When the city council approved giving themselves raises last year, Francine Wallace said she did not see an issue if the city held up to its end of the bargain with proper services. A year later, she said she doesn’t feel she is getting what she paid for.
“I had no problem with those increases as long as I could see the services that were supposed to be provided by the city being rendered,” she said, during the recent city council meeting.
Wallace said she has major concerns over dilapidated properties, street conditions, garbage collection and grass cutting near her home on Smith Road, which is located off of Fifteenth Street.
“The street itself is a major concern,” she said. “It has been patched on for several years, and it is still horrible. The grass is seldom cut. I did notice this morning there has been an attempt to cut the grass along the portion of the ditch in front of the park. We have had two snakes in less than a week come under my carport.”
Wallace said there are dilapidated houses across the street and next door to her home.
“There was someone looking at the property across the street and said that it should be down, at the time, in 30 days,” she said. “That was at the end of July. Of course, it is still there. It houses a variety of animals as does the one right next door. We can’t get enough cats to live in the neighborhood to take care of the rodents.”
Wallace said trash collection is also so much a problem that she said her trash is not picked up unless she calls the city.
“Not one time that trash is put out that we don’t have to make a special call to get it picked up,” Wallace said. “Trash has been alongside the street for well within the third week. Two of my neighbors have called about it, and it is still there.”
Wallace voiced her opinion about the direction of the city during last year’s budget proposal. In 2019, a three percent pay raise was given to the aldermen’s $26,155 annual salary. However, Alderman Sir Johnathan Rucker declined his pay raise, and the late Aldermen Aubry Brent Jr. and Andre Lloyd capped their annual salaries at $11,000 since they were receiving state retirement. Alderman Ron Johnson accepted an increase in his salary.
The aldermen of Yazoo City are the third highest paid in the state.
Mayor Diane Delaware did not receive a pay raise in the 2019 budget preparation. All department heads saw a pay raise, but city employees did not see more in their salaries.
“I had no problem with the increase in taxes or salaries as long as the services were provided to reflect on it,” Wallace said, this week. “I am very dissatisfied with the fact that those services have not been provided to warrant the increases.”