Council swears in Fred McDonald III as city’s public safety commissioner

Published 4:14 pm Wednesday, December 8, 2021

A new staff member of the city of Picayune was sworn in during Tuesday’s meeting.

Fred McDonald III was officially sworn in as the city’s public safety commissioner, a position that did not exist until this year.

Mayor Jim Luke said that McDonald brings with him years of experience in law enforcement and will be an asset to the city.

Before announcing who will fill that role, Luke read the Department of Public Safety’s mission statement, which states the department was formed to “provide the most competent, well trained, well equipped personnel possible, to protect the citizens of Picayune, its guests and their property. The DPS combines, organizes, and manages all agencies and entities within the city which are charged with public safety responsibilities, to more efficiently and effectively protect life and property while maximizing all available resources.”

According to previous coverage based on a legal notice that ran in the Item, the Department of Public Safety will work in conjunction with the police, fire and public works departments.

In other business, the Council also approved a motion concerning the “ratification and approval of the execution of documents by the mayor and deputy city clerk and receipt of funds which were required to effect and complete the option to purchase exercised pursuant that certain lease agreement with option to purchase dated Aug. 1, 2012, of record book 1085, page 619, including, but not limited to execution of a warranty deed, assignments, etc.”

When the Item asked for clarification on that matter, City Clerk Sid Albritton said the matter had to do with a company called Gulf Coast Sand buying out Shale Support Services located in the Industrial Park and the approved motion allows that company to conduct a lease purchase of the property.

The Council also approved a motion to engage Jay Bearden Construction, who turned in a bid of $922,099, to conduct utility relocation as part of phase 2 of the Highway 11 project. During the Council member concerns portion of the meeting, Councilor Frank Ford asked City Manager Freddy Drennan to contact someone with the Mississippi Department of Transportation to see what can be done to reduce the high number of traffic collisions at the intersection of Highway 43 North and Richardson Road. Ford added that one person has been involved in two collisions at that intersection within the past eight months.

Drennan said he has met with the transportation commissioner for this area, and has requested something be done to fix the issue.

Councilor Jan Stevens alerted the public to an event that will be held on Dec. 13, at 6 p.m. at Crosby Commons, where the city and Picayune School District will recognize the Maroon Tide varsity football team for winning the state championship last Saturday. The event will recognize all football players, band members, cheerleaders, flag corps members and coaches who were part of this winning season.