Laurel council vote on ordinance, state law won't allow

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - The Laurel city council has voted to pass an ordinance the city attorney says state law won't allow.

Council members voted 5 to 2 to let a council person sit on a special events committee.   Mayor Johnny Magee says this has to do with the recent controversy over the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, where organizers didn't file for a city permit by the deadline.

"It's still a continuation of trying to get those things straightened out for next year so that when the parade comes around next year we won't have the problems that we had this year," said Mayor Magee.

According to city attorney Dee Bassi, state law says no council person can be a member of any commission or board under his or her jurisdiction.  In spite of that, a majority voted to approve the ordinance.

"They can vote, but if it's something that state statute disallows then it's not something that we can enforce," said Mayor Magee. "The problem with a council person sitting on a committee is that the committee has an appeal process and when you appeal something you appeal it to the council so actually you would be appealing to somebody that was already sitting on the commission."

The council will take a second look at the ordinance, and if it passes again, the mayor will either veto or approve it.

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