By: Ricki Garrett, PhD, Alderwoman at Large
The newly elected Board of Aldermen have begun the term in a very pro-active and engaged way. The first two meetings have demonstrated a desire to be as well-informed and involved as possible, and this has been shown by the Board’s willingness to table those agenda items that have lacked clarity, substantive data, and clear rationale.
Four agenda items were removed at the first meeting in order to give the Board time to analyze them. Even though it required Board action to bring them back for further discussion, three of them were back on the agenda at Tuesday’s meeting. For that reason, the Board voted to remove them from the agenda on a 6 to 1 vote. Those included the appointment/re-appointment of department heads, amendments to the City of Clinton Zoning Ordinance related to Corridor Signs, and the Site Plan for a mural. The fourth item, the acceptance of a donation of property from the Easthaven Neighborhood Association for the purpose of building a neighborhood park, is also still under review.
The Board did approve the appointment of Barbara Linn to the Planning and Zoning Board and Rob Logan to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and gave the Mayor approval to execute an Agreement with Entergy for Conversion of Street Lighting to LED fixtures. The Board also went into an Executive Session for the purpose of discussing a legal issue and personnel issues.
Because the Mayor serves as the Executive Branch of city government and the Board of Aldermen serves as the legislative branch, it is important for those roles to be clearly delineated. The Board’s actions in its first two meetings have served to demonstrate its understanding of the separate responsibilities and to establish early on a desire to make decisions based on facts, good board policies and strong city codes and regulations. All seven Board Members will be attending the Mississippi Municipal League Conference next week to become more informed on all aspects of municipal governance.
**Space will be provided in each issue of The Clinton Courier to the Board of Aldermen for a recap of each meeting. Aldermen are asked to volunteer to provide this recap for the Courier.