Supervisors appoint Shuman to interim election commission post

Union County Circuit Clerk administers the oath of office to Donnie Shuman.

The Union County Board of Supervisors appointed Donnie Shuman as interim District 1 Election Commissioner at their May meeting Monday.

Union County Circuit Clerk Phyllis Stanford administered the oath of office and Shuman will begin serving next week.

Shuman will fill the office vacated by the death of Wes Creighton. He will serve until a special election this November, when someone will be chosen to fill the rest of the term that runs through 2023. Shuman may run for the post if he chooses.

Stanford said Shuman is a good choice because of his experience holding elections and Shuman said he and Creighton were good friends and he will be honored to serve in a way that Creighton would approve of.

Supervisors met in their boardroom in the chancery court building for the first time in more than a year, due to the COVID pandemic.

The board also acted on several personnel matters Monday.

They approved hiring Bill Smith to become assistant receiving clerk effective July 1.

David Gaines will move to maintenance, buildings and grounds.

Normal Hill was approved as part-time road department employee.

A longevity pay increase was approved for deputy Brett Wicker.

Steven Ragsdale was transferred from part-time to full-time jailer.

Kegan Garrison will be part-time road department employee.

In equipment, supervisors heard a report on electronic bids placed for new 20-cubic-yard and 25-cubic-yard garbage trucks but decided to take the bids under advisement. Bids were generally in the $180,000 range but the eight bidders proposed several variables such as truck engine, body type, distance and availability. Because of that complexity, supervisors will have to carefully compare the bids before making a purchase decision.

Board attorney Chandler Rogers brought up an issue related to garbage collection.

He said he will propose a new master contract to be used between the county and commercial garbage accounts in the next several weeks. Rogers said eight counties use the Three Rivers Regional Landfill but do not use the same contracts. Union County’s is 25 years old and board president Steve Watson said it needs updating badly. “We’re losing money on commercial garbage,” he said.

A solution may be to ask for deposits or seeking the legal option of placing liens on property if bills are not paid. That can be done on other accounts now, but not commercial.

Rogers said attorneys for all eight counties are working together to create a contract suitable for each county.

In other action, the board approved a few reductions in assessments that Tax Assessor-Collector Tameri Dunnam were needed due to clerical errors. An example was when a building had been removed from property but the assessment had not been updated.

Supervisors approved an emergency purchase of a 72 by 40 culvert for CR 44, approved the consent agenda including 15 death investigations by the medical examiner-investigator and the May roadwork schedule. They also approved travel costs and registration for the supervisors, administrator, comptroller, board attorney and road manager to attend the Mississippi Association of Supervisors convention in Biloxi June 14-18.

Before adjourning, the board went into executive session for an industrial development update from Three Rivers development Gary Chandler. He said no board action was expected.

The next scheduled meeting of the board of supervisors will be at 10 a.m. Monday, May 17. Monday, they returned to the boardroom in the chancery court building for the first time in more than a year, due to the pandemic.

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