Aldermen approve plan for quick notification of special meetings

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 26, 2005

A resolution approved Monday by the board of aldermen will allowfor quicker notification of board members in the event a specialmeeting is needed, city officials said.

The action, approved during a recessed meeting to address somepersonnel issues, allows aldermen to be called instead of having tobe physically served with notice of a special meeting. The cityclerk must certify that all board members were contacted, or elsenotice will be deemed insufficient.

Mayor Bob Massengill said the city planned to continue to usepolice officers to serve notices of special meetings. However, hesaid the resolution method could be used in the “rarest ofcircumstances” during emergencies.

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“There are times when you need to respond pretty quickly,” themayor said.

Massengill said the resolution is in accordance with an attorneygeneral’s ruling on the matter.

One item unchanged is a prohibition against “polling” of boardmembers over the telephone.

“That’s blatantly against the law,” said City Attorney JoeFernald.

The resolution addresses authority for governing boards to meetand how meetings may be called. Notice is supposed to be giventhree hours before the scheduled gathering.

Unchanged is a separate law addressing public notice.

Sect. 25-41-13 of the Miss. Code states a meeting notice is tobe posted in a public place within one hour of the time a meetingis called. Fernald said the city has contacted local media as a”courtesy” to notify them of meetings.

In other action during Monday’s meeting, the board discussed twopersonnel matters in executive session for about two hours. Nospecifics on the issues were given and no action taken followingthe closed meeting.

“We hope that will be resolved at the next board meeting,”Massengill said.