visitors to the town. However, once they heard of the Board’s new decision, the organizers were understandably upset. Now, it’s possible future concerts by this business will not be held in Poplarville after this reversal by the Board.

This move appears to be a step backward by the Board, and will only irritate already strained relations between the city and the representatives of that company.

It is our hope that the Board will find a resolution to this matter, and work to ensure that Poplarville is a place where events can be held without undue hindrance.