July 9, 2009
STARKVILLE -- Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman on Wednesday issued a veto of a controversial move made last week by the outgoing Board of Aldermen.
Wiseman vetoed the board''s decision to turn the city''s Park Commission, which oversees the Parks and Recreation Department, from an autonomous group of seven board members into an advisory body, which would have to report to the mayor and Board of Aldermen. The advisory body would have had to get future spending, personnel and other administrative actions approved by the Board of Aldermen, whereas the Commission as an autonomous body makes those decisions in-house.
In a letter to City Clerk Markeeta Outlaw, Wiseman said he issued the veto for a number of reasons. One was because the city''s parks and recreation programs have seen "unprecedented growth" throughout the history of the Park Commission, he said in the letter. Abolishing the Park Commission would threaten to slow the progress of those programs, he said.
Another one of Wiseman''s concerns involved the city''s 2 percent food and beverage tax, and language in a state statute which designates 40 percent of those tax moneys specifically for the Park Commission.
"Absent action by the Mississippi Legislature, the abolishment of the Park Commission places such revenue in jeopardy," Wiseman said.