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Group plans to keep watch on Wesson issues

WESSON — A crowd of about 30 residents gathered outside townhall Tuesday night to discuss how they can work to make the townbetter.

The Concerned Citizens Group met for an hour, taking turnstalking about several topics of interest.

“You’re going to have to be organized, and you’re going to havesomeone to stand up and say ‘this is what we need,'” said MartyStroud to the group.

The recent mayoral candidate suggested the group members makeformal written complaints through town hall about their grievances.This would better document problems and hopefully have themresolved in a timely manner, he said.

Stroud said each person should keep a copy of their complaintform as proof if the issue is not addressed.

The concerned citizens also plan to attend board of aldermenmeetings regularly and review minutes from the meetings to see ifthey are accurate.

More representation of the people of Wesson is one of the topgoals of the group.

“The government is for us — for the people, by the people,”said Harold Alexander, one of the key speakers.

The group elected Stroud and Jeanette Munn as spokespersons tobring the group’s issues to the board of aldermen at monthlymeetings. The first issue they will address is the policedepartment.

Resident Ken Roberts explained that the group needs to havelegitimate grievances addressed in the proper way. He suggestedthat people not just attack the police department, because it’spurpose is to protect and serve the people. Citizens should pointout areas of concern, he said.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t like the law, period, and wedon’t need that,” he said.

A petition was passed around earlier this month about makingchanges in the department, but the group will start another one tofurther explain their complaints. Some of the issues discussedTuesday were people being treated unkindly by officers, sexualharassment from officers, and officers being hired from areasoutside Wesson.

The group plans to meet again at 8 p.m., Monday, Aug. 4, at townhall to finalize the petition before obtaining signatures. Theyhope to meet inside town hall, which they had planned Tuesday. Thegroup was forced to meet outside when they could not get a doorkey.

Mayor-elect Alton Shaw was invited but was unable to attend themeeting because of a work conflict.