by Calvin Ishee

In the last scheduled board meeting for 2019, the Pass Christian Board of Aldermen were met with a surprising resignation by Pass Christian City IT Manager Shawn Jerome.  Following this item presented, Ward 3 Alderman Anthony Hall requested an executive session to discuss the matter.

Although no explanation was given after the execution session ended; in a conversation with PC attorney Malcolm Jones after the board meeting, he expressed that “Shawn advised that he had recently been unhappy working for the City. This was a surprise because the City has been very satisfied with his work”.  Jerome was unavailable for further comment.

The Board unanimously authorized advertising the IT Manager position as a part-time employee at the current salary and a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a contractor to provide IT Management and Support to the City. Allied Technology Group, LLC, has been temporarily hired to assist the City with IT management and support until a new IT Manager is hired.

In monetary actions the Board approved a $100 donation to the Krewe of Epic Times for their fundraiser; a mobile food vendor lease with Barrett and Barrett, LLC for $450.66 per month; increase of $10,280 to DNA Underground, LLC, for a fire hydrant replacement project; acceptance of an unsolicited donation to the PC Fire Department of a $349 HP15 Laptop a $49.46 Roaster Oven from WalMart; a $125 rental fee waiver for the PC Volunteer Fire Department for it’s Annual Dinner; initial membership registration fee of $100 to the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police; and $80,168.20 in Claims Docket expenses.

The City is seeking a Request for Proposals for a new Commercial Development/New Restaurant Opportunity at the Pass Christian East Harbor. This is another effort by the City to attract new businesses to the Pass. One goal is to create a long term lease with an operation that provides a destination restaurant and/or eating, entertainment and related retail operation with a distinctive menu/experience that will cater to visitors and residents and draw people to the area for a memorable experience. Some have called this area a valuable “untapped resource” that could be of benefit to the business, the City as well as Pass Christian residents.

In the personnel arena, the BOA approved pay raises for Pass Christian law enforcement officers Sergeants William Brett and David Hart; resignation of police officer Alex Bryan; hiring of Rene Acker Jr. as a meter reader and Tom Buckley as a temporary contract meter reader; appointed Carol Church to the Historical Preservation Commission and hired Steve Simpson and Michelle Luber Elliott as Municipal Prosector Pro Tem contractors.

Additionally, the board unanimously passed was a Resolution to the Mississippi Legislature requesting adoption of an amendment to Local and Private Law 1675, 2013 Regular Session,  to allow the City to expand the area within the City Limits, where golf carts and low speed vehicles may be operated. Some restrictions will include high traffic roads such as Espy and Menge as well as the crossing of Highway 90. Several other cities have made similar requests to the State Legislative and have been approved accordingly. A copy of the resolution can be found at City Hall.

Mayor Leo “Chipper” McDermott led the Public Comments portion of the meeting by stating “Christmas in the Pass was a very nice event” that was well attended and enjoyed by all. Ward 2 Alderwoman Regina Charlot wished everyone a “Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year”.

At the conclusion of the meeting Ward 3 Alderman Anthony Hall requested that they close the meeting in honor of former Pass Christian Comptroller, John McCormick. City Attorney Malcolm Jones added, “Mr. McCormick  helped us through a very tough time and he never asked for anything, it was good having him” during those very challenging times.