Barry: "Change Isn't Easy"

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Meridian's mayor has made some changes in the city's department heads since taking office, the most recent Tuesday evening.

Barry appointed Tim Miller to be Homeland Security director, replacing the city's first such director Bunky Partridge. The city council confirmed the appointment.

Barry also reappointed city clerk, Ed Skipper, and recreation director, Mark Naylor.

That leaves the fate of several department heads still undetermined. They serve at the pleasure of the mayor. Barry says the departments heads in question are well aware that she is evaluating their positions.

Newscenter 11 spoke by phone with Meridian Police Chief Benny Dubose, who said he is aware of rumors about him, but he said he has not talked about his future with the mayor and has no plans to retire.

The others include Public Works Director Monty Jackson, Fire Chief Jeff Homan, and Community Development Director Don Farrar.

Barry said she is taking her time building her team and hasn't made decisions on the four remaining positions.

"This is not the easiest part, making change," said Barry. "Change isn't easy for anyone. I want this community to trust me. I'm not playing politics. I'm looking for the very best team to push us into the 21st century."

Barry has praised Partridge's work, but said it's time the Department of Homeland Security move in a different direction. Partridge said Wednesday by phone that he respects the mayor and council's decision.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by City Gal Location: Here on Aug 25, 2009 at 06:58 PM
    Jennifer, It will all be okay. I doubt the people saying the negative things were not Barry supporters to begin with. There are some people that will never come around....that is just a fact of life. I for one am confident she (your mom) must have some reasons for the decisions she has made. These hurtful comments are terrible for any family involved, and I wish WTOK would be more sensitive to that-both for the Mayor's sake and for the BP family.
  • by Jennifer Barry Fowler Location: Nashville, TN on Aug 22, 2009 at 08:05 PM
    The city of Meridian was overdue for a change and I believe that Cheri is the person for that job. It hurts my heart to see what everyone writes about my mother without giving her the benefit of the doubt. Every new head whether it be president, governor, mayor or CEO has the right to hire a new team. I am extremely confident in my mother's choices for her department heads. She has heart of gold and I'm sure that letting people go wasn't her idea of fun, but it was something that she had to do to help this city grow. She needs a team of honest people that she can trust to aid in making good decisions for YOU, the people of Meridian. As far as hiring friends, of course she is going to hire people that she she has developed a relationship with. If she hired a total stranger, she would be outright crazy. She needs to know that her TEAM is trustworthy and loyal. So please just give her a chance to prove how ____ good she is going to be and stop saying hurtful negative things. Be supportive
  • by FIREFIGHTER 2 Location: MERIDIAN on Aug 20, 2009 at 09:03 PM
    KARL STOP JUST STOP kissing up you are just worried your little drug (dont do a thing) task force job is going down the drain. why dont you just keep looking for the (big case) when you need to get these little thugs off the street corner. I HATE KISS.......
  • by Joey Location: Meridian on Aug 20, 2009 at 02:58 PM
    If you have complaints go voice them to the Mayor, quit clogging up perfectly good forums with this venom. You make it sound as if he was fired for having a mustache or something. If he didn't feel some uncertainty when JRS decided not to run then he was a fool. Every new Mayor has "their people." If it's easier for you to sleep at night by suggesting that they bought their positions with campaign contributions then so be it. I guess anything is better than the truth.
  • by Mac on Aug 20, 2009 at 01:21 PM
    Apparently alot of people dont understand that these department heads serve at the mayor's discretion. They know that when they take the job. The people of Meridian voted for the leader they wanted now it is time to let her do the job we voted her in to do.
  • by dee Location: meridian on Aug 20, 2009 at 12:59 PM
    city of corruption. how nice. pay a little $$$ under the table, contribute to the campaign and you are a shoe in for a job at someone else's expense. crooked mayor and buttkissing posse at her side....need any more knives for the backs of the innocent victims on your list? it's all about getting your friends and bigtime contributors in jobs you promised isn't it? how do you sleep at night or look at yourself in the mirror? i think MPD's done a pretty ____ good job at getting criminals off the streets. unless you're planning on getting "the terminator" in here i suggest you leave things as they are. it's not broken, nothing to fix. geez. i don't see a second term in your future. you're too drunk with power.
  • by KARL MERCHANT on Aug 20, 2009 at 11:15 AM
    The Mayors election is just like the president of the united states . The people voted and got who they wanted. We all should support our Mayor and give her the chance she deserves. If she fails time will tell. If she succeeds then time will tell. STOP ALL THE WHINING and lets work together to make Meridian a better place to live. Dont hide behind a bogus name you have something to say just say it and be man or woman enough to leave your name.
  • by CloudyDay Location: Meridian on Aug 20, 2009 at 10:05 AM
    Oh Lord. Can 1 person HONESTLY tell what Bunky did to deserve this? It shouldn't matter whether you like someone or not.....DID HE DO A GOOD JOB? Yes. Just looks to me like the new mayor is just giving her friends a job. Isn't Mr. Miller the one that replaced Bunky in the Fire Dept. and then couldn't hack it? Isn't that the same TIM MILLER? The city has now gone in the direction that RUSH HOSPITAL did and just fired people that they didn't like. Oh wait, that's right. Mayor Barry's husband works for Rush, so that makes sense. Sour grapes, you bet. Alot of people put their heart and soul into their jobs and then to be treated like useless garbage just so someone's lacky can have a job shouldn't be legal. I say it shouldn't be legal to fire someone without just cause. We'll see how good of a job this mayor and her compadres do and if she gets a 2nd term. Percy Bland should be sitting in that chair now.
  • by Wayne Location: Meridian on Aug 20, 2009 at 09:50 AM
    All Department heads know and understand up front that they serve at the discreation of the Mayor. Its a chance and a risk and they know it. As a matter of fact they have to sign a release from civil service so please don not fall for the they didn't know and its terrible. (All these guys have PERS retirements at their high rates of pay). They take a risk for the big bucks and hope it pans out. But when a new Mayor comes in he/ she does have to right to make their own choices and the deparment heads should acknowledge that as Bunky did and move on.
  • by been stabbed in the back by tim before Location: meridian on Aug 20, 2009 at 08:53 AM
    Apparently I am a hater cause this is the biggest mistake since putting Jim homan as Fire Chief. Everyone who is cheering for Tim must not know him. If you do know him then you have done a great job staying outta arms reach to him. For some reason they didnt approve my last comment, I guess it had to much truth in it. GOOD LUCK WITH THIS MARRIAGE (HIS THIRD). But i guess all of his loyal followers already knew that since he dont lie.
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