Roses and thorns: 1/12/14

January 11, 2014 9:40:55 PM



A rose to commemorate the passing of James Strobel, the former Mississippi University for Women president. Strobel, 80, died after being involved in a head-on collision with a truck Wednesday in Jacksonville, Fla. Although Strobel left The W 25 years ago, he is remembered for many pioneering efforts during his 11-year tenure (1977-88), including the founding of the Mississippi School for Math and Science, Mississippi Governor's School and the development of the Plymouth Bluff Environmental Center. Strobel's legacy endures at The W. He will not be forgotten. 




A rose to Columbus Light & Water, which will soon choose a company to install a mobile water meter reading system throughout the city. This system provides up-to-the-hour data so customers can better monitor usage. The new system will make it possible to pinpoint leaks and other malfunctions, potentially saving customers money. That's always a good thing. 




A thorn to the Clay County Board of Supervisors, who defeated a proposal that would have changed the meeting times of a handful of their regular board meetings each year to make the meetings more accessible to residents. It was a modest proposal that came from citizens: Hold a couple of the meetings in the late afternoon or evening. Currently, the board's meetings are held at 9 a.m., which makes it difficult for working people to attend. Supervisors are always saying how they want to be accessible to the people. Saying it is one thing; doing it is often quite another, as this move clearly demonstrates. 




A rose to the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors who agreed to a proposal this week to join forces with 19 other Mississippi counties for aerial mapping, a collaborative effort that is expected to save the county almost $80,000. The last time the county had the mapping performed, the price tag was $118,000. By joining with the other counties, the cost is projected to be a little more than $40,000. In the big scheme of things, $80,000 isn't much compared to the county's $40-million-plus budget. On the other hand, you can do a lot with $80,000. It also demonstrates that our supervisors are diligent in the use of the taxpayers dollars. 




A rose to Randal Montgomery, who is expected to be officially named as the new football coach at Columbus High when the school board meets on Jan. 21. Montgomery replaces Tony Stanford, who resigned after compiling a 22-23 record in four seasons as the Falcons' coach. Montgomery's credentials are impressive -- the Hazlehurst High head coach led his team to the Class 3A state title game in each of the past three seasons, including a title in 2012. His record of 43-4 at Hazlehurst suggests he knows how to put together a consistent winner. Welcome to the Friendly City, coach!