By Jane Clark Summers
RIPLEY - Tippah County voters will decide in November if they want to go to a unit system of government.
Unit system is the name given to combined county operations, instead of the "beat" system, where each supervisor's district maintains its own offices and facilities.
A petition promoting the unit system in Tippah County and circulated by a group calling itself Concerned Citizens for Better County Government garnered more than 2,500 signatures. At least 1,500 qualified voters were required for the issue to be placed on the Nov. 4 ballot.
The unit system of county government is generally considered to be more efficient because of its central purchasing office and oversight by a professional county administrator.
Chancery Clerk Danny Shackelford said the petitions were filed with his office Aug. 26, certified by the Tippah County Election Commission on Aug. 27 and submitted to the board of supervisors Aug. 29.
The referendum will state: "Do you want the county-wide Unit System of Road Maintenance in Tippah County?" with a place to mark "Yes" or "No."
Forty-five counties in Mississippi operate under the unit system, including eight in Northeast Mississippi: Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Marshall, Monroe, Oktibbeha and Union.