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Light load scheduled for supes' recess meeting


Tax Assessor Allen Morgan

Tax Assessor Allen Morgan



Carl Smith



Oktibbeha County supervisors face a light agenda during their 5:30 p.m. today meeting at the county courthouse. 


The board is expected to enter into an inter-local agreement with Choctaw and Webster counties to save money on aerial mapping services, a move board vice president John Montgomery said should save the three counties money by consolidating the project. Supervisors will also hear a road hazard claim from a resident whose automobile was damaged on a county road. 


Supervisors have the option of addressing a previous payroll change request originating from the Oktibbeha County Tax Assessor's office, but board members did not say if they would again tackle the issue. 


A county-produced agenda Friday did not explicitly state the matter would be discussed. A call to Tax Assessor Allen Morgan went unreturned Sunday. 


The board stalemated on two March 4 votes surrounding the request which emerged after a 20-minute executive session. First, supervisors tied 2-2 to delay formal action on the matter to this meeting. That motion was made by District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard and seconded by District 5 Supervisor Joe Williams. 


Then, District 4 Supervisor Daniel Jackson then motioned to make Morgan's recommended payroll change and was seconded by Montgomery. Again, supervisors split the vote 2-2. 


A possible tying situation was created in that meeting because board President Orlando Trainer did not attend the board meeting. 


Following the meeting, Morgan said the situation surrounding the request came from the fact a tax office employee was promoted from part-time to full-time status in November but has yet to receive a small pay increase or benefits associated with the position, including sick days, personal time off, holiday pay, state retirement or insurance coverage. 


The full-time slot was budgeted and approved by the board in its Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget. 


State law dictates tax office hiring is left to the discretion of the tax assessor, Morgan said. 


The request's specifics are not fully known. Mississippi law states governing bodies may take some issues, including personnel matters, behind closed doors. Supervisors are not required to discuss those issues before or after meetings. 


Morgan was joined in the March 4 executive session by attorney Russ Rogers. In open session, Morgan asked if the minutes would reflect how each county representative voted. Supervisors said they would.


Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch



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