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Aldermen discuss litter, vandalism and security – Picayune Item

At Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, the city’s new clerk, Marine Ready, was sworn in.

Council also heard a presentation from Pearl River County life coach Tanya Burnett regarding events she would like to host in Poplarville for youth and seniors.

Burnett is a former Deputy Pearl River County Clerk and is currently a contract agent trainer at NASA. For 40 years, Burnett was “really big on community service,” she said, hosting events with her husband once a month. Burnett said she uses her life experiences to give back to the community.

Recently, Burnet hosted events at the Poplarville Community Shelter. She proposed to the board that the city needs a resource center that could serve as a resource for education, finances, couples counseling, and counseling for single mothers.

“I always tell people when I speak, when I’ve come to schools, churches or wherever… ‘Don’t take your gift to the grave.'” Burnett said. “But we have to provide the resources, we can’t just talk about it, we have to talk about it.”

The board discussed where Burnett can hold future events and asked what she thinks young people might need.

Following Burnett’s presentation, Alderman Anne Gendusa Smith presented Citizens’ Complaints to the Council about littering along South High Street and West North Street. The Council considered posting signs warning the public of the illegal nature of the waste and the fine associated with the crime. Although there is a fine for littering, Police Chief Daniel Collier said the department has not written any tickets for the offense of which it is aware. No action was taken by Council on this at Tuesday’s meeting.

The Council filed for the purchase and installation of security cameras for the city’s water wells and City Park through a New Orleans-based company. During the discussion on the topic, Alderman Daniel Brown asked about public privacy with the presence of cameras. Although the council took no action on the matter, Mayor Louise Smith asked Brown to compile a list of questions for the company. The Council is also considering inviting NOLA to visit sites in New Orleans to see how the cameras work.

In other business, Superintendent of Public Works Same Hale gave an overview of recent work done by his crews and discussed an incident of vandalism in the park that occurred during and after some time as the public works employees were carrying out routine repairs. About a week and a half ago, Hale and his crew were approached by an anonymous individual who began a verbal confrontation.

Hours later, Hale and his team returned to the park to find that a four-foot-long spot had been cut into the canopy sunshade above parts of the playground. A police report has been filed and an estimate for repairs to the sun visor has been obtained. The estimated cost to repair the canopy is $5,516, which is custom made by a Florida-based company to fit the frame. The board approved this purchase.

In other cases, the Board approved a quote to replace a damaged tail light on a police vehicle. The damage was caused by a trailer while an officer was directing traffic.

A donation of smoke detectors to the Poplarville Fire Department by Picayune part-time firefighter Glenn Neal was also approved by the council.

After the Executive Session, the Board approved a motion to hire Erica Vusby as Deputy Clerk and approved two event requests.

One of the events will be hosted by the First Baptist Church of Poplarville for an Easter egg hunt for children at the municipal park on April 9, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The second event will involve two people carrying crosses from McDonalds along Highway 53 to the First Baptist Lawn of Poplarville Church on April 15. from 9am to 10am

A police escort will be provided by the city.