Elections ahead for North Lee County Water Association

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – North Lee County Water Association, which one year ago elected an entirely new board after previous members resigned amid allegations of fraud, will hold new elections on Oct. 4.
Four of its nine seats are open, with 11 candidates on the ballot. Among them are Terry Anderson, who currently is serving a one-year term and seeks re-election, and Wayne Fitzner, who had served on the previous board.
Other candidates include Christopher Bauer, Gerald Bishop, Michael Dickerson, Nancy Frideres, Gloria Holliday, Donnie Lesley, David Summers, Tom Tindall and Sue Wise.
The association had no information about the candidates except that all are North Lee customers.
Stepping down from the current board are Trent Rogers and Jim Banker. Banker, however, will continue to serve as the association’s manager.
The fourth seat had been held by the late Jack Dillard.
North Lee County Water Association serves some 4,400 customers throughout much of the county. It came under scrutiny last year after employees told the Daily Journal their boss, Dan Durham, required them to work odd jobs for him while on the clock at North Lee.
Jobs included housing projects that benefited then-board President Mitchell Scruggs, the employees said.
At one point, the agency was under investigation by the FBI, state Attorney General and Mississippi Department of Health.
Since then, the Department of Health has helped the association clean up its water and improve its rating from 2.7 to 4.3 out of a possible score of 5.0.
Customers will get a full report of the association’s many projects and improvements at the meeting, said board President Ken Clemons. They also will be able to elect new board members at the meeting.
It will be held at 7 p.m. at the Family Life Center of the Birmingham Ridge Baptist Church, located at 753 Birmingham Ridge Road in Saltillo.
“As the president,” Clemons said in a letter sent to all members, “I can assure you that your board is of one accord to make sure you receive safe, clean water at the most affordable price.”

Click video to hear audio