Camp vetoes Starkville pay increase, funding

By ROBBIE WARD

Daily Journal Starkville Bureau

STARKVILLE – Mayor Dan Camp used his veto power Tuesday to formally reject the Board of Aldermen's support of 3.5 percent city pay raises and funds for the community's business incubator.

Camp said during a news conference in City Hall that he has issues with the incubator funding, not employee pay raises, but he had to veto both since they were attached in the same motion from a Dec. 6 board meeting.

Camp insisted that insufficient information has been provided to the city about the business incubator, which would be a facility to house and grow business enterprises.

“I bet you couldn't find 100 people to even tell you what it is,” Camp said.

Camp on development board

However, Camp sits on the board of directors for the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority, which directly funds the incubator. Camp and Ward 5 alderman Matt Cox, budget committee chairman, met with OCEDA chairman Jack Wallace a few months ago to discuss the incubator and the economic development entity. Shortly afterward, the city board voted to remove 0.85 mills the city allocated to OCEDA, of which a portion went to the incubator.

Camp said a formal presentation to the city board about the business incubator would be a step toward approved funding.

Wallace said Camp's claim that he was unaware of the business incubator is inaccurate.

“He knows it's an incubation facility,” Wallace said. “What they don't know is because they're not interested or not listening.”

Ward 1 alderman Sumner Davis, who offered the motion for the incubator funding last week, agreed Camp and the aldermen had information about the incubator.

“Did people forget about it? Did they lose it?” Davis asked.

Cox said he will ask at the Tuesday's Board meeting to restore the city employees' raises, part of the motion that Camp vetoed.

Contact Robbie Ward at 323-9831 or robbie.ward@djournal.com.