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    City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - January 2, 2018 - 6:00 p.m. Regular Meeting


    Be it remembered that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Ocean Springs met in a Regular meeting at City Hall in the City of Ocean Springs at 6:00 p.m. on January 2, 2018.  The Mayor presiding, Aldermen Gill, Authement, Bellman, Cox, Papania, Blackman, and Impey were present.  Also present was City Clerk Shelly Ferguson and City Attorney Kevin Melchi.

    The Mayor called the meeting to order.

    Alderman Papania gave the invocation and the Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.


    The proclamation for Lakota Lancaster has been moved to the January 16, 2018 Recess Meeting.  Ms. Lancaster had to report back to duty today so neither she nor or her family were able to attend the meeting to accept the proclamation. (Item 3-b)

    The Mayor read and presented the proclamation declaring the week of January 14-20, 2018 as Mississippi Municipal Government Week to City Clerk Shelly Ferguson. (Exhibit 3-a)


    Mr. John Lee, Chairman of Civil Service Commission, came before the Board to explain what the Civil Service Commission does and how they operate in the City.  Mr. Lee introduced the members of the Civil Service Commission, Monica Dickinson, Rebecca Lucas, and Kevin Westbrook, to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.  Mr. Lee notified the Board that they are in the process of updating, clarifying, changing, and adding to the rules and regulations of the Civil Service Commission.  Mr. Lee said it is their goal this year to have the members of the commission at the first meeting of the month as a group and to have at least one member present at the second meeting of the month.  Mr. Lee is requesting that anytime a discussion is taking place for a civil service covered position in the City to notify one of the commissioners and make them aware of the discussion taking place. (Item 4-a)

    Scott Lemon, Lemon Mohler Insurance Agency, stated the City did qualify for the special program with the Mississippi Municipal Service Company which is the company that writes the physical damage for the City’s liability coverage.  Mr. Lemon presented an auto deductible analysis showing the trends for the last few years and a premium summary including (3) three renewal offer options and the cost savings associated with each option.

    Motion made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to accept option 2 with a $2,000.00 deductible and a cost savings of $9,921.00. (Exhibit 4-b)          


    Jan Rideout, Business Owner of J. Laurie Shoes, came before the Board about a Business Coalition that was formed in response to the Boards decision to make it mandatory to fly the MS flag which contains the confederate emblem.  Ms. Rideout stated as a business owner the business during this Christmas season was not the best.  She also said she has had several customers share with her that they will no longer shop in Ocean Springs or will no longer eat in the restaurants in Ocean Springs. Ms. Rideout said that a few merchants have gotten together and will sponsor a merchant mixer on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at Lola Fleur.  She said invitations have been sent to all 400 chamber members. Ms. Rideout said the purpose of this event is to begin to obtain signatures on a petition to urge the Board to remove the flag.  She said both business owners and citizens will be asked to sign the petition to try to convince the Board that there are more people than you think in Ocean Springs that do not want this flag.

    Alderman Blackman gave the numbers for the sales tax revenue for food and beverage and from retail for July to December of 2016 and July to December 2017.  Alderman Blackman wanted it on record that the sales tax for food and beverage are up by $44,793.00 and retail sales tax are up by $13,350.00 from the same period last year. (Exhibit 5-a)


    Motion made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda.


    The City Clerk notified the Board the docket of claims has been moved to department reports for the purpose of any items the Board would like to question or discuss.

    Alderman Papania asked for clarification on (2) items on the docket of claims.  The first item is a payment to PTS Solutions in the amount of $35,924.00 for annual software maintenance and support for 2018/2019.  Alderman Papania asked if this software would be included in the new software package the City is going to purchase.  The City Clerk explained this is for the police, jail, and court system which will be remaining in use.

    Alderman Papania made a comment about a purchase made through Ace Hardware for small tools such as pliers and screwdrivers. Alderman Papania asked the Public Works Director if he could somehow control the tools and equipment spending a little better he would appreciate that.

    Motion made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to approve the docket of claims. (Exhibit 7-a)

    The City Clerk notified the Board that our newspaper of record has been sold and will now be called the Ocean Springs Gazette & Record. (Exhibit 7-b)

    The Director of Human Resources stated an employee in the Public Works Department, Street Department Laborer C position, is going to be deployed for (15) fifteen months.  She is requesting authorization to hire a full-time employee instead of a temporary employee to fill this position.  The Director of Human Resources said she understands he will have to be rehired for a position equivalent to the job he currently holds with the City when he returns from deployment.

    Motion made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to hire a full-time employee instead of a temporary employee. (Item 7-c)


    Jon Rivera, Bienville Place Subdivision, stated the Board needs to be aware of who is addressing the Board.  Mr. Rivera asked the Board to consider not letting anyone address them that does not live in the City.  Mr. Rivera stated the Board is being subjected to bait and switch along with false facts.

    Three (3) citizens came forward to speak against the state flag. 


    Alderman Authement reminded the citizens to wrap their pipes and run their water to avoid broken water lines.

    Alderman Blackman asked the Community Development and Grants Administrator for an update on the Government Street Sidewalk Project. The Community Development and Grants Administrator said the last of the submittals should have been received by end of business today and the pilings have been ordered.  The delivery time should be approximately (3) three weeks so work should resume by the end of January.

    Alderman Blackman updated the Board on the roof repair on Dewey Avenue Substation.  Alderman Blackman said he spoke to Joey Duggan with Compton Engineering who said they found the leak and are working toward a resolution of getting it repaired instead of replacing the entire roof.

    Alderman Blackman thanked the Public Works Director and the Assistant Public Works Director for cleaning the ditches along Government Street from Magnolia Bayou out to Davis Bayou.  He also thanked the Police Chief for increasing patrol in Bienville Subdivision after a rash of auto burglaries.

    Alderman Impey said the vast majority of these burglaries are crimes of opportunity.  He stated everyone should take the extra step and lock their cars.

    Alderman Impey wants to publically send his sympathies to the Miner family.  Alderman Impey said Ms. Mary Alice Miner passed away this week.  He said the legislature went into session today and our Representative Hank Zuber asked the legislature to recess in memory of Ms. Miner today and recognize her for her contributions to the City of Ocean Springs.  


    Motion made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to go into closed session to determine the necessity of remaining in executive session.

    The City Clerk returned to the meeting and announced a motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss personnel in the Public Works Department, Building Department, Water Department, and City Legal Services.

    Motion made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to set the salary for the Assistant Public Works Director of Field Operations and to increase the salary for the Assistant Public Works Administrator of Administration and Finance to the same level.  Both changes to be effective immediately.

    Motion made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to add discussion regarding JCUA to executive session.

    Motion made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to come out of Executive Session and return to regular Meeting.

    Motion made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to recess until 6:00 p.m. on January 16, 2018.

    The meeting ended at 8:37 p.m.


    /s/ Shelly Ferguson                               /s/ Shea Dobson

    City Clerk                                            Mayor

    1/17/2018                                           1/17/2018

    Date                                                   Date