Meridian, Miss. Meridian Mayor Percy Bland says his administration has had plenty of success in its first few months, but there have also been plenty of obstacles. So when we asked him to grade himself, he told us he hasn't quite earned an A+ yet.
"Based on the things we have accomplished in 100 days, I'd probably give us an A-. I think that I've learned a lot from the first day I've been in office," Bland told Newscenter 11.
During Mayor Bland's first 100 days in office, he says there is plenty to warrant that A for his administration, including a balanced budget, a one million dollar city investment in the Meridian Arts and Entertainment center and securing investors for new hotels in four months.
"To actually change the culture, change the process and change the way we do city business; that's going to make us a more efficient governmental body," Bland said.
Bland says he has also passed several mandates for the individual citizens of Meridian, such as the officer next door initiative to cut down on crime and the livable wage program that increased some city employees' salaries. He says he hopes that those small initiatives will inspire other improvements.
"To start the momentum, start the conversations, so we can really reach our goals as it relates to economic development," Bland explained.
But as for the minus, he says he hasn't been successful in all his ventures. One of his biggest hardships has been the very visible struggle with the Meridian City Council.
Bland has vetoed their ordinances a few times, only to have the vetoes overturned. He has also told Newscenter 11 he was disrespected by members of the council. But he says their relationship is improving.
"You will see us communicate better, and you will see us make decisions with less vetoes or less issues going forward," the mayor said.
Mayor Bland says he hopes to soon bump that A- to an A+.
"I will continue to represent all wards, all people, all demographics to lead this city," he continued.
Part 2 will focus on the Meridian City Council.