Alderwoman Elizabeth Thomas said she hopes the aldermen will recognize their strengths as city leaders in the new year.
Having served on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for one year, Thomas said she admits that it has been challenging. But during the recent city council meeting, she asked her fellow aldermen to begin utilizing their strengths.
“Yazoo City has strengths,” Thomas said. “We have weakness. But as I look at this board, I see strengths in each of the aldermen and the mayor. Why are we not utilizing the strengths of each one of these aldermen?”
Thomas said she understands that Mayor Diane Delaware is an active, voting, member of the city council and that she handles the daily operations of the city of Yazoo City.
“One thing this pandemic did this year was give us the opportunity to come off the wall,” Thomas said. “This board was jammed up against the wall. Now, we are decently seated. Take our strengths as a board and utilize them for Yazoo City. It should not be about what I want or what you want but what we need. That should be our goal for the upcoming year. How do we want to better Yazoo City?”
Thomas said the city council had several meetings with the city’s department heads, which resulted in no requests for pay raises or equipment purchases. However, she said she finally received a summary of what the board would be voting on.
Thomas also said it has been told to citizens to voice their concerns to Delaware by calling her directly or calling the city’s action line.
“For the Ward 4 constituents, do know that I have had the same phone number for 47 years,” Thomas said. “Call me at 662-746-7552. We are a team, working for one goal…Yazoo City.”
Delaware responded that she does run to the daily operations of the city because that is what a mayor does.
“I say this out of the goodness of my heart, but if you want to run day to day operations…run for mayor,” Delaware said. “I am going to do what I need to do every day of my life up until the time when I am not mayor. The department heads do report to me, and we talk regularly. That is what I was elected to do, and that is what I am going to do.”
Delaware added that the city’s department heads have performed well in the midst of COVID-19.
“We manage for results, and I commend them,” Delaware said. “But we will not call the board for basic things that need to be done (in a timely manner).”
Delaware added that the city’s financials are in good shape with revenues on the rise.
“Our finances are in order,” she said. “They were not, but I am proud of Yazoo City and this board because we did it together. If we all stay in our lanes, we can get it done.”