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Simpson County School Board President, Danny Cowart, met before the Board of Supervisors to address issues with transparencies within the School Board at the August 15, 2022 meeting.

The conservation lasted for several hours with allowed comments from the public. Cowart presented the board with a handout outlining the new shift of the district with a Portrait of A Graduate that will allow students to graduate one of four exits: Enrollment, employment, enlistment, or entrepreneurship. The school district is changing the paradigm shift to the way teaching is taught. Mr. Cowart explained how the school board had come to the decision to consolidate. He explained the intense facility studies which had been done. Cowart explained numerous property locations had been studied and several options debated. A board decision was made to move 5th grade students from Magee Middle School and Mendenhall Jr. High back to the Elementaries. A new building must be developed at Mendenhall delaying these students to remain on the campus until the 2022-2023 school year. Studies proved no work or money should  be invested in Mendenhall Junior High. The junior high building needs to be moved due to flooding issues and new structure. Simpson Central was in need of the most improvement due to building structure. Essser (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund) money was used to open funds for the needed repairs. Simpson Central is receiving a new cafeteria and gym entrance. Mendenhall will receive a larger cafeteria. All building issues are still being  addressed. Building a consolidated high school will relocate the middle school students to the high school areas and allow the junior high  building to be removed taking care of all issues at one time. The Board of Supervisors allowed comments from the floor from citizens concerning displeasure with the consolidation. Mr. Thomas Ray Floyd, Mr. Lee McCoy, Mr. Steens, and Magee Mayor Dale Berry asked most of the questions and spoke on opposition of the consolidation from the public.

After hearing all comments from the public, Supervisors Randy Moore District 5 made the motion to not accept a tax increase from the school board and to keep things the same as they were last year with no increase nor decrease. Supervisor Donny Welch District 4 seconded the motion. Discussion was held. District 2 Supervisor Danny Craft advised he would follow the law. The law is mandated by the state to accept the increased tax levy. Craft said he would follow the law.  Supervisor Mitchell Chatman District 1 quoted “If we do not invest we can not expect the return.” After discussion the board voted 3-2 with Welch and Moore voting in favor of not accepting tax levy and all other against.  The board will now advertise the intent to set the tax millage for the County and County School District at the County budget hearing for Fiscal Year 2023.

Road Manger Ben warren updated the board on the rock and tar project. Weather  continues  crippling the project. At the present time, 30 miles have been completed with 20 miles remaining. The project should be completed by the end of season.

Sheriff Paul Mullins asked for approval of the following Human Resource request:

  • Lavallin Skiffer as a new hire part-time for jail certified.
  • Mark Brown jail moved to full-time non-certified.
  • Mary Tyrone as a new hire for dispatch full time non-certified.

Dispatch was granted permission to attend IAED Basic Communication 40 hour course in Richland, MS August 29-September 2 at a cost of #395.00.

Emergency Coordinator John Killpatrick advised a total of 1181 911 calls have been received for the previous month. There was a total of 7 structure fires reported for the month. A total of $5202 was received for permits in the previous month.

Lighting hit the tower at the 911 center causing damage to property and  equipment. The system is up and running but crippled. Parts are tying to be obtained for replacement.

Tax Assessor Jamie Brewer presented the final recap for 2022. Permission was granted for Hedi Pierce to attend school in Starkville September 19, 2022.

The board overruled the objection of the Ms Hub, LLC that was continued from the last board meeting regarding vale of the property.

Concern Citizen Ronnell McDaniel met before the board with concerns regarding Hezekiah Weathersby Road. The board explained the budget had been overshot on hot mix. This road is on the list for future improvements.

The board approved adopting a policy directing the Tax Assessor Collector to obtain the physical address as an additional required data element for vehicle owners who use a post office box for their mailing address before selling any vehicle tag. This information is required to help ensure compliance with the solid waste fee collection and policies.

The board approved the appointment of Wendell James as Special Prosecutor, in the case of State of Mississippi vs Demond Sims due to the recusal of Wesley Broadhead.

Future Holidays:  

  • Labor Day – Monday, September 5, 2022

Future Board Meetings:

  • Tuesday, September 6, 2022
  • Thursday, September 15. 2022
  • Friday, September 30, 2022

With no further business meeting recessed until after lunch to enter into a budget workshop.

A video of the meeting is attached for viewing.

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  1. What the magee news reported makes no sense. Should it have read the vote was 3-2 with Donny Welch and Randy Moore voting against tax increase and Brian Kennedy,Danny Craft and Mitchell Chatman voting to move forward with a tax levy increase.

    • The motion made was to keep the school levy the same as last year—no increase and no decrease. 2 voting in favor of keeping things the same and 3 against which resulted in approving the tax increase for the school.


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