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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Aldermen hire Outlaw as new city clerk after mayor’s veto

    Starkville aldermen voted Tuesday to hire Markeeta Outlaw as the new city clerk after Mayor Mack Rutledge vetoed the board’s Sept. 22 vote for Adrienne Howell.
    After hearing comments from both board members and citizens, the council voted 5-2 for interim city clerk Outlaw to fill the position at her earlier proposed salary plus the new employee pay increase of $900.
    “I am disappointed that the mayor would veto a board’s decision,” said Ward 2 Alderman Frank M. Davis. “It’s time to proceed, though. This position is vital to our city.”
    Ward 3 Alderman P.C. McLaurin said it was important that the board take advantage of hiring the most qualified applicant and not be swayed by a minority vote.
    “For the first time in 25 years the city has a chance to select the most qualified applicant, not a minimal inward applicant,” McLaurin said.
    McLaurin also questioned the addition of the new employee pay increase to Outlaw’s salary as a departure of recent procedures and proposed that an amendment be added to include all new hires.
    “Normal procedures do not include a pay increase for those hired during the year,” he said. “It normally follows the next year.”
    Ward 4 Alderman Lee Beck agreed saying, “Let’s get away from showing favoritism and do a blanket for all new hires to include the $900.”
    The mayor expressed concern over adding premature pay increases to unknown new hires and said Outlaw should be considered as an exception.
    “This is different because she is a department head,” Rutledge said.
    Aldermen Beck and McLaurin account for the two opposed votes in Outlaw’s hiring.
    In a public appearance before the council and the 20 plus citizens gathered at the meeting, Rev. William Headd voiced his concern over the board’s inability to agree on an applicant.
    “You can assume a division in the community if the board is divided,” Headd said. “As a citizen, I have the right to see the board come together.”
    Mfanya Tryman, a Mississippi State University political scientist, questioned the board’s lack of diversity and consideration of employee morale and motivation if an internal applicant were passed over.
    “Diversity promotes a healthy work force, eliminates stereotypes and helps maximize the potential of employment,” Tryman said.
    McLaurin responded by adding that the city’s work force is diverse throughout all levels. “Ms. Sharon Boyd [an African-American] is head of the department of sanitation,” he said.
    In other business, the board:
    -announced an event to honor Congressman Chip Pickering that will take place Oct. 22 at 9 a.m. at City Hall.
    -approved the council’s participation in Mississippi State University’s fund-raising campaign “State of the Future.”
    -approved a motion to vote on a Starkville water and sewer rate increase at the board’s recess meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 5:30 p.m.

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    Aldermen hire Outlaw as new city clerk after mayor’s veto