Council meets in front of a packed City Hall auditorium

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 9:09 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The second Meridian City Council meeting since three new members took office was held Tuesday evening.

Before the meeting began it was standing room only. Many were there in response to the council voting former police chief Chris Read out of a job at the previous meeting.

The meeting started with some additions to the agenda. One addition came when Ward 4 Councilwoman Romande Walker said that her vote was incorrectly recorded for two appointments at the July 13 meeting. The record, obtained from City Hall last week, showed that Walker voted against former police chief Chris Read and former Parks and Recreation director Trent Posey.

In Tuesday’s meeting Walker made it clear that her vote was actually in favor of both. That changed the record to reflect that Read and Posey were denied by votes of 3 to 2. Council voted unanimously to approve the change.

During citizen comments people were for and against the council’s decision last week.

“People are constantly being robbed and no police to be found. Sometimes you can the police officer and don’t even show up,” Lolo Allen said to the council. “The citizens have spoken to the city council. They wanted Chris Read out. He out and need to stay out.”

Another citizen, Cooper Huff, was there to represent more than 3,160 people that recently signed a petition wanting Read reinstated.

“What if crime gets so bad that nobody wants to come shop in this community anymore? It had gotten there and it was just recently. Under Chris Read we fixed that,” Huff told the council “This decision is going to have a negative impact on the city of Meridian. Crime is going to get out of control again like it was and businesses are going to be scared to relocate here.”

Many Meridian police officers also attended the meeting. Some of them sat in the back while at least a dozen stood in the doorways to the City Hall auditorium.

Council members addressed the crowded room at the meeting’s conclusion:

“If you want your vote to count for a particular candidate for a department head, then let your voice be heard,” Ward 5 Councilwoman Tyeasha Bell Lindsey said. “I am here for each and every one of you. I listened to people that were in my ward and that didn’t live in my ward.”

“Of course I went throughout the neighborhood,” Ward 4 Councilwoman Romande Walker said. “I waited on people to contact me before I made the decision I made. The final decision I got was the way I voted.”

“I thank you for your overwhelming support this past week with my decisions,” Ward 3 Councilman Joseph Norwood said. “I assure you that your voice will not be silent, silenced or waivered. Thank you.”

“We had a job to do. I’m not saying it was right and I’m not saying it was wrong,” Ward 2′s Dwayne Davis explained. “Only thing we had was a job to do on what information we had. Communication is a big thing with me. I keep saying this over and over again. It would help a lot of problems. I would help us with what we’re going through and this issue.”

“It’s great to see this many people participating in our government. We need more of this. I hope you will continue to do this,” Ward 1 Councilman George Thomas said.

The meeting lasted about 35 minutes and everything on the agenda was approved unanimously.

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