Thursday, January 19, 2012
Bullies causing problems in city
By SUE WATSON
Two residents from Sanders Street in The Meadows voiced concern about bullying in the neighborhood at a recent meeting of the Holly Springs Board of Aldermen.
One resident said a petition for the city to do something about young people hanging out, shooting and “kicking up a lot of noise” was circulated with 35 names of neighbors who are worried.
The problem has been reported and the bullies quieten down until police leave, they said. Bullets were fired into one home.
Mayor Andre’ DeBerry suggested police be called when a situation is happening, get a tag number and for citizens to file a complaint with police.
“You call the police and we heard boys tell police, ‘you better not come over here,’ ” the resident said.
DeBerry said increased patrols have been discussed and citizens should set up a neighborhood watch and call police when something looks out of the norm.
Streets that are experiencing the worst problem with bullies are Shelby and Sanders, the resident said.
“There have been some arrests,” the mayor said. “We don’t want y’all to not be able to rest at night.”
Next up the mayor was asked about the Model City Initiative, now being undertaken in locales around the country, including Memphis, Tenn., Atlanta, Ga., and Washington, D.C.
He said it is an effort to “create a more perfect union” and to address ills across the country in education, crime, poverty, cultural issues, and poor health and other blights on society.
“It is an initiative that puts in practical solutions – looks at the city from within to fashion solutions to our problems,” DeBerry said.
The structure calls for a 45-member executive committee, which was set to begin work January 13. The Mississippi Municipal League is supporting the concept. With that introduction, the mayor asked for a resolution from the board of aldermen in support of the concept. The resolution passed unanimously.
Afterward, the mayor announced he had vetoed a motion to give raises to three individuals who were taking over more responsibility at the utility department. He said he wants to leave salary issues until the budget planning process in the summer that are implemented the first of the fiscal year in October.
Alderman Harvey Payne argued that adjustments should be made now if a person moved up into a supervisory role and is working at expanded duties without adequate compensation. He motioned to overide the veto. A vote was taken with the override failing 3-1. Alderman Calvin James voted against the override and alderman Johnnie Ree Bagley-Johnson recused herself.
Alderman Russell Johnson expressed dismay, arguing the salaries are not consistently applied. He said the salaries should be tied to the position, not the individual.
“The bottom line, all police are not paid adequate salaries,” Johnson said. “They should be paid more because they put their lives on the line. Their salaries have been unfair for years. Now, the years of experience is an issue. Salary should increase with years of experience.”
DeBerry said they did, starting in about 2007.
Johnson said the money is in the budget to pay policemen better and it should be used.
In department reports, fire chief Kenny Holbrook asked to sell a 1980 model truck which no longer matches the requirements for the city department’s fire rating requirements.
The board approved the measure.
Payne asked for a report on a request from Rust College to help solve a sewer supply problem on lots it wants to build on.
Hollingsworth said the holidays caught everyone busy or on vacation and he will offer information at the next board meeting.
DeBerry was asked about applications for city attorney and city prosecutor.
DeBerry said there are four applications for attorney and three for prosecutor.
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