Attorney: Tuesday board meeting not illegal

Published 12:13 am Thursday, February 7, 2008

NATCHEZ — Tuesday morning’s Adams County Supervisors meeting was not in violation of the law or the unit system of government, a Jackson attorney said.

Supervisor Darryl Grennell walked out of the meeting with road department employees because he felt it might be illegal, he said at the time.

But attorney Leonard Van Slyke of the Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information said the board was not in violation because they did not directly address specific policy with the road crew.

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“If it’s an open meeting there is no prohibition on who can be there,” he said.

Board President Henry Watts said the meeting was called between the Adams County Board of Supervisors and the road department so the board and the department could have an opportunity to discuss concerns and possible solutions to any problems.

Watts said it was an informational session. Grennell left the meeting before it began, saying that he felt the board might have been exceeding its legal authority in calling the road crew for a meeting.

Before the meeting began, Grennell did attempt to find out exactly would be discussed during the meeting.

He said since he was unable to find out if policy or work orders would be directly addressed, he was uncomfortable staying at the meeting.

Grennell and Van Slyke agreed that if policy or work orders had been given directly to the road crew, the unit system would have been violated.

The unit system, used by Adams County, mandates that supervisors are not allowed to discuss policy or work orders directly with county employees.

Instead they must go through the department head.

Grennell said he was also concerned because the board’s interim attorney Bobby Cox was not present. Watts said no attorney was needed at the meeting.

Once under way, the two entities spent time discussing ways to improve efficiency on the road crew, possible pay raises and a need for more equipment and manpower.

After the meeting, both sides said they felt the meeting was beneficial.