Aldermen name 3 Parks reps as another resigns

July 3, 2013 9:10:00 PM

Carl Smith - [email protected]


Despite aldermen naming three residents to the Starkville Parks Commission, the board will have to deal with one more open seat as Ward 3 representative Ray Berryhill resigned his position effective Wednesday, city officials announced Tuesday. 


The board voted 6-1 - Ward 3 Alderman David Little cast the lone "Nay" vote -- to reappoint Ward 6 representative Dorothy Isaac back to the Parks commission, and unanimously picked LaKesha Perry and Betty Robertson to fill out terms for Wards 5 and 7, respectively. 


Vacancies on the Parks commission were created when Ward 5 Alderman Scott Maynard and Ward 7 representative resigned their seats last month. State statute required Maynard to relinquish his SPC seat before he assumed his new role with the seat; Taylor, the leader of the Oktibbeha County Democratic Party and local NAACP chapter, cited time requirements for his other commitments in his resignation letter. 


Aldermen first nominated Lawson Graves to serve Berryhill's unexpired term but then declined to take action on the matter since the exiting commissioner's resignation did not become official until Wednesday. 


Perry is a former Parks and Playful City USA volunteer, while Robertson, a 29-year employee for the Mississippi Department of Health, works with Sixteen Section Missionary Baptist Church's youth department. 


The e-packet for Tuesday's aldermen meeting shows other residents expressed interest in the vacancies, including former Ward 6 alderman candidate Lerin Pruitt, Mississippi State University kinesiology department's sport administration program co-director Alan Morse and Ward 6 resident Jane Loveless. 


The Ward 5 term expires next year, while the Ward 7 seat will roll off the board in 2017. Berryhill's Ward 3 term expires two years later. 


Aldermen also unanimously named Kayla Gilmore, Nancy Walsh and Julia Williams to the Municipal Election Committee and split votes appointing former alderman P.C. McLaurin and Alfreda Outlaw to the group's remaining two seats. Ward 2 Alderman Lisa Wynn and Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn opposed Outlaw's appointment, and Wynn was the lone "Nay" vote against McLaurin's confirmation. 


Terms for the five-person election board expire in 2017. 


The board also named William Michael Brooks to an open planning and zoning seat vacated by Ward 4 Alderman Jason Walker and appointed Ward 2 resident Ryan Ashford to the Starkville Historic Preservation Commission. Brooks' term expires in 2015, while Ashford's ends a year later.Vacancies still remain on the library board of trustees, board of adjustments and appeals, HPC (two) and the entire three-person stormwater hearing board.

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