City Council to choose leadership today



By Robbie Ward

Daily Journal

TUPELO – City Council members will decide today who among the seven will serve as president for the next year, a vote keeping some tight-lipped.

Council members were silent Monday when Mayor Jason Shelton read the first item on the action agenda: selecting the president and vice president.

Ward 7 Councilman Willie Jennings told the Daily Journal he plans to keep quiet on the matter.

“I’m not going to comment until Tuesday at the meeting,” he said.

Uncertainty among council members Monday whether more than one will seek either of the positions likely led to the group’s plans to meet an hour prior to today’s 6 p.m. meeting. Currently, four-term member Nettie Davis of Ward 4 serves as president, while three-termer Mike Bryan of Ward 6 is vice president.

Bryan, who hasn’t previously served as council president, appears to be the favorite for the position.

Bryan wouldn’t speak on the record, but Councilmen Markel Whittington of Ward 1 and Jim Newell of Ward 3 confirmed likely support for him.

Newell, serving his second term, confirmed interest in a formal leadership position.

“…I would like to be considered for VP,” he texted the Daily Journal Monday evening.

Davis’ year as council leader marked the city’s first time for a black or female council member to receive support from fellow council members for the role.

She wanted to serve as president during the previous four-year council term. However, former Councilman Fred Pitts of Ward 2 served as president the entire term.

The council voted in February 2013 to limit a council member to a single year as president unless no one else wants to serve.

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