Aldermen discuss littering, vandalism and security

Published 11:47 am Friday, March 4, 2022

During Tuesday’s Board of Alderman meeting, the city’s newest City Clerk Marine Ready was given the oath of office.

The Board also heard a presentation from Pearl River County Life Coach Tanya Burnett concerning events she would like to hold in Poplarville for the young people and senior citizens.

Burnett is a former Pearl River County deputy clerk and is currently a contracting officer/ trainer at NASA. For 40 years Burnett has been “real big on community service” she said, hosting events with her husband once a month. Burnett said she uses her life experiences to give back to the community.

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Recently, Burnet has been holding events at the Poplarville Community shelter. She proposed to the Board that the city needs a resource center that could act as a resource for education, finance, couples counseling, and single mothers counseling.

“I always tell people when I’m speaking, when I got to schools churches or wherever… ‘Don’t take your gift to the grave.’” said Burnett. “But we got to provide the resources, we can’t just talk about it, we have to be about it.”

The Board discussed locations where Burnett can host future events and asked what she felt the youth might need.

Following Burnett’s presentation, Alderwoman Anne Gendusa Smith presented the Board with citizen complaints concerning littering along South High Street and West North Street. The Board considered posting street signs that alert the public to the illegal nature of littering and the fine associated with the crime. While there is a fine for littering, Police Chief Daniel Collier said the department hasn’t written any tickets for that offense that he is aware. No action was taken by the Board on that matter during Tuesday’s meeting.

The Board tabled the purchase and installation of security cameras for the city’s water wells and City Park through a company based on New Orleans. During discussion of the topic, Alderman Daniel Brown asked about the public’s privacy with the presence of cameras. While the Board took no action on the topic, Mayor Louise Smith asked Brown to form a list of questions for the company. The Board is also considering NOLA’s invitation to visit sites in New Orleans to view how the cameras work.

In other business, Public Works Superintendent Same Hale provided an overview of recent work completed by his crews and discussed a vandalism incident in the park that occurred during and after a time while public works employees were making routine repairs. About a week and a half ago Hale and his crew were approached by an unnamed individual who started a verbal confrontation.

Hours later, Hale and his crew returned to the park to find a four-foot length spot had been cut out of the canopy sunshade over some parts of the playground. A police report was filed and a quote for the repairs to the sunshade was procured. The estimated cost to repair the canopy is $5,516, which is custom made by a Florida based company to fit the frame. The Board approved making that purchase.

In other business, the Board approved a quote to replace a damaged tail light on a police vehicle. The damage was caused by a trailer while an officer was directing traffic.

A donation of smoke detectors to the Poplarville Fire Department from part-time Picayune firefighter Glenn Neal was also approved the Board.

After executive session, the Board approved a motion to hire Erica Vusby as deputy clerk and approved two event requests.

One of the events will be held by First Baptist Church of Poplarville for an Easter Egg Hunt for children at City Park on April 9, 2022 from 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The second event will involve two individuals carrying crosses from McDonalds along Highway 53 to the lawn of First Baptist of Church of Poplarville on April 15  from 9 to 10 a.m.

A police escort will be provided by the city.