Accountability task force first on Shelton’s list

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By Robbie Ward/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Less than a week before Tupelo government transitions to a new leader in City Hall, Mayor-elect Jason Shelton is developing plans to bring more accountability to citizens.
Fulfilling a campaign promise, Shelton said one of his first official duties as mayor will involve creating a nine-member Mayor’s Task Force for Accountability. Shelton said this will help track progress on priorities he has set for the city.
Shelton, who will be sworn into office Monday, wants to retain and increase the number of middle-income families in the city. The Democrat’s policy platform during the election involved areas of transportation, urban renewal, public schools, public safety, economic development, low taxes, limited spending, less regulation and more openness in government.
“It wasn’t just a campaign promise,” Shelton said. “It’s fundamental that your city government does what it says it will do.”
Current Mayor Jack Reed Jr., who leaves office this week, has briefed Shelton on existing city projects and his thoughts on city personnel. The incoming and outgoing mayors have met multiple times related to the transition and plan to continue to communicate.
Shelton has said he won’t make any decisions to replace existing department heads for at least a month after he takes office. However, he said he plans to keep Reed’s executive assistant, Sally Enos Williams, in her current position in his administration.
He also plans to fill the communications director position currently held by Annabeth Wyatt, who will take a public relations position next month with the Tupelo Public School District.
robbie.ward@journalinc.com