Miss. AG to give opinion

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 8, 2009

NATCHEZ — Months after two crossing guards were dismissed from their posts at Morgantown Elementary School, the Mississippi Attorney General is expected to give an opinion on the inter-local agreement aimed at securing their employment.

The Natchez-Adams School District and the Adams County Board of Supervisors have come to an agreement on how to fund the salaries of the two crossing guards.

County Attorney Bobby Cox said the attorney general should have a copy of the agreement by today.

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Since the re-hiring of the guards required an inter-local agreement between the supervisors and the school district, the attorney general’s office must issue an opinion that OKs the deal.

“The county can’t be bound without that,” Cox said. “They can’t enter an agreement without that approval.”

The crossing guards were employed by Adams County and were dismissed by the Adams County Board of Supervisors in an effort to save money.

Shortly after their dismissal, board president Henry Watts said the guards were let go because the board felt the district, not the board, should be funding their salaries since they were getting the benefit of their employment.

The supervisors later said they were unaware the guards could not be hired by the district because the district cannot hire employees to work on county-owned roads.

Cox said the agreement will keep the guards working as county employees, and their salaries will be paid by the county with funding from the district.

Cox said he has no reason to believe the attorney general won’t approve the agreement, which should take approximately three weeks.

District Superintendent Anthony Morris said he’s pleased both sides were able to reach a resolution in the matter.

“It’s really a win-win situation for everyone,” he said.

And Morris gives credit for that resolution to the crossing guards as well as all the other parties involved.

Morris said for close to eight weeks, while they weren’t even technically employed, they continued working.

“You can’t say enough about their commitment,” he said.