HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg City Council approved the appointment of a new member to the Hattiesburg School Board tonight.
The replacement, Eric Steele was approved in a 4-0 vote to replace David Garraway on the board.
Councilwoman Deborah Delgado voted by phone, Councilman Henry Naylor was absent, and the remaining three members of the council joined in to offer positive comments about Steele.
"I believe that Mr. Steele brings something to the board that it has not had in some time, accountability is something that man has lived throughout his life," said Hattiesburg City Council President Kim Bradley.
Steele is a product of the Hattiesburg Public School District as well as a retired Lt. Colonel from the United States Army. He will start his term today, March 8, 2016 and serve for five years, ending in 2021.
"I think this is positive because Lt. Col. Steele brings a very positive attitude to this responsibility, he is very earnest about doing something to help the children of Hattiesburg," said Councilwoman Mary Dryden.
Steele's appointment to the board comes on the heels of Mayor Johnny DuPree saying nothing illegal led to the financial crisis in the district that left them with limited operating cash.
"I think when there is so much going on and so much being said about the school issues, I think that we need someone that will stand up and hold those people that are responsible, accountable," said Bradley.
"He cares about education, he knows about education, he's been raised with the value of education in his family and really wants to do what he can to serve our community," said Dryden. "That's what we need, public servants that are there to just do the right thing and do what they can to help."
Bradley added that he hopes this appointment to the board will establish a better relationship with the school board.