Thursday, May 24, 2007
Smith new board attorney
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors voted May 14 to hire Kent Smith as its new attorney to replace Tacey Clark Clayton Locke, who recently resigned.
The vote came after an executive session.
According to chancery clerk Chuck Thomas, the board selected Smith over other prospects because Smith-Whaley law firm has partners who could attend meetings in the event Smith is sick.
The motion to hire Smith passed by a 4-1 vote with Supervisor George Zinn III voting against the motion. Three other local attorneys applied for the position as well.
Supervisors heard a proposal from Elijah Wilson, detective with Holly Springs Police Department, to provide probation service to justice court.
Wilson said his private service would collect fines and restitution for the court. He would be bonded for $50,000, a level that justice court clerks are secured, according to Monet Autry, justice court clerk.
She said a check and balance system with judges is about impossible with the absence of a probation service now going beyond a year in Marshall County.
“It is left up to the clerks to keep putting people back on the docket and tying up the jail with warrants,” Autry said. “Both judges have agreed we need a probation service. Wilson is well known and has presented his firm.”
Autry said it was February 2006 when the last probation worker served in the county.
Wilson said he would also like to provide probation service to youth court, if the county secures his services for justice court.
Supervisors chose to discuss the proposal further in executive session.
Later the board opened bids for asphalt and equipment and approved mid-May claims for a total of $137,327.
County administrator Larry Hall apprised the board of three important meetings and of a planning grant for $35,000 to help develop documents and a design for railroad overpasses at Byhalia and Potts Camp.
The board discussed a beer license in Supervisor Keith Taylor’s district. A motion for approval of the license for a business in the Barton area by Eddie Dixon failed on a vote of two yes and two abstentions - one by Taylor and the other by Ronnie Joe Bennett.
“I guess they will have to take it to chancery court,” said Dixon, after explaining that he does not drink beer but the county is a wet county.
Supervisor Willie Flemon nor George Zinn III would make the motion, both saying they didn’t feel right making a motion on an issue in another supervisor’s district.
Taylor and Bennett have historically abstained from voting on beer license requests even when the business is located in their districts.
The next meetings of the board of supervisors are scheduled for June 4, June 11, and June 18. Meetings are held in the board room at 103B Market Street and open at 9 a.m.
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