Aberdeen aldermen talk stop signs, curb appeal

RAY VAN DUSEN/BUY AT PHOTOS.MONROECOUNTYJOURNAL.COM A faded stop sign on the corner of Long and Jefferson streets is an example of several stops signs in Aberdeen needing to be updated.

RAY VAN DUSEN/BUY AT PHOTOS.MONROECOUNTYJOURNAL.COM
A faded stop sign on the corner of Long and Jefferson streets is an example of several stops signs in Aberdeen needing to be updated.

ABERDEEN – Between two open sessions totaling less than 14 minutes before and after executive session Jan. 3, the board of aldermen discussed faded stop signs, improving the city’s visual appearance and personnel during its first meeting of 2017.
“Driving around the city, there’s a lot of leaves from the sidewalks to the street. That’s all over town, and we have limbs that as we drive by looks kind of trashy. That’s over 40 percent of the city,” said Ward 3 Alderman David Ewing in saying he wants to come up with a game plan to beautify the city.
In another eyesore-related issue, Ward 4 Aldermen Brunson Odom said he has not seen notices posted on properties that have been approved for adjudication but not cleaned up yet, which is part of the process.
“I’ve been told three or four different times that all these properties are going to be adjudicated and they’ve been posted, but I haven’t found a sign yet,” Odom said.
Mayor Maurice Howard said signs had already been posted but couldn’t answer specifically where when asked by Odom.
“I think what we have to do now is award funds to his [building inspector David Low’s] budget. He has no budget to tear down any homes. Everything’s ready to go; we just have to have the money to do it. He’s already taken two bids, and you have to take three, so we’ll have one more bidder come in and we’ll take the lowest bidder once you guys approve it and get it done,” Howard said.
Odom asked how the homes can be torn down without the owners not knowing. Before calling Low for clarity, Howard said he’ll have him come to the next board meeting to answer questions.
During his input, Ward 5 Alderman Jim Buffington held up a picture of a stop sign and asked those around the table if they knew what it was and how they know.
“We have signs all over this town you can hardly read because the red part has faded away. I want to urge all aldermen to check the stop signs in your ward and let’s put together something to improve that,” Buffington said. “It’s embarrassing. Unless you recognize the shape, you don’t know it’s a stop sign.”
Following lengthy executive session discussion, the board approved for the purchase of a new truck for the sanitation department from Tag Truck Center. The $187,200 will be financed for 60 months through BancorpSouth.
In other business, Howard asked for a motion to suspend Aberdeen Electric Department Operations Superintendent for, “one week suspension without pay with notice of termination with any other electric department issue.” No reason for the request was discussed in open session, and no one motioned.
Following Howard’s revised request of one week’s suspension without pay, Ward 2 Alderwoman Lady B. Garth made a motion, seconded by Ward 1 Alderman Alonzo Sykes. The motion died after Ewing, Odom and Buffington voted against.
In other business, the board approved:
• The resignation of Denise Cocker from the Aberdeen Police Department.
• Employee enhancements of Samona Johnson for bridge leadership in Nashville and Jackie Benson for an Ole Miss seminar in Hattiesburg.
• The employment of Gary Sacus for the Aberdeen Street Department.

About Ray Van Dusen

I've been with the Monroe Journal since Aug. 2009 as a staff writer, but took the role as news editor in late 2012. I'm always looking for interesting story ideas from around Monroe County. You can reach me via email at ray.vandusen@journalinc.com.