July 10, 2013 10:18:32 AM
Former alderman concerned with board's action
Although I willingly chose to not run for a third term on the Starkville board of aldermen, I have a vested interest in the future of Starkville. Therefore, I was excited to see the prospect of progress of a new board. However, I am dismayed and puzzled by the decision of the five members of that board who chose to fire Lynn Spruill, one of Starkville's most experienced and talented city employees. Not only was no notice given, but also no explanation was provided and the requests of fellow aldermen who wanted to discuss the matter in executive session or provide a 90 day probationary period was ignored. This has had a negative effect on the morale of our city employees, who wonder if they could also be fired without warning or explanation, and the colleagues on the board who had their requests ignored in their first meeting. This is not the start of a new term that Starkville deserves. I cannot urge the board enough to reconsider their action and allow the mayoral veto to stand. Lynn carries more institutional knowledge than anyone currently on the board except for Roy Perkins, and is able to provide continued insight into existing and upcoming ordinances. At the very least, the board should give themselves the time to get to know her in a professional capacity before passing judgment. Lastly, it is has been widely rumored that the board of aldermen will have a special called meeting during working hours to resolve the issue by overriding the veto. Doing so would further lower the bar by robbing many outraged citizens the opportunity to have their voice heard during citizen comments in a regularly scheduled meeting. That would fly in the face of any comments made by our currently elected board over their commitment to transparency in government. Starkville deserves better.
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