Meridian Star

March 2, 2014

Civil Service to hold special meeting

By Terri Ferguson Smith /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     The beleaguered Meridian Civil Service Commission will take up several items of business at a special called meeting on Monday.

     Henry Palmer, attorney for the commission, sent a notice of the meeting which will be held Monday at 4 p.m. at City Hall.

    The commission has been the subject of controversy since earlier this month when Mayor Percy Bland served notices of removal to four of the five commissioners. On Feb. 4, Bland served notice of removal to commissioners John Watts, chairman; Robert Stockton, Carol Smith and John House.

    Commissioner Frederick Liddell was not given a notice of removal. He was appointed by Bland and confirmed by the city council on Jan. 21. Gloria Kirby, Civil Service secretary, was suspended with pay on that same day.

    The move has delayed hearings by the commission for former employees of the city who are appealing their termination.

    Commissioners will have their own hearings once the city receives an opinion from the Mississippi Attorney General's office as to who the governing authority is with regard to the removal of commissioners and who will conduct their hearings.

    Agenda items for Monday's meeting are:

    • A request to continue the appeals of individuals represented by Bill Ready, Jr., that are pending before the Civil Service Commission.

    • Consideration of the adoption of rules regarding discovery applicable to hearings before the Civil Service Commission.

    • Approval of the minutes of the meeting of the Civil Service Commission for Jan. 14, 2014.

    • Approval of the minutes of the meeting of the Civil Service Commission Feb. 11, 2014.

    • Consideration of operational problems in the absence of a secretary to the Civil Service Commission.

    • Consideration of the procedure for certification of eligibles to the mayor for his selection into the classified service for those positions that have been tested but not yet certified.