Hattiesburg council secures city employees pay checks after two disruptive meetings

Hattiesburg council secures city employees pay checks after two disruptive meetings

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg City Council approved the claims docket 3 to 1 Wednesday afternoon in a special meeting.

It was feared that city employees would not get paid if the docket was not approved after two days of protests quickly ended council meetings this week shortly after being called to order.

Ward 2 Councilwoman Deborah Delgado was the only dissenting vote and said she did not want to approve the entire docket because that would use taxpayers money, and she said the taxpayers were not heard by the council during the past two days of protests, which were led by area pastors.

Delgado only wanted to approve the portion of the docket that would give employees their checks and said not allowing the crowd to address the council yesterday "has advanced to the arena of absurd."

The councilwoman also held discussion after the motion was made, but she got off topic of the vote, which is against the rules of the council, and was not told to end discussion by City Attorney Charles Lawrence.

Lawrence said he was aware of that rule, but claimed he is only required to intervene at the council's request, which was not made.

Delgado continued to talk over Council President Kim Bradley when he asked her to end discussion for the vote to be held.

There was no interjection from the crowd Wednesday, although Delgado asked for them to speak with one minute remaining before the meeting began.

A pastor approached the council and said, "We know you'll do the right thing."

Mayor Johnny DuPree was not in attendance at Wednesday's meeting, but he did ask for his nominee for city clerk to be added to the agenda. That item was not added.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting is an agenda setting on Feb. 16 followed by the council meeting on the 17.