After several city council meetings, the council finally arrived at a compromise during Tuesday's session and appointed four members to the city's newly formed Police and Finance Committee. The appointees are Lynne Boone, Bill Brandon, Vance St. Columbia and Marvin Jarrett. They will join council members, Jay Hollowell and Don Etherly.
The finance committee implemented at the suggestion of Elijah Mondy, owner of KJIW radio. Mondy suffered a serious gun shot wound to the chest back in April when he tried to assist a man who he thought was injured.
City council members listened as Boone, Brandon St. Columbia and Jarrett as they took the podium stating their case for their appointment.
“I graduated from Delta State with a degree in business and marketing, worked over five years for Merchants and Farmers bank and got my loan officer and stock broker license before starting my own business,” committed St. Columbia.
Councilman Don Etherly spoke on behalf Jarrett, who stated that he does desire to serve. Jarrett has served on the city council and has experience working on a previous finance committee.
Councilwoman Wanda Crockett asked how many nominees could be appointed to the committee. Etherly replied that the council had stated that the committee would consist of two citizens representing and the other a government office liaison.
“In my personal opinion, I think we should consider utilizing another citizen to be appointed to the committee instead of a government office liaison due to the possible travel needed and the lack of knowledge of the particular workings of the city,” said Etherly.
After listening to each nominee, the council body agreed that each nominee would be a great asset to the committee and Etherly motioned to omit the government liaison position and appoint all four.
The council approved motion and implemented the official terms of the committee to which councilman Larry Brown stated that the committee should have access to the whole financial aspect including bankers, business people and anything to “straighten the city out.”
Hollowell agreed stating that the council needs to get financial reports that are more reliable.
“This committee needs to address the problems of the city and the reports that are generated to this body on a regular basis,” he added.
Councilman Joe St. Columbia stated that this committee should be able to address financial issues not only within the police department but every department.
“You may not like the suggestions that are going to be made but we hope to shine some light on the financing issues that are hurting this city,” stated Vance St. Columbia.
The council and Mayor Arnell Willis agreed that the responsibility for the finance committee is to look at the overall finances of the city and bring insight and recommendations to help the council deal with the financial challenges that continue to plague the city.
Page 2 of 2 - “One in particular is the landfill. We need to try to come up with a solution to meet the May debt for the expansion of the landfill,” said Willis.
Hollowell recommended that the first step of the committee should be to meet with each department head and see where each department is as far as financial problems are concerned.
“Let's get the finance committee and the department heads together after the department meeting in September and go from there,” concluded Hollowell.