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City Council puts off new appointments until next week

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 3:54 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Nine people Mayor Jimmie Smith would like inside his administration will have to wait one week before going in front of councilmembers.

As soon as Tuesday’s meeting began, Ward 2 Councilman Dwayne Davis raised concerns about having more time to talk with the candidates.

“I’ve been asking about this for two to three weeks. I also asked to make sure you got three votes. I asked that over and over and over again,” Davis told Smith in the meeting. “The only thing we ask for is time to find out about them. If that’s not good enough for the administration, then we are in a world of hurt.”

Smith said that he hopes the appointees will talk with councilmembers before next week’s special meeting.

“I hope that people will get on board and do what they’re supposed to do. I’m surprised nobody contacted anyone. I’m sort of disappointed. That’s all I’m going to say,” Smith said.

All of the proposed appointments were in the room during the exchange between the new Mayor and Davis. According to state law, Smith could go ahead and make the appointments, but the Council would have to confirm them within 90 days of doing so. Davis argued that the Council needed more time to vet the proposals.

“We need time to look over this. We are going to put someone in that’s going to be there for four years. Four years. We are going to be accountable for that,” Davis said.

Meanwhile, Smith said his team will continue to work and that he looks forward to the issue being resolved next week.

“We will continue to work with folks as best we can until we can get folks in place to do the job we were elected to do. That’s all we can do,” Smith said.

As soon as the meeting was over, the proposed appointments were in line to talk to council members.

“They are shaking my hand and asking me to call them. It shouldn’t have to go there to get that kind of response. I want to keep it focused like that. I’m not against any of the department heads, but we just need to know more information about them,” Davis explained.

Also at the meeting, Ward 1 Councilman George Thomas was voted in as president. Dwayne Davis became vice president. Glover, Young, Hammack, Walton & Simmons was approved to serve as city attorney.

A special meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 13, at 9 AM on the third floor of Meridian City Hall to discuss the appointments.

Here’s the list of candidates Smith would like appointed:

Ed Skipper - CAO

Brandye Latimer - CFO/City Clerk

David M. Hodge - Public Works Director

Laura Carmichael - Community Development Director

Chris Read - Police Chief

Tim Miller - Fire Chief

Trent Posey - Parks & Recreation Director

Doug Stephens - Public Safety & Training Director

Dustin Markham – Judge

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