Concerned residents of Washington County are planning to be present at Tuesday’s Washington County Board of Supervisors meeting to discuss some recent appointments made at the first meeting of year.
For those who would like to speak, concerned residents have been added to the agenda to address the board at 9:30 a.m.
Board president Carl McGee said residents are always welcome to make a statement, inquiry or voice a concern at the meetings.
“Any time we have meetings, we make sure that everybody has an opportunity to be heard, which is why we say, ‘Are you good?’ or ‘Did we miss anyone?’” McGee said. “We’ve always, in every meeting, given citizens an opportunity to be heard, whether you’re on the agenda or not. If people show up that want to be heard, they are going to be recognized as we always do.”
Susan Shamoon, a local business owner, said she plans on speaking on behalf of residents who are concerned with the board’s recent appointments.
At the first BOS meeting of the year, Willie Griffin was appointed as the new board attorney and IMS Engineers of Jackson was hired as the new county engineer.
“The financial fallout from what they’re doing is incomprehensible,” she said, noting she thinks the county is looking to lose millions of dollars without local firms like Hooker Engineering Services.
“If someone has a $100,000 payroll, take out the taxes and that payroll was going out to pay somebody who’s going to shop, go buy groceries, buy cleaning supplies, pay cleaners for their clothes, they’re going to go to the hospital, local clinics, and when you start factoring all that in and rolling it over and over and over for every person who worked here … to even think they would fire people because they have no reason is mind boggling,” Shamoon said.
Shamoon said she thinks the board of supervisors made a poor decision on Jan. 6 to let the two businesses go without a valid reason.
“If people can’t make a living here, they’re going to leave. The Hooker family could have gone anywhere else but they came home,” Shamoon said.
District two supervisor Tommy Benson III acknowledged infrastructure as a primary concern and reason for his vote to hire IMS Engineers weeks ago.
“Hooker Engineering Services did a great job,” Benson said, also pointing out the projects they successfully completed during their tenure.
“Roads and bridges are the thing every city and municipality has to fight because our federal government hasn’t put the money into infrastructure as is needed, so the question becomes ‘Who can do the most with a little?’” Benson said.
On the appointment of Willie Griffin as the board attorney, Benson said, “His accessibility and knowledge of the job is an asset, he is one of the most knowledgeable attorneys probably in the state of Mississippi on county law and everyone would agree,” adding, “he did it for nine years, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t do well in this term.”
Shamoon said the manner of which the BOS made this decision was insulting to the Hooker family and Power.
All local residents are always encouraged to call their county supervisor and express any thoughts or concerns they may have and attend the meetings.
The numbers of the Washington County Board of Supervisors are:
* President Carl McGee, 662-822-6484
* Lee Gordan, 662-822-5865
* Tommy Benson, 662-822-6487
* Jerry Redmond, 662-820-5134
* Mala Brooks, 662-379-0934
District 4 Supervisor Mala Brooks said she would like to hear what the concerned residents have to say at the upcoming meeting.
“I respect everyone’s opinion and I’m willing to listen and work with anyone in an effort to improve local government,” Brooks said.