OUR OPINION: Federal judge wears private label for advice

By NEMS Daily Journal

Boards of supervisors in most Northeast Mississippi counties have been the recipient of evaluations and recommendations about courthouses, jails and most other kinds of public property, and often those reports have come from grand juries with direct, even critical language.
Itawamba County’s Board of Supervisors received advice from a judicial system figure last week, a federal judge, who was speaking as a member of the Fulton Community Volunteers, a community interest/action group whose only power is effective persuasion.
Judge Sharion Aycock of the U.S. District Court for Northern Mississippi delivered the recommendation that appearance and amenities improvements at the Itawamba County Courthouse would help the appeal of the area.
Aycock is a member of Fulton Community Volunteers.
As a result, the courthouse will receive a lot of “sprucing up” by order of the Board of Supervisors.
The Itawamba County board is like other governing councils: Limited resources for upkeep of admittedly vital public buildings.
The Itawamba County Board of Supervisors voted to purchase plants and a new park-style bench for the courthouse in downtown Fulton. The work, estimated at approximately $2,500, will be undertaken in part by FCV.
This is the second time Itawamba County has worked with the FCV to tidy up the outside of the courthouse.
Last year, the board approved the expenses of having the building and its walkways pressure washed, the trees and shrubbery pruned and seasonal shrubs planted. All of that work was either performed or overseen by members of the FCV.
“This is the county seat,” Aycock told the board. “This should be the prettiest place in Itawamba County. This should be the showcase.”
Aycock also suggested the board consider hiring someone to perform year-round maintenance on the courthouse grounds for safety and aesthetics.
Additional decisions remain, but Aycock’s advice has both practical and aesthetic enhancement strengths to improve the downtown Fulton area for everyone who uses the courthouse and the nearby neighborhoods.