OKOLONA – The Okolona City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 12.

Among the discussion that took place, was a lengthy discussion on the ruling Judge Ford passed down about the need for a special election for Town Marshall.

Mayor Sherman Carouthers informed the board that he had set the date for the special election for July 21.

The board could not agree about payment for the position, as the judge's ruling declared the office vacated, and Mayor Carouthers took that to mean that an interim appointee would have to be named. However, some board members took it to mean that everything would remain the way it was until the results of the special election were declared.

City Attorney Gene Barton weighed in with the correspondence he had received from the State Auditor, stating that continued payment for the current appointee would not be scrutinized so long as the city filed a motion with the circuit court to have Judge Ford clarify his ruling. He said it was considered a show of good faith to file the motion and continue as they were until the clarification was handed down.

However, the attorney who represents the current marshal addressed the board and urged them to follow a different path. He said the wording that the office was vacated is merely a formality to trigger the processes needed to declare a special election. He presented the board a resolution he said was “bulletproof” and asked that they adopt the resolution instead of filing the motion with the circuit court.

After some deliberation, the board elected to follow the recommendation of the city attorney and file the motion for clarification and continue as usual until a ruling is issued.

Board members also:

– Adopted the agenda with corrections.

– Opened the floor for citizen comments, of which there were none.

– Reviewed and accepted financial reports for the city.

– Reviewed and accepted financial reports for Okolona Electric Department.

– Approved docket of claims for the city.

– Approved docket of claims for the electric department.

– Approved minutes of the April 14 meeting.

– Discussed and approved a resolution from Brandon Comer to restructure old bonds and long-term debt loans with USDA belonging to the City of Okolona.

– Approved extending the city-wide curfew in accordance with the Board of Supervisors extension of the county-wide curfew.

– Approved ratifying Mayor Carouthers's submission of 2020 FAA CARES ACT Airport Grant in the amount of $30,000, which he submitted prior to a board vote because of deadline, and the city was awarded the full amount.

– Approved Environmental Evaluation Control Professional Service and the removal and disposal of Asbestos from two locations.

– Discussed purging the voting books, but took no action as county books are used in elections now according to the mayor.

– Approved board's selection of Eldridge Lowe as election comissioner for the upcoming special election of City Marshal to be held on July 21 in accordance with Section 18 of the city's charter.

– Heard Mayor Carouthers's appointments of Angela Bobo and Rafandia Hill as his two selections.

– Approved the mayor to sign the resolution for USDA Grant for two pickup trucks for the fire department pending money availability.

– Approved Shelley Adams with Three Rivers Planning and Development District to run a non-legal ad in the Okolona Messenger for USDA Grant.

– Voted down a motion to apply to Three Rivers for funding for the Pearl Davis Swimming Pool repair project. The motion failed by a majority vote of 3-2.

– Approved closing one of the Money Market checking accounts and the regular checking account that the electric department has with the Bank of Okolona because of the fees being accrued due to inactivity. The money would be relocated to the department's other account.

– Approved advertising for bids for 2020 street paving project.

– Approved advertising for appraisal for city-owned property located at 105 South Child Street.

– Adjourned.

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