Mayor Smith names acting department heads following council votes

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 7:10 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - There is uncertainty following Meridian City Council’s denial of 5 key appointments Tuesday. Mayor Jimmie Smith’s administration is working to fill those position, which include police chief and CAO.

“We are looking at the different departments and making sure we have people in place and making sure our citizens are safe and protected,” Smith said.

Salary seemed to be council’s number one concern with Smith’s new appointees. However, two proposed appointments didn’t have a salary change. That was police Chief Chris Read and Trent Posey with Parks and Recreation. The council voted them down 4-1.

“It shouldn’t really be about the salaries, but I understand that,” Smith said. “I understand them having that concern, but you have to look a little beyond that.”

As of Wednesday, here’s who is in charge of the departments:

Doug Stephens - acting Chief Administrative Officer

Lt. Patrick Gale - acting chief of police

Jason Collier - acting fire chief

Scott Sollie - acting Community Development director

Aleasha Jordan- acting Parks and Recreation director

Mayor Smith said he wants an open dialogue and good communication with the city Council. He said he plans on meeting with the council so they can provide more feedback, concerns and understanding.

“I’m going to do everything I can to work with the council and hopefully they will do the same. I think they will. I understand that you can have a miscommunication and I feel like that’s what this is in our position,” Smith said.

Smith said he will provide a new round of appointees in the coming weeks at a future council meeting.

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