by Calvin Ishee

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Pass Christian Board of Alderman voted 4-0 to keep the City’s voluntary mask resolution in place until their November 2nd Board meeting.

Even though Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has rescinded the States mask mandate, the board members felt that it was still important to encourage residents to wear masks while in public.

Ward 2 Alderwoman Regina Charlot commented, “I’d like to keep it. We’ve also got Cruisin’ the Coast. I want something over nothing”.  Ward 1 Alderman Buddy Clarke also noted,  “For me it’s about personal responsibility. Recommend we keep it”.

The Board also approved the continuation of its COVID 19 Local Emergency Proclamation. Ward 3 Alderman Anthony Hall was not present to vote on the matter.

The month of October 2020 has been declared Domestic Violence Month. Unfortunately, domestic violence negatively impacts millions of Americans. It doesn’t take into consideration whether a person is male or female, nor does it consider race or financial condition.  Domestic violence comes in many forms: physical, mental, emotional, sexual and economic abuse.

It’s been reported that the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence provided emergency shelter and care support services for 2,196 victims of violence and received 15,374 calls to its crisis hotline in 2019. Citizens are encouraged to “do your part” to end domestic violence in our community.

Debate continued regarding the policy allowing City employees to drive City vehicles home. Alderwoman Charlot has questioned the legitimacy of having so many employees drive City vehicles home, as well as the proper policy for usage of these vehicles.

Although the City already has a policy in place to handle this matter, it may be at odds with an IRS recommendation that requires employees that use City vehicles to pay a “benefit tax” , which Police and Fire departments are exempt from this policy.

The Board directed City Clerk Marian Governor to get with City Attorney Malcom Jones to incorporate the IRS’s recommendation into the City’s vehicle use policy.

In personnel matters, a dispatcher from the recently opened Pass Christian Emergency Dispatch Center was fired for not “passing a test”.  City Attorney Malcolm Jones stated that privacy laws prevented him from providing additional information regarding the matter. The person fired had been employed with the City since July 2020.

The Board ratified the resignation of Rickey Pujol from the Pass Christian Harbor.  When asked the reason for the resignation, Harbormaster Marty Tiller commented, “No reason was given, he simply quit coming to work”.

The vacant position will be advertised in the coming weeks with a starting pay of $9 per hour.

Bill Spivey has been selected as the replacement for former City Planner Danit Simon. As noted by Ward 2 Alderwoman Regina Charlot, Spivey has outstanding credentials. Spivey is expected to begin work within the next 30 days.

Approved investments of taxpayer dollars included $480,075 for the second new fire engine and $435,852 to pay the Claims Docket

Take note that the first Board meeting in November has been changed from Tuesday, November 3rd to Monday, November 2nd. This is due to the national election being held on November 3rd.