Thursday, September 21, 2006
Mayor vetoes board’s choices
By BARRY BURLESON
Who will be the next police chief and utility manager in Holly Springs is still up in the air.
Mayor Andre’ DeBerry, at the conclusion of a meeting Tuesday, Sept. 12, which primarily focused on the budget, handed out copies of a veto of board order.
In it, he vetoed the board’s action of September 5, when aldermen voted to offer the jobs to one of the applicants in each pool. The motion to hire was made by alderman Tim Liddy and seconded by alderwoman Nancy Hutchens. The names of those selected for police chief and utility manager were not released after the September 5 meeting, pending their acceptance of the positions.
The mayor also attached copies of Section 21-3-15(6) of the Mississippi Code “for an explanation and reason for this veto.”
The section of law refers to “Duties of the mayor” and states “ordinances adopted by the board of aldermen shall be submitted to the mayor. The mayor shall, within 10 days after receiving any ordinance, either approve the ordinance by affixing his signature thereto, or return it to the board of aldermen by delivering it to the municipal clerk together with a written statement setting forth his objections thereto or to any item or part thereof. The term ‘ordinance’ as used in this section shall be deemed to include ordinances, resolutions and orders.”
Section 21-3-15 also refers to “Supervisory authority,” stating the “board of aldermen hires and fires subject to the mayor’s veto; and as the chief executive officer of the municipality, the mayor has superintending control of municipal officers and employees.”
It says the mayor should “insure proper services are provided” by the city.
It also states “while the mayor may provide general oversight and direction in the municipality, the mayor does not have authority to become involved in the daily decisions of a department, such as the police department.”
Candidates for the jobs of Holly Springs police chief and utility manager have been interviewed and reinterviewed in the past months.
The police chief position has been open for more than two years, with Patricia Selman serving as acting chief, while the utility manager job has been open since April.
The mayor and board of aldermen were scheduled to meet Tuesday night of this week, and the hiring for the positions was expected to be a topic of discussion once again.
An override of the mayor’s veto takes two-thirds vote of the board of aldermen. That translates into four votes out of five board members.
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