November 20, 2012 10:38:29 AM
STARKVILLE -- The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors voted Monday night to approve the appointment of Zelma Talley to a four-person board representing Oktibbeha County in the new Golden Triangle Regional Development Link.
With District 1 Supervisor John Montgomery participating via a conference call, Talley was approved by a 4-1 vote. District 5 Supervisor Joe Williams was the sole dissenting vote.
District 3 Supervisor Marvel Howard said Talley has 27 years of experience owning and operating businesses and recently returned to finish her business degree at Mississippi State, graduating magna cum laude.
"(Talley) is very good with numbers," Howard said. "We want to make this work, we wouldn't just throw anyone up there."
The position is temporary through the interim three-year contract between the GTRD Link, Starkville, the county, the Greater Starkville Development Partnership and the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority. Combined, the four entities will be paying $350,000 a year to the GTRD Link.
At the end of the interim contract, a new appointment willhave to be made, or Talley could be retained.
In other business, the Oxford-based urban planning firm Slaughter and Associates, who gave a presentation on a comprehensive plan to the supervisors in October, will likely be visiting the board again at its next meeting in December.
Golden Triangle Planning and Development District was chosen to develop a comprehensive plan for the county in 2009, beginning with a new 9-1-1 address system. The system was completed in 2011, but there had been very little progress on the comprehensive plan beyond that addition.
Mike Slaughter told the board in October that a county like Oktibbeha, with such rapid growth and development, needs the guidance of a comprehensive plan to ensure a vision is carried out 20 to 25 years down the road.
On Monday GTPDD Director Rudy Johnson said his meeting with Slaughter went well and that he does not have a problem with the firm taking over the comprehensive plan duties.
"I think they are very capable of getting it done," Johnson said.
Johnson noted that if Slaughter is hired some expenses the county has already incurred will be duplicated.
"Just make sure we don't have to pay for those things, like land use evaluation and all that," Johnson. "If you want to go with (Slaughter) you have my blessing."
No official action was taken, but board president Orlando Trainer said he will try to get Slaughter and Associates at the board's next meeting Dec. 4.
Monday night also saw a motion to approve payroll changes by District 4 Supervisor Daniel Jackson die for lack of a second.
After the meeting, neither Trainer and Williams would be specific, but both said they felt there was simply not enough pertinent information to approve the changes.
"I just felt like what we requested was not in order to be approved at this time," Trainer said. "It's a personnel matter so we really can't go into a lot of detail."