Council to Consider Barry Appointments

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email
The Meridian City Council is expected to vote Tuesday night on Mayor Cheri Barry

Mayor Cheri Barry

The Meridian City Council is expected to vote Tuesday night on Mayor Cheri Barry's appointments for police chief and fire chief. The selections have become highly controversial governmental positions.

At the mayor's request, Police Chief Benny Dubose said last Thursday he would be retiring.

Barry has nominated Lee Shelbourn, the former police chief of Petal, Miss., to take his place. Shelbourn has 39 years of experience in law enforcement.

The Meridian-Lauderdale County Chapter of the NAACP says it's disappointed in this and other appointments made by Barry since she took office in July.

At a Monday news conference, it and the Committee for Diversity and Inclusiveness said Barry has failed to live up to her campaign promise of openness, inclusion, and diversity in city government jobs and positions.

The group said it also believes Barry did not consider minorities in filling open posts on the school board.

In response to all of this discussion, Mayor Barry told Newscenter 11 she only wants the best professionals for each position.

The city council meets at 5 p.m. It's anticipated Barry will submit her appointments for council confirmation.

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  • by 4 Real Location: Meridian on Sep 16, 2009 at 05:07 PM
    Again, this is NOT about race. Madame Mayor promised to keep the people informed of all decisions before they were made. She said there would not be secret meetings or agendas in this administration. She even said there would be transparency, honesty, and integrity brought back to the mayor's office. We are just holding Madame Mayor to her campaign promises. And for the record, many of us are tax paying citizens and we have every right to question decisions made by any elected official. The Bill of Rights guarantee us the same freedoms as YOU PEOPLE have. A city divided against itself will not stand!
  • by Glad not to be in Meridian on Sep 16, 2009 at 04:50 PM
    The new Mayor is just moving too fast; you can't jump into something so quickly & unemotionaly without a lot of controversy. Having been a manager, you don't operate like that; you earn respect first. And, this racial issue is just for the birds! Why does every-thing have to be about race? I do believe that there were a lot of other issues that the newly elected Mayor could have worked on before this dramatic clash came. You can't control everything. A wide smile does not hide all. All this racial slam just helps give Meridian a bad name, not only by surrounding counties, but other states. Come on citizens of Meridian; get a grip. You can't control everything & have it your way.
  • by ANONYMOUS Location: MERIDIAN on Sep 16, 2009 at 10:07 AM
    Sounds to me like if you are not happy with our city then you need to move!!!!!!!!!!!!! White people are getting the bad end of this. It concerns me that if the blacks are not trying to make it racist, then why the signs, posts, etc about it! Get over it and help this city move on with what we have. Who complained when OBAMA cleaned house? oh yeah, uh huh! That's what I thought. Good job Mayor Barry, stick to your guns, right or wrong, it is your job to do what you think is right. The last time I checked the Bible, God was the only JUDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by Bubba Location: On my tractor bush hogging on Sep 16, 2009 at 08:02 AM
    the man is 62 years old. Why does all these posistions have to be filled by retired people. Let's just keep taking jobs from the young people but keep talking about you can make a difference.
  • by Marie Location: City Council Ward 3 on Sep 16, 2009 at 04:28 AM
    I am writing from the worst, most neglected ward in Meridian.I am also a working taxpayer. How can the Council pass a budget with no raises for city workers while approving NEW positions created by the mayor? These new positions are fnded with tax monies, yet they are not advertised thereby denying taxpayers an opportunity to apply for them. How can Cheri Barry say she wants the BEST AND BRIGHTEST when all residents who qualify are not given an opportunity to apply for jobs she creates?
  • by SHERRY Location: MERIDIAN on Sep 15, 2009 at 09:55 PM
  • by Philip Location: Meridian on Sep 15, 2009 at 09:52 PM
    Maybe she is kicking out the resident Good Old Boys and company and trying to find folks who can think for themselves.
  • by meridian Location: meridian on Sep 15, 2009 at 08:44 PM
    "This administration is young". i beg to differ! we have over 65 years of combined community seasoned experience in this city's administration. tell me if that community experience was used, knowing what we all know about our community?
  • by Anonymous Location: Meridian on Sep 15, 2009 at 07:30 PM
    TO REDLINE: You are exactly right. Do not forget about the " yes massa" Blacks on the Council also...Palmer and Perry. They both need to be UNELECTED QUICKLY!! Had not the Black community protested tonight, Palmer and Perry would have voted FOR the new Police Chief's appointment. Did you notice they both apologized for voting with their constituents? WE NEED TO CLEAN HOUSE ON THE CITY cOUNCIL AND THE MAYOR'S OFFICE. Just hope the Black community and fair-minded Whites remain upset long enough to make meaningful changes in Meridian.
  • by bubba Location: on the south 40 drinking some crown on Sep 15, 2009 at 06:47 PM
    Jennifer, I do believe that there are many blacks that can do the jobs in this area and then some. The thing is when will some people give many of the the chance to do them? We want our young to get educated and stay around her?? Have them stay for what? To be over looked by someone that do not want to see them get ahead. If you like you can join me on the south 40, just bring a cup and a coke
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