Mayor Diane Delaware says that when it comes to working on city streets, outside “help” isn’t always helpful.
During a report to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen last week, Public Works Director Prentiss Young mentioned that the city has been getting some help from the county with some work on city streets.
Delaware said that she was unaware of the county doing any work and questioned why the county was allowed to do any work on city streets without getting approval from the city.
Ward 3 Alderman Sir Jonathan Rucker asked why the city wouldn’t welcome any assistance from the county with so many challenges facing city streets.
“I’m new to the board so I’m just asking the question,” Rucker said. “What is the process?”
Delaware said the county needs to get approval from the city for any repairs or alterations made to city streets. She pointed to recent work in Jonestown as an example of why the city wants the county to get any projects cleared by the city in advance.
“In Jonestown someone has place speed bumps in the streets,” Delaware said. “Those speed bumps cause damage to people’s cars. The claims that result from this come to the city – not the county.”
The speed bumps Delaware referenced were installed by the county after District 3 Supervisor Willie “Deuce” Wright said residents were complaining about frequent speeding in the neighborhoods.
Delaware said the county may have had good intentions, but the speed bumps have created problems for the city.
“We don’t want anyone – not citizens or the county – doing things without talking to us about it,” Delaware said. “We do want to work with the county, however.”
In other business during last week’s meeting:
Fire Chief Terry Harber said the department is looking to fill five positions. He said applications are available at City Hall.
Police Chief Ron Sampson is also looking for qualified applicants. He said the department recently hosted testing for potential recruits. Eleven people signed up for the tests, but only five of them showed up. Of those five, three were considered potential candidates after testing.
Rucker said some residents who read a recent article in The Yazoo Herald where the mayor was instructing aldermen not to interfere with police business interpreted her comments to be directed toward him.
“I will publicly say that I have not opened an investigation into the police department or anyone else,” Rucker said.
Ward 4 Alderman Aubry Brent Jr. said there are too many problems with garbage collectors leaving garbage cans in front of mailboxes.
Delaware said the company the city uses to collect garbage has plans to place marks designating where residents should leave the cans and where the cans should be returned after the garbage is emptied.
Young issued a plea for citizens to talk to their children about littering and do a better job themselves of keeping Yazoo City clean. He said it is disheartening to see the amount of trash thrown out along the city’s streets.
“I guarantee you that there is a garbage can wherever you are going,” he said.
Young said litter hurts the town’s prospects for economic development.
“Jobs come to clean cities,” he said. “They ain’t going to come to a nasty city. We have a beautiful city, but we have to take care of it.”
Young also noted that the city is frequently having to pick up debris left behind by contractors in the city. Contractors are supposed to be responsible for cleaning up their own job sites. Young said the city has only been picking up the debris because it would otherwise be left indefinitely.
Delaware said the city needs to establish a process to hold contractors accountable.