Meridian, Miss. An unusually long city council meeting took place Tuesday night. Many on the council had questions regarding spending. In the past, claims dockets were detailed in how much was spent, who the money went to, and what the money was for; but a recent change in the format left questions to be answered. Council members say they were presented with bills for things they had no clue about, including a $3,500 utility bill for an abandoned building. Another bill was for the city attorney's pay.
Council woman Kim Houston of Ward 4 specifically brings up the city’s attorney and says “We have an agreement of $5000 and we were presented a bill of $16,000 plus in addition to our retaining fee. I had questions about that."
She went on to say "I believe that the communication lines could be better. For us to get here tonight and find out that somebody has a sign on the temporary city hall, leasing that building, and to find out about some of these other items that came up tonight without prior notice is just unacceptable in my opinion."
The council says communication needs to be better from the mayor and his administration. We asked the Mayor Percy Bland what he thinks about the council's claims and said "No comment. Communication is a two way street the have a legislative branch and I’m the executive branch. I think that at this point the council has their ideas, but I need to be the mayor and I’m going to be the mayor."
Council members say that when communication was good, the system was working great, and that communication needs to get back to what it was in the beginning.