July 20, 2013 9:38:04 PM
Marshall Ramsey, Mississippi's award wining cartoonist, published a cartoon in the July 12 edition of The Clarion Ledger that adequately describes a similar situation in Starkville. The cartoon depicts a pothole in a street with "JACKSON CITY GOVERNMENT" inscribed in the center. Above the pothole a sign reads "ONE POTHOLE WE'D CHEER SEEING REPAIRED."
Starkville's government pothole was created during the first aldermen meeting on July 2 when Lynn Spruill, the city's award-winning CAO, was fired and given 24 hours to clear out her office. No explanation was given and no discussion allowed.
Alderman Roy Perkins received an award this week at the Mississippi Municipal League's annual meeting in Biloxi. Perkin's award was for length of time served. Spruill received an earlier award for meritorious service. Ironically, her award was eloquently presented by Perkins, one of five aldermen who voted to fire her.
The black eye that resulted from this firing has been an embarrassment to the city and an insult to Spruill because she is more qualified than anyone else for this position, and the aldermen know that. No explanation is legally required for dismissal; however, for ethical reasons, the citizens of Starkville deserve to know why.
Starkville isn't the only city having "pothole" problems in the Golden Triangle. Sturgis and Columbus had similar meltdowns in their first meeting of newly elected officials. Damage has resulted, but these problems can be corrected.
The aldermen can correct their mistake at their next meeting on July 23. Mississippi's College Town does not want this pothole to become a sinkhole like that which engulfed a portion of Seffner, Florida in March.
Starkville has voted. Tighten your seat belts, citizens. It looks like we might have a long four-year bumpy ride!