The continuing accusations and obstruction of the administration of city of Meridian operations and our private businesses by three of our council members, Weston Lindemann, Kim Houston and Tyrone Johnson, are throwing our city into a constant state of turmoil and demoralization of city employees, residents and business people alike.

It’s time these three stop their despicable behavior.

People who are considering moving here to start small businesses or retire and other potential major employers are rethinking their move to Meridian. There is no one else at fault for jeopardizing the well-being of our city than these three inexperienced and unskilled council members.

A recent conversation with a developer gives one real cause for concern. They are no longer investing in Meridian, but developing elsewhere in our state because we continue to lose opportunities and population. He goes on to say that more businesses are closing than are opening.

But in some ways, perhaps, we share some of the blame because these three were neither experienced nor skilled, and if there had been careful consideration and voting, they would most likely never have been elected in the first place. As voters we have the responsibility to elect competent, experienced people to lead our city.

Have they ever run or managed a company? Have they ever managed employees? Do they have financial knowledge? Have they ever held a responsible job requiring them to be decision-makers? And do they understand that as council members they not only represent their ward, but they must also work for the entire city where prioritizing needs and wants is difficult but necessary for the improvement of the entire city?

We have to prioritize needs and wants within our own families. I think that all three of these council members may be hard pressed to answer any or all of these questions in the affirmative. And therein lies much of the basis of our current problems with the city council.

These three are not leading us to a more successful city. On the contrary, they are taking us down a path of decline and demoralization. Private citizens who have contributed their time, money and efforts to re-build this city are beginning to re-think whether or not those efforts are worth pursuing in light of the constant bickering, false accusations and the disruption of the day to day operations of our city. Who gets on a sinking ship?

In two years we will be in another local election cycle. It is imperative that we begin now to identify, closely vet and support local candidates who do not just talk and accuse and make up conspiracies around every corner, but those that can bring the qualities of leadership we desperately need.

This isn’t just in our own wards. We must be vigilant, aware, and knowledgeable of the backgrounds of all candidates running in every ward. Otherwise we just get more of the same. And that’s not good for anyone living in this city, or considering establishing a business here. We have a great deal to lose.

Rebecca Combs-Dulaney

Vice President, Community and Public Relations, Structural Steel Services, Inc.

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