Aldermen close officer job listing to stay within budget

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 9, 2019

Poplarville’s Board of Aldermen approved closing a job posting for a full time police officer during Tuesday’s meeting, because the proposed budget for 2019 to 2020 does not accommodate an additional full time officer, said Police Chief Greg Hartley. 

The Board also approved hiring Jeremy S. Quave as a part time police officer. Quave currently works for the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department and is a certified EMT, said Hartley. Alderman Kevin Tillman voted against the hire.

Hartley informed the Board that dash cams for the police cruisers have been ordered. Alderman Russell Miller asked how the city could speed up the process of acquiring desktops for the police department, and City Clerk Jane O’Neal said she believes the city could purchase four units from the current year’s budget.

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In a separate matter, Mayor Rossie Creel and Miller recused themselves during discussion of renewing the 2019 to 2020 Poplarville Special Municipal Separate School District’s Security Contract. The contract provides police officers as additional security at football games, said Hartley. Creel is the director of transportation and a school resource officer for the Poplarville School District and Miller’s wife is the assistant superintendent.

Shirley Wiltshire took over the meeting as Mayor pro tempore. However, that left the Board one member short of a quorum, so they could not vote on the issue. The Board tabled the issue until Alderman Tony Smith arrived at the meeting, at which point Creel and Miller again recused themselves. The Board voted to renew the contract.

In other business the Board:

—Entered executive session to hear a citizen’s complaint about a public works employee. No motions were made after executive session.

—Authorized an application for a $45,910 Mississippi Homeland Security grant for 23 MSWIN radios for the fire department.

—Authorized advertising for part time firefighters at a pay rate of $10 an hour.

—Adopted amendments to the Poplarville animal control ordinance that repealed sections regulating the use of animals as prizes in contests and added a waiver provision to the animal control ordinance.

The next meeting will be Aug. 20 at 5 p.m. in City Hall.