City Councilors Bumpers and Breland return to meetings

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2017

After months of missing meetings on a regular basis, Picayune City Councilors Larry Breland and Lynn Bogan Bumpers returned for Tuesday’s regular meeting.

At the end of the meeting, the two Councilors took a moment to set the record straight about their absence.

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Breland said he and Bumpers have been absent due to a perceived lack of working relationship with the other Councilors, which began with their first terms in office. Brleand pointed out that Councilors Tammy Valente and Jan Miller Stevens were not on the Council at that point.

His grievances ranged from his inability to get items on the agenda due to previous administrations telling him that a majority vote was needed, to the most recent instance where his request for upgrades to the Eighth Street Cemetery were denied.

He said that the inability of Bumpers and himself to have matters within their respective districts  approved has been long standing. However, when matters come up in other precincts, Breland said he and Bumpers always approve them.

Initial nominations for appointments to the various boards and commissions within the city by Bumpers and Breland also met with resistance, Breland said. However, he did say that those appointments have been more diverse lately.

So, when he and Bumpers requested a wrought iron fence, similar to the one installed around the city’s side of the Palestine Cemetery, be installed to the Eighth Street Cemetery and it was denied, they both decided to stop coming to the meetings to send a message. Breland said he wanted to send that message because he felt disrespected, especially since he felt the funds were in the city budget to pay for the requested improvements.

Bumpers also said that she feels as though she’s unable to accomplish anything in her precinct, even though she votes in favor of requests in other precincts.  Moving forward, she would like to see support from the other Councilors to better the city as a whole.

After Bumpers and Breland spoke, Rev Brian Dees, city resident Charles Jones and Pearl River County NAACP President Jimmy Richardson all spoke to the Council and audience in support of Breland and Bumper’s stance.

For more on Tuesday’s meeting, see Thursday’s edition of the Item.