Norris to return as Tupelo CFO

TUPELO – The city’s former chief financial officer will return to his post in mid-January after 11 years as a private consultant.
Lynn Norris, who served as Tupelo’s CFO from 1985 to 1998, was reappointed by Mayor Jack Reed Jr. and confirmed by the City Council in September. He was among several applicants for the job and will replace interim chief Kim Hanna, who will then become the department’s second-in-command.
Hanna has led the department since the January 2009 departure of Daphne Holcombe, who had been hired to replace Norris and lost her job one decade later after repeated tussles with then-Mayor Ed Neelly.
Holcombe sued the city to get her job back but finally settled for $150,000 out of court.
The finance department is located on the second floor of City Hall and has about a half-dozen employees. They handle the municipal budget, payroll, expenses and revenues, as well as oversee city elections.
Salary for its chief officer is set at $95,000.
Norris, who is in his early 60s and lives in Jackson, said he’s looking forward to coming back home.
“The kids are up there,” he said, “and I guess during this time in my life it seems like a wonderful opportunity to devote my time exclusively to the city up there.”
During his previous tenure, Norris was credited with taking the city from a red-ink existence to a healthy cash position. He also helped Tupelo invest tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure, built the BancorpSouth Arena, forged a plan to solve the area’s freshwater problems and financed a major annexation.
The Nettleton native had resigned from his municipal post in 1998 to take a job with a financial-and-bond consulting firm in the state’s capital.
But he has returned frequently to help the city with bond issues, including the $9.5 million bond to fund the police station, fire station and baseball complex.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal