Council wrangles with city budget amid funding concerns

Whitney Downard / The Meridian Star

From left: Jo Ann Clark, the City Council clerk; George Thomas, of Ward 1; Fannie Johnson, of Ward 3; and Weston Lindemann, of Ward 5, listen to presentations from a department head in their preparation for creating the city budget. 

A FROWN FOR CONTINUED DIVISION among City of Meridian public officials.

Ward 5 representative Weston Lindemann continues to lodge serious charges and raise serious questions against the city administration that deserve serious answers.

The trouble is he has raised so many question that he has isolated himself. This week, the City Council became deadlocked to the point of almost not being able to pay the city’s bills.

There is such a lack of trust that Lindemann has difficulty getting his council colleagues and the administration to listen to him. And we doubt he would believe an honest answer when given one.

None of this plays well with anyone even thinking of doing business in the city.

Barring an epiphany by city leaders that they need to work together if they are to lead, the only solution is an independent inspection of the city’s financial books and its methods of governing.

If a state auditor’s investigation is underway, a findings report can’t come soon enough.

CROWNS TO MAX HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES and extra jewels in the crown of country music entertainer Charley Pride, who will be present Saturday evening in Meridian to collect his award.

The Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience Hall of Fame will have 23 members after Pride, Jimmy Buffett, William Eggleston, Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Morris are inducted Saturday night.

We take notice when living inductees such as Pride, Sela Ward and John Grisham take time out of busy schedules to attend. Their classy acknowledgement of their Mississippi roots helps build the stature of the Max, attracts visitors and creates revenue for the emerging museum.

Pride, also, graciously participated in a lengthy interview with The Star’s Special Sections Editor Ida Brown this week – even singing a few bars between answers. He deserves a couple of more jewels in his crown for that.

A CROWN TO THE MAX for providing a free concert, The Vamps, after Saturday evening’s induction and opening the Walk of Fame segment to the public as bookends to the $50 per ticket formal induction ceremony.

While the pricier events pay the way, recognizing the responsibility The Max bears in bringing people downtown is just as important.

A CROWN TO THE MANY ORGANIZERS who planned the many activities in and around Meridian on Saturday.

Events include the SummerFest on City Hall lawn; the Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit and performance by Anne McKee at the Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum; recreation flag football games; Meridian Underground Music’s free live music; a gathering at Sandy Ridge Bluegrass Park; and the Glow So We Can Go Run/Walk at Bonita Lakes Park.

A FROWN FOR ANYONE WHO COMPLAINS of nothing to do in East Mississippi this weekend.

A FROWN FOR THE SCHEDULE MAKERS who plan all these events for the same day.

This seems to happen repeatedly; an abundance of events planned for the same day, with a few weekends of mowing the lawn and cleaning house in between.

Please check those master calendars before planning your next event.

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