Meridian City Council votes 2-2 on CAO candidate

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 1:02 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - A vote Tuesday on a candidate for Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Meridian was a stalemate. It failed on a 2-2 tie vote.

Mayor Jimmie Smith nominated Chrissie Walker, the current Human Resources Director, who has been in the job for 11 years. He said he’s disappointed he didn’t get at least three ‘yes’ votes.

“She is probably one of the most qualified individuals we could have had. She serves now in the Department of Human Resources. She knows every department. She knows what’s going on and has a wealth of knowledge,” said Smith. “If we bring someone else in, they have to go to her to learn what’s going on in the world.”

District 3 Councilman Joseph Norwood and District 4 Councilwoman Romande Walker voted to approve the appointment.

District 1 Councilman Dr. George Thomas and District 5 Councilwoman Ty Bell Lindsey voted no. Both said Chrissie Walker has done a good job in HR and they want her to remain there but said she’s ‘not ready’ for the CAO position.

District 2 Councilman Dwayne Davis excused himself from the vote because he said he’s related to Chrissie Walker.

“I am disappointed in the decision. I hate that it happened as it did. At least she will still be with us,” the mayor said.

Now Smith said it is back to the drawing board to select another candidate for the CAO position.

“I’ve got to pick that person. It’s up to me and it’s up to them to vote on it. And I’m not going to pick who they always want. Because I know there are some candidates out there and if they had been the choice, then I would have had them up here.”

Walker has been working at city hall for 11 years in the HR department.

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