Meridian City Council Overrides Veto

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Meridian, Miss. After the City Council overrode Mayor Percy Bland's veto of their original resolution regarding temporary city employees, the practice of allowing some workers to stay on as temps more than 90 days, will now end. Pay for temporary employees will now be suspended after 90 days. Ward 4 Councilwoman Kim Houston says no one is immediately losing their job, but Mayor Percy Bland believes they don't have the power to pass such an ordinance.

"We want to make sure that they get in a permanent position so they can experience the benefits, health benefits, and all the things that come along with being a full time, permanent employee with the City of Meridian."

"They don't have the ability to basically override our statute as it relates to certain things in statutes as it goes to department heads and also civil service laws."

Mayor Bland believes that there will be a disruption in city services, but Houston says that the current temporary workers have plenty of time to go through the proper steps to become a permanent employee if they wish, partly due to a clause in the ordinance.

"If the people who are in those positions and have been doing those positions effectively are not in those positions, it's just going to disrupt a lot of the services going on while this process plays out from the standpoint of what I have to deal with day to day on using human capital to get work done."

"It's at the council's discretion. We're basically giving them about 6 months when you add on that 90 day extension. We're giving plenty of time to get things in order so we can move this city forward the right way."

Free classes for applicants are offered at Meridian Community College, and the Civil Service tests will be administered in a way to accommodate those with special needs.