Tupelo’s City Council halted plans this week to formally fix May 3 as the date of a special election on the renewal of the Major Thoroughfare Program’s funding, but this delay only amounts to a minor bureaucratic stumble.
A few days ago, I reported that the City Council would during its meeting this week probably approve a resolution ordering the date of the Major Thoroughfare Program special election. That didn’t happen, and here’s why.
The Major Thoroughfare Committee has recommended May 3 as the special election date. In council work sessions at which the subject has been discussed, council members seem amenable to that date.
Everything is still on track for that vote to occur on May 3 but a minor hiccup occurred in the process of setting up all the pieces correctly.
When a city council orders a special election by resolution, the election cannot be any less than 21 days from the date of the resolution’s approval but also cannot be any more than 30 days after the date of the resolution’s approval, according to state statute (Miss. Code 23-15-859 to be specific. See searchable Mississippi Code index here).
The City Council agenda for Tuesday’s meeting (March 15) indicated that a resolution to order the election would be considered. However, the desired May 3 date was more than 30 days after Tuesday’s date, a fact City Clerk Kim Hanna and City Attorney Ben Logan noted during a council work session Monday.
If the council approves the resolution ordering the election at its first meeting in April, the statutory requirements will be met, Hanna said.
The council subsequently voted Tuesday night to table the motion that would order the election and will take it up again later, presumably at the first April meeting.
The Major Thoroughfare Program is funded by a 10-mill tax levy that voters must choose to renew every five years.
If approved, the 10-mill levy would generate $20 million over the next five years for new road construction and maintenance.