Tupelo council keeps power structure

By Emily Le Coz

TUPELO – An effort to replace the City Council president and vice president failed today by a vote of 3-4.

The council must vote to keep or change its officers at the first meeting in July each year.

This year, Ward 3 Councilman Jim Newell moved to make a change, saying the council president holds a political position and that it should rotate every few years.

It was seconded by Ward 4 Councilwoman Nettie Davis, the council’s longest serving member and its current vice president.

Davis had sought the president post at the start of the current term, in July 2008, but it went instead to first-term councilman Fred Pitts of Ward 2.

“I think I’m being penalized because I’m a female and I’m black,” Davis said. “Being an All America City, we need to look at who makes up Tupelo.”

Ward 6 Councilman Mike Bryan joined Newell and Davis in the vote to replace the leadership, but four others opposed it and it failed.