Itawamba County's new board of supervisors

The new Itawamba County Board of Supervisors met for the first time, Monday. The board includes, front row, from left, 5th District Supervisor Bill Sheiffield; Chancery Clerk Michelle Clouse; 4th District Supervisor Eric “Tiny” Hughes; 3rd District Supervisor Terry Moore; and, second row, from left, board attorney Bo Russell; county administrator Gary Franks; 2nd District Supervisor Cecil “Ike” Johnson; and 1st District Supervisor Donnie Wood.

The Itawamba County Board of Supervisors held its first meeting of the new term, Monday, with the county’s newly elected officials getting their feet wet in the business of running the local government.

Newly elected officials included 1st District Supervisor Donnie Wood; 3rd District Supervisor Terry Moore; and 5th District Supervisor Bill Sheffield.

As part of the board’s first order of business, supervisors voted to reappoint 4th District Supervisor Eric “Tiny” Hughes as president. Hughes has served as board president since February 2019. The board appointed Sheffield as vice president.

Rehiring the county’s various employees was the first order of business for the new board. State law mandates that new boards start with what is essentially a clean slate. Employees who work for the county must be rehired with each new term. This requires a vote from the board.

County Administrator Gary Franks gave the new officials insight and explanation to various positions and how they operate. The board voted to rehire the county’s employees.

Later in the meeting, Itawamba County Fire Coordinator Patrick Homan expounded oh how Itawamba County’s 12 volunteer fire departments operate and how rebate funds are allocated to each one. Of the 12, two fire departments, Liberty Grove and Cardsville, are no longer allocated funds because of inactivity.

Homan encouraged the newly elected supervisors to attend Mississippi Fire Academy’s Elected Official Day. Attendees can tour the academy, use equipment firsthand and meet with officials from the rating bureau for a question/answer session.

“It’s a great way to help you understand the importance of sending volunteers to training and how the rating bureau works,” he told the group.

1st District Supervisor Donnie Wood expressed interest in attending the event. The rest of the board agreed the training would be beneficial.

Homan said other county officials had attended in the past and felt it would help the newly elected supervisors better understand the system.

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