Brookhaven resident tells City Board to increase transparency on ordinances, fines
Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Brookhaven citizen Bernetta M. Character expressed concerns to the Board that complete listings of ordinances for the city and corresponding fines for going against them were not readily available to the public. She recently paid $371.25 for a fine, she said.
The State of Mississippi allows cities to set fines without making ordinances, Board attorney Bobby Moak said. However, City Prosecutor Greg Malta is comparing current fines and ordinances to make sure all are updated and on file in the City Court.
“Keep in mind — some of these fines are going to change as state fines change,” Moak said.
“What was the reason for the violation?” asked Ward 2 Alderman Shannon Moore, who joined the meeting via conference call.
“Leading a parade without a permit,” Character replied.
“We can’t talk about it too much because it’s before the city’s judicial system,” Moak said, and explained the fine was $250 plus state assessment fees.
“Question,” Moore said. “What about birthday parades, etc. … do they require permits?”
Moak said they do. Permits are requested through the Brookhaven Police Department.
“What about what can be on your posters (in a parade)?” Character asked.
“That would be covered by the First Amendment,” Moak replied.
“They’re going to have the truth on them,” Character said, and thanked the board.