Lumberton city workers finally get weekly paychecks

By Ontario Richardson – bio | email

LUMBERTON, MS (WDAM) - You know there's trouble when sheriff's deputies are called in for what was billed as a news conference. That's what happened Friday in Lumberton.

Mayor Miriam Holder called the news conference to talk about why city workers had not received their weekly paychecks.

Holder said," I did not sign the check because I had not seen the budget amendment."

Holder admits she didn't sign the checks for Thursday's payroll. She said the city clerk did not provide her with proper information needed to do so; so, on Tuesday night she informed the board that she would not be signing checks.

Holder said, " I didn't leave and didn't have any intentions of our employees not getting paid because there were three other avenues, me, the mayor pro tem, and three other aldermen."

Tuesday night Holder did request her monthly salary of $600 to be reinstated but the motion fail due to lack of a second.

Holder said, "It had nothing to do with it, I get state retirement, I get social security, I get medicare. It is the principal of the matter. If you have people that figure you are not worth 99 cent, you know, that is ok"

Holder said, she feels disrespect by the aldermen and they will not let her do her job, but Timothy Johnson and Kent Crider said that is not the case.

Johnson said, "We are not in rebellion and there is not a lack of respect towards the mayor as regards to how we do things. We don't want to do anyone else's job. We just want to do the job that we are suppose to be doing. We want to do it in a fair way and then allow the mayor to do her job."

Holder added, " Respect is a two way street. She reference to us just like we are still her children in the classroom. The other night in the meeting she yelled out that I am tired of y'all doing what you want to do. We don't do what we want to do, we do what the citizens of Lumberton want us to do."

Crider and Johnson said they didn't sign the payroll because they are not authorized. Meanwhile, the City Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Gibson can sign checks, but said he was in Jackson at the time.

However, Lumberton city workers were paid on Friday and the checks were signed by the mayor.

The city clerk apologized to Holder for any tension between the two.

All parties involved vowed to do what's best to move the city forward and let the past remain a time in history.

Copyright 2011 WDAM. All rights reserved.