Agreement reached: Hattiesburg City Council to reinstate citizens forum
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg City Council, Mayor Johnny DuPree, Rod Wolluard, Rev. Kenneth Fairly and NAACP President Clarence Magee came to an agreement in court Monday before Judge Dawn Beam after an emergency petition was filed against the council.
Woullard, Fairley and Magee filed an emergency petition Monday for a temporary restraining order on the group in Forrest County Chancery Court.
The group claimed that the council and mayor have made decisions affecting taxpayers, such as the wastewater project, since suspending the Citizens Forum. The petition stated that the council has placed "unreasonable limitations on speech."
Judge Beam disclosed her relationships with each of the members on the council, allowing both parties to object to her presiding over the case.
Beam called for a brief recess to let either party decide whether or not they would want her to preside over the case. Before the recess, Beam encouraged both sides to meet and try to come to an agreement to avoid court.
Forty minutes later, court resumed and an agreement was met.
Both sides agreed for Citizens Forum to be reinstated the second week of March.
City Attorney Charles Lawrence said that Ward 5 Councilman Henry Naylor will oversee forum guidelines, and bailiffs will be in attendance.
Mayor DuPree also said rules for the forum will be posted for attendees.