Letter to the editor: Both sides of the story in Caledonia

July 13, 2012 10:33:07 AM



There are always two sides to every story in Caledonia. 


The policy for water technician certification has been in place for several years. The water department technician had to take the exam within a certain amount of time. Once the technician passed the exam, a one dollar per hour raise would be added to his pay. Once the technician became certified, another dollar per hour would be added. 


In the case of Mr. Robertson, he passed his exam in June 2011. He received his dollar per hour raise at that point. The signing of the water certificate is left up to the supervisor of the water department. He works with the technician on a daily basis. He, more than any one, would know when the technician is ready to be certified. 


Credibility has to be given to the supervisor to determine when an employee is ready to advance. Once the supervisor signs the certificate, he is taking the responsibility that the employee can run a water system from top to bottom. 


The Board has not changed the requirements for water certification. A booklet was presented to the Board of Aldermen outlining duties that a Class B operator needs to know how to perform. 


A person must pass a written test and a driving test before a license will be issued. Failure to pass both would results in not getting a driver's license. 


State law, under The Mississippi Code of 1972 Annotated, lays out the authority of the Mayor and the Board of Alderman in a code charter form of government. 


The Mayor cannot be involved in the day-to-day operation of the municipal departments. The Mayor only has the authority to oversee that services are provided by the departments. The Board of Aldermen can not micromanage any municipal department. The Board has authority to ask questions of each department head to better perform their duties as Aldermen. 


Back pay can not be paid. This constitutes an illegal donation as defined by the State Auditor. Payment can only be made from the signing of the certificate forward. 


The authority to hire and fire municipal employees is the duty of the Board of Aldermen. Municipal employees serve at the will and pleasure of the Board of Aldermen. Employees can be dismissed with or without cause. In my opinion, with today's economy, employees should be given every opportunity possible to prove themselves. 


There seems to have been a great deal of finger pointing taking place. Mainly because the whole story was not told. 


The Caledonia Board of Aldermen meet the first Tuesday of each month. Come to the board meetings and see for yourself. Get the information first hand and get both sides of the story. 


The sun always shines in Caledonia. 


Steve Honnoll  


The writer is a Caledonia alderman.