Ferriday aldermen should pay bill out of pockets

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 10, 2011

Citizens of Ferriday should be furious over the decision to fork out money the town doesn’t have to pay a bill it isn’t legally required to pay.

Thanks to four aldermen, Ferriday has committed itself to pay $129,000 for legal fees incurred by former Ferriday Mayor Sammy Davis Jr.

Davis was convicted of malfeasance in office, but the conviction was overturned more than a decade ago.

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State law allows — but does not require — the town to pay the legal fees.

If Ferriday were a town flush with cash, the matter might be a different story. But given Ferriday’s meager means, forking out money that isn’t required is truly irresponsible.

Current mayor Glen McGlothin has vetoed the board of aldermen’s decision twice. His last veto was overturned on Tuesday night.

McGlothin argues that the town likely will be unable to pay its own bills if the $129,000 check is written.

That aldermen would agree to spend the money anyway is astounding.

By way of comparison, the legal fees represent approximately two-thirds of the total amount the town spent on fire protection during 2009 or half of the total amount the town spent on street repair and maintenance during the same period.

If the four aldermen who voted to pay the bill truly believe they’re doing what is right, they have within their power the ability to make a personal statement to illustrate their conviction.

Each alderman could donate the approximately $6,000 per year they receive as compensation for their service to the town.

In no time, they would be able to take a huge bite out of the bill and do so without harming Ferriday’s fragile finances.