Personnel request could send supervisors behind closed doors

March 2, 2013 10:07:21 PM

Carl Smith - [email protected]


County supervisors could go behind doors for a personnel matter during their 9 a.m. Monday board meeting at the county courthouse. 


The board faces a light load as only three agenda items -- an adjustment request by the county tax assessor, a request to repair and renovate Old Highway 25 and a personnel request -- are listed as new business. The usual county housekeeping matters -- road reports and pay orders or changes -- will also be discussed. 


Specific details about the personnel request were not available at press time, but the agenda item originated from County Tax Assessor Allen Morgan's office. The Mississippi Open Meetings Act allows governing boards to discuss personnel matters in executive session and omit sensitive documents about the topic from public view. 


County Administrator Don Posey said Friday the board could handle the matter behind closed doors. 


The agenda states supervisors will discuss the matter at 9:50 a.m., but the timing will be based upon the pace of the meeting. Supervisors could also vote to amend Monday's agenda and place the item at the end of the meeting. 


Mississippi law states governing boards must begin a meeting in open session before moving to executive session. 


As for Old Highway 25, Board President Orlando Trainer said the county is attempting to obtain funding through the Surface Transportation Program for renovation needs. County Engineer Clyde Pritchard is expected to discuss the road's issues Monday. The road runs through Districts 4 and 5. 


"There is quite a bit of work that needs to be done from the city limits to the new highway," Trainer said. "If the public wants to understand that need, they can take the drive and see for themselves. I don't know yet if we will have enough funding to do the entire thing, but the need for work is great." 


County Road Manager Victor Collins said his road crews are now waiting for spring weather to arrive so they can ramp up projects listed in the county's four-year road plan. The county is currently preparing for state aid road inspections, he said. 


Collins says his crews then could begin infrastructure work as funding becomes available. 


In March, supervisors approved a road plan which outlines paving, reclamation and build work for almost 67 miles of infrastructure over the next four years. The plan is estimated to cost approximately $10 million. 


Trainer is expected to miss Monday's meeting while traveling to Washington, D.C. District 1 Supervisor and Board Vice President John Montgomery will lead the session. 


Trainer's absence creates a situation where supervisors could reach deadlock with potential votes. If Monday attendance includes all supervisors except Trainer, only four representatives will be present. 


Supervisors are also expected to contract with the Mississippi firm Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens and Cannada PLLC for an annual bond-payment report which will detail how the county covered its previous loans. 


The matter is a simple housekeeping exercise, Trainer said, to ensure bond-repayment processes are documented and in order.

Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch