Natchez says farewell to city clerk

Published 12:09 am Saturday, February 4, 2017

NATCHEZ — In only a few months as city clerk, Melissa Hawk left quite an impression on the City of Natchez, so much so that city officials declared Friday as Melissa Hawk Day in Natchez.

The Natchez Board of Aldermen and other city officials gathered Friday in the Barrel Room at Bowie’s Tavern for a farewell party for Hawk, who announced her resignation last month.

Hawk has said she is returning to Georgia to attend to family matters.

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Mayor Darryl Grennell and the board of aldermen presented Hawk with a framed City of Natchez flag and thanked her for her service to the city.

Hawk was first appointed as interim city clerk in August and subsequently appointed as clerk. She replaced former City Clerk Wendy McClain, the city’s first appointed clerk, who was terminated for an unspecified violation of city policy.

When she first took over the clerk’s office, the city was approximately a year behind in reconciling all of its bank accounts, Hawk has said.

Business licenses were 18 months behind when she was hired, and are now current.

Cemetery deeds were two years behind, and are now current, she said.

Grennell and the aldermen said Hawk has worked tirelessly to help the city get on its way to getting its financial house in order.

“Melissa has done a fantastic job,” Grennell said. “She has spent day and night and came in on weekends. She has reconciled many of the accounts that needed to be reconciled. She took the software that we have had in the city for a number of years and mastered it and found out it was actually a very good tool.

“You were a godsend to us, and I strongly believe that.”

The board has appointed Megan Edmonds, who was assistant city clerk, to serve as interim city clerk until a permanent clerk can be hired.

In other news from Friday’s meeting:

4The board voted to hire Jordan, Kaiser and Sessions to develop a legal description of property off Liberty Road owned by the Natchez-Adams School District to be used for a swimming pool and soccer fields.

The city and Adams County intend to have the property temporarily deeded to them to take over the bidding process from the recreation commission. While initial estimates were $1 million for the project, the first bid came in at $1.7 million.