New Brookhaven city board gets off to slow start

Published 9:27 pm Thursday, July 6, 2017

The first order of business for the new Brookhaven Board of Aldermen Wednesday night was to pray, right before heading into a closed-door executive session for over an hour.

With several first-time aldermen gathering officially for the first time since being sworn into office, the meeting was expected to move at a slower pace than the usual two-hour session. It definitely did, with business taking four and a half hours to wrap up.

When the board re-opened the meeting, they approved Samantha Melancon as city clerk. Melancon, who served as deputy clerk since 2011, will take over the position left vacant when Mike Jinks retired June 30.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Melancon was his recommendation for the position.

The board approved her salary of $55,000 with a cap at $62,000, however, they’ll authorize a market analysis to look at city clerk salaries in comparable cities to determine if changes need to be made to her salary.

Melancon was also approved as the health insurance plan administrator and was appointed to the Linbrook Alliance Board.

Brenda Smith will be replacing Melancon as deputy city clerk. The board approved her annual salary of $40,000.

Other new hires

On a roll, they approved Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins’ new hires. Collins moved two part-time dispatchers to full time and hired two new patrolmen.

During the meeting the newly-elected chief announced several promotions in his department. Chris Case was promoted from captain to assistant chief, David Johnson moved from commander to major, Michael Norris and Tecompsha Warren went from sergeant to lieutenant and Kevin Thompson moved from corporal to sergeant. Patrol officer Zack Moak was promoted to corporal.

Each promotion came with an increase in salary of several thousand dollars for each individual.

Mosquito control

Kris New with Vector Disease and Mosquito Control updated the board on its plans for Brookhaven now that the company was awarded the mosquito contract. New said Brandon Cobb has been named manager of the Brookhaven contract. He will be the point of contact and will be keeping the board apprised of efforts made to control the mosquito population in the city.

“We were awarded this contract on June 20,” New said. “We tried starting work the very next night, but that tropical storm came through, so we started spraying on June 22. We have sprayed the entire city several times. We have some traps set and have an office location now on 110 Court St.”

Other business

In other business, the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen approved:

• A one-year anniversary pay increase of $1 per hour for Deputy Court Clerk Beayunca Fields.

• A pay increase of $1 per hour for Deputy Clerk James Laird, due to assuming new duties.

• Accepted the Multi-Modal Funding Agreement in which the Brookhaven Airport will receive a $173,903 grant from Mississippi Department of Transportation for improvements.

• Approved the resignation of Michael Scott Reeves from the police department effective June 26 due to health issues.

The board will next meet July 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the city board room.