March 12, 2010 11:52:00 AM
WEST POINT -- West Point Mayor Scott Ross knew about the Board of Selectmen''s special Wednesday meeting to fire electric superintendent Shasta Plunkett, but knowing and receiving official notice are separate matters.
Ward 5 Selectman Jasper Pittman claims Ross received an email informing him of the meeting at 11:45 a.m.
Ross doesn''t deny he received the email, but maintains the first "proper" written notice he received was an email received at 4:45 p.m. from City Clerk Lela Jack. The meeting was held at 5:30.
"Being aware of the meeting and being properly noticed are altogether different things," said Ross. "They can either do it right or not."
Section 21-3-21 of Mississippi Law dealing with special meetings states: "The notice must state the time of meeting and distinctly specify the subject matters of business to be acted upon. Notice of the meeting shall be given to the members of the board, including the mayor, ... at least three (3) hours before the time fixed for the meeting."
Jack says an email sent to Ross at 11:28 a.m. did not specify a reason for the meeting. A subsequent email sent at 4:42 p.m. listed the cause as "personnel matters."
Regardless whether the meeting was legal or not, Ross vetoed the board''s action and Plunkett was reinstated at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. The board would need four votes to overturn Ross'' veto.
Plunkett says he didn''t lose any productive time at work and that the whole episode merely caused him stress.
Pittman maintains the mayor had proper notice of the meeting and City Attorney Orlando Richmond wouldn''t have attended if he felt the meeting was improper. Richmond said Thursday he had no means of determining whether Ross had received proper notice.
While Pittman remains silent on the reasons for Plunkett''s firing, he says his and Ward 3 Selectman Charles Collins'' inclusion on a recent list of delinquent utility bills had nothing to do with the board''s decision.
Pittman who receives electric service through 4-County Electric says he was past due on a water bill and paid his bill before the disconnect date.
"It ain''t the first time. Everybody''s late sometimes," said Pittman. "I''ve got the list of the ones that they actually cut off and my name wasn''t on there. I paid my bill before I got cut off."
Collins declined comment.
Ross issued a written statement Thursday claiming Pittman, Collins and Ward 2 Selectman Homer Cannon had "repeatedly failed to recognize and accept the statutory duties (and limitations) of their office and consistently ignored the City''s personnel policy. State law specifically prohibits board members from attempting to exercise executive authority which is reserved to the Mayor and delegated to the Chief Administrative Officer."
Pittman says the selectman often take matters into their own hands for the same reason he believes Ross didn''t attend the special meeting.
"He''s never around. And when people have issues, they come to us because he''s never in his office. He''s always out of town on city business and other business. He''s out of town right now," said Pittman.
In addition to serving as mayor of West Point, Ross also maintains a law practice and serves as the president of the State Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees.
Ross says the appropriate channel for citizen complaints or concerns when he isn''t available is to contact City Administrator Randy Jones.
"Nintey-nine percent of the time if someone came to me I would pass it off to (Jones) anyway, whether a street issue or a water leak," said Ross.
Leeroy Jenkins commented at 3/12/2010 1:01:00 PM:
I haven't had a Shasta soda in a long time.
kilowatt99 commented at 3/12/2010 3:11:00 PM:
WHEN THE CATS AWAY..THE MICE WILL SELL THE TOWN..FOR A BOTTLE OF RUM.
PITTMAN..YOU ABOUT A LOW LIFE..YOU KNOW WHY YOU DID THIS..FESS UP..OR ELSE...WE WILL GET SOMEBODY ELSE TO DO YOUR CHORES.YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK..YOU SHOULD BE TRYING TO BRING JOBS IN HERE..INSTEAD OF PLAYING "TAG..YOUR IT"
crazy commented at 3/12/2010 3:48:00 PM:
I live in clay county and I have a home in the city matter of fact in Mr. Pittmans district. With all the childes games going on I am thinking of letting them foreclose on the house so I will not have anything in the city. I will take my money else where to spend it from now on.
phil commented at 3/12/2010 6:40:00 PM:
Why don't we get Leroy from Columbus to make it a full house of clowns. This has to be the worse board in out history. It's bad enough to be broke - but stupid too !!!!!!!!
mickey commented at 3/12/2010 8:54:00 PM:
This board is a complete joke. Pittman and his crew are the laughing stock of West Point. If we can keep them from doing too much damage until they can be replaced we will be lucky !!!
I would hate to be Ross and have to keep these clowns in check.
DJ commented at 3/12/2010 9:08:00 PM:
Ross is the ring master of this circus who you kidding. If the board is the head of the joke what part does that make Ross? West Point was being made fun of long before this board came in. And kilowatt99..If the cat had been doing his job that the citizens pay him to do he wouldn't have been away. He knew about and the attorney for the city came but Ross didn't feel it was that important. The cat choose to be away.
If and when they prove Plunkett wrong hope no one chokes on their words.
DJ commented at 3/12/2010 10:10:00 PM:
Ross was notified by 11:30-11:45 about the meeting.(see above article) Is he too busy or to good to attend? Can he just pick and choose which ones he wants to attend? My taxes help to pay his salary too. When I wake up from fantasy land it will be when he and the rest of the good old boys are finally gone. Watch "MY" board get voted in ASAP at the last election. Might see more new faces at the next one. If the city last that long.
Sophisticated Lady commented at 3/12/2010 11:40:00 PM:
When will the PCC Gang or is it the CCP or CPC Gang, well whatever name best suits them, when are they going to learn that they are putting West Point deeper and deeper in debt. Why in the world would you fire someone,(who has already filed suit against the city)for doing his/her job. If you are on the delinquent list, it's because you haven't paid your bill. If rules exist for all of the other citizens who are delinquent, those same rules should apply to PITTMAN, CANNON, & COLLINS. Don't they realize that they are creating more damages for Plunkett's lawsuit. Notice that Plunkett said he didn't lose any productivity time but the termination caused him STRESS. Hello? Stress can get him more damages. Somebody who can get through to these three people needs to tell them to PLEASE learn the role of a selectman and stop tryin to micromanage the city. Aside from being the LAUGHING stock of West Point, they are us $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ because they think they are "privileged characters". Never in the history of West Point have I seen such stupidity. I'm afraid to read the newspapers each day because you never know what these three will do. They are a total embarrassment to West Point.
K commented at 3/13/2010 12:11:00 AM:
Has anyone even thought about the role education plays in this "extreme" political play?
All your time would be better spent lobbying in Jackson to keep our teachers. If you sleep on one thing at night, remember this - our kids are watching exactly what you as our leaders do. Petty - they are accustomed to it.
See the bigger picture.
If you don't -
city worker commented at 3/13/2010 6:04:00 AM:
Plunkett and other people from gas etc. dept. have "friends" that are always "notified" before their utilities are turned off for nonpayment. But those people are not mentioned. If you were to get the records it might just surprise you whose names are deliquent or not paid in full. Or even who has had gas turned off but turned back on even on the weekend. These other people have been singled out because they dared to buck the system. When Plunket decided to go out at 2 in the morning and confront someone about an ordue bill in public, sorry Lady but that is against the law in most states. There are privileged people in the city but they were here before this board. So if we want to be fair, bring out and publish the entire delinquent list then all of us can know the truth. You might be surprised who is making us a laughing stock.
The real "DJ" commented at 3/13/2010 6:49:00 AM:
The "other" DJ mentions the "good old boys" Again, how do you think incompetents like Gail Akins etc. keep their jobs? Because the "brotherhood" of Pittman, Collins & Cannon allow it! I'm not saying Ross doesn't have a hand in this. That is true. But the board also ties his hands. It takes 3 votes to hire or fire. Ross made the mistake of trying to befriend the board, and certain city workers by getting them into positions they aren't qualified to handle ( Akins ) and in the end, they all turned on him. I'm sure that is one reason he has no comment. But make no mistake, Pittman, Collins & Cannon are racists, and have an agenda against the white city employees. A blind person can see that. During the last campaign, Pittman even asked a black man who had a Joey Michel sign in his yard " What you doin with that Honkey's sign in yo yard?" I keep hearing all this talk about "change" but none of the ones who want change can say what they want.....except to erase everything the white city workers, board members etc. have done, just to simply do things "differently" And when it doesn't work, they accuse the whites of not giving them a chance! How dare you speak out against an elected official!! Well someone HAS spoken. Jim Waide! And they will all pay dearly for their racist crimes!
thomas commented at 3/13/2010 8:12:00 AM:
The board members need to pay their bills and leave the city workers alone.
21-3-7 commented at 3/13/2010 8:33:00 AM:
I wonder what city "city worker" works for. West Point does not sell natural gas so I doubt they are involved in turning it off and on. They might want to look into the gas business though since the supply of BS and hot air seems to be locally abundant.
Sam commented at 3/13/2010 11:06:00 AM:
"City Worker" says friends are getting notified from the gas department. Can somebody let the board know we have a gas department in case the department head is white they may want to "investigate" him too !
Sophisticated Lady commented at 3/13/2010 12:51:00 PM:
@ city worker --Please don't misunderstand my comments. I don't know Shasta Plunkett, neither am I trying to justify anything that Shasta Plunkett has done or is going to do. As a matter of fact, I think it is totally out of order for any department head to approach anyone about nonpayment of a bill, regardless of the time. There are other procedures for that, i.e. written notice or telephone call. Right is right and if Cannon, Collins, and Pittman decide to jeprodize their elected positions because they have totally misunderstood what their jobs entail, then they need to take the initative to learn. Being city selectmen does not give them the authority to undue things that were legally done. I know there are lots of people who are notified about paying their utility bills. The bottom line is you have to pay your utilities, wheteher you are a selectman or citizen. Sometimes we set ourselves up to be "picked on" because we don't know when to be quiet. Another thing these three need to learn is to "stop spinning their wheels". This board has been the most indecisive board in the history of West Point.
city worker commented at 3/13/2010 1:44:00 PM:
I was saying that not only do certain people get notified by the elec. dept. but also the gas co. too. They get special treatment from a lot of people. yes they should all pay their bills but why bring up just those few. List all the names. There are pleny on that list that would raise an eyebrow or two. The board needs 4 votes to overturn the veto. And I hope everyone knows there is more than one case case with Mr. Waide and they are not all against whites. So we'll see in the end won't we.
LITTLEBITSMARTER THAN YALL commented at 3/13/2010 2:13:00 PM:
I am wondering when Pittman, Cannon, and Collins ran for city selectmen were they running to help the city or themselves. So far they seem to be looking for what can this position do for me. Come down from the high horses you all seem to be riding and get on level ground. Men July first would be one year that two of you has been in office. And you act as if you just got started. Pittman you should be more of a senior selectman than you are instead of acting like you are elementary.Cannon you are a minister a man who is suppose to be very prayerful over things before you act. The prayer should be before action as well as after action. You should be praying for sure now that you have caused this great hardship upon the City Of West Point. (the suit) Did you know that if you step out on your own disregarding the policy and procedures of the board that you might have to pay this yourself. Grow some hair on your head to hold what little knowledge you have in it, because with it being bald maybe it is leaking slowly. Pittman your pass is your pass and future. You have spoken of your pass being behind you, yeah, real close behind you. It is on your heel. Collins get rid of the sport jacket, trying to look as if you are a business man. Dont play the part, roll up your sleeve and do the part. Listen to the educated folk and you won't look so dumb. Nobody is asking you all to be yes men but at the same time you don't have to look like ass men either. What the three of yall need is some real jobs so you wont have the need to think that the city is a free ride for you all.
William commented at 3/13/2010 4:05:00 PM:
May I please remind everyone that Mr. Plunkett was found NOT GUILTY of the crime that Pittman had him arrested for (harassment, trying to collect after hours)that some of you want to continue to discuss. Mr. Plunkett simply gave this man that HE KNEW a friendly reminder that his girlfriend stopped paying the utility bill and since it was in Marvin's name, he needed to know that he was responsible (just in case he didn't know his girlfriend was no longer paying). This would have never been an issue NOR would it have EVER gone as far as having Mr. Plunkett arrested had sorry, low down selectman (yes, the name of this selectman was mentioned as bringing Marvin to the police station to file the report) gotten his disgusting self involved!!!!!!!! Yes, the selectman convinced Marvin to file a harassment charge against Mr. Plunkett hoping this would get him fired, but instead, it just helped Mr. Plunkett's case since there was NO EVIDENCE that anything took place, but a friendly conversation between two people. Some of you want to talk like this was some HUGE altercation that took place and there was ABSOLUTELY nothing to this. In fact, when Marvin got on the stand, he was clueless as what to say because NOTHING REALLY HAPPENED that night!!!!! In fact when Marvin got on the stand he said that he was just upset at Plunkett b/c he (Marvin) was trying to "get his groove on with the cashier" and Mr. Plunkett messed it up!! Give me a break???? So, get off this please, you dont know what happend and it appears you were not in the courtroom listening to the case, what a waste of taxpayers money for such a stupid case!! Is this the only thing you can find negative abt Mr. Plunkett?? The man does not spend his nights and weekends trying to collect unpaid bills (there are too many of them), he doesn't have time for this. You mean to tell me if someone you were acquainted with saw you on the weekend and reminded you (in a very friendly manner) that you had a bill that needed to be paid you would go straight to the police station and file harassment charges against them?? I dont think so, if you would do this, you had better make sure you pay your bills. So please quit talking like this is some major crime when really is what just a stupid case trying to give Mr. Plunkett a bad rap!!
outsider commented at 3/13/2010 6:06:00 PM:
Why doesn't everyone calm down stop pointing fingers and calling names and just wait to see what happens to all involved. EVERYONE from the Mayor to the electric dude and the lady in the building inspectors office. And the lawsuits. All the fighting and anger between town people takes away from what is going on. Just stay focused and watch and listen and then when something does happen, there will be plenty to talk about. But wait before you praise or bad mouth any of them. Don't let arguements take away from what is happening. Keep an ear and eyes out for the truth...then raise hell. Keep peace in your town you may need each other real soon.
don commented at 3/14/2010 8:49:00 AM:
People have tried to "calm down" but this board continues in it's underhanded dealings. They can't even keep up with simple procedural rules much less run a town. Can you ever remember a time when a city, any city, had as many law suits against it as this town does? This board is a joke !!
Troy commented at 3/14/2010 9:03:00 AM:
Jasper Pittman = Leroy Brooks ENOUGH SAID! Anybody that voted for Pittman should never be allowed in a voting booth as long as they live.
Curious commented at 3/14/2010 1:03:00 PM:
WHY DO THEY KEEP DELETING SUSAN AND HERE OPINIONS?
Justice commented at 3/19/2010 9:51:00 PM:
Okay the good ole boy got his job back. They are cracking down on drunk driving and giving a lot more tickets in Starkville and Columbus. Is our city going to let the officers and the DUI officer start giving tickets to try to stop some of this here? And getting the processed. This seems a little more serious than if Plunkett works for the sity or not. Someone is gonna get killed out on these roads. Let's get them off the roads.
1. Lowndes Narcotics Unit searching for 10 suspects COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. The accidental entrepreneurs STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
3. Dak Prescott acquitted of DUI, speeding STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
4. Starkville man arrested for statutory rape COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY