It was about $50 worth of stamps, but it was enough to cause some tension at the Yazoo County Board of Supervisors’ meeting last week.
During the board meeting last Monday morning, Chancery Clerk Quint Carver had 144 homestead notices ready to mail. But he said either the county board could run them through their postage machine or put more money in his budget to handle postage.
“I am missing something,” asked Supervisor Jayne Dew. “What does this have to do with us?”
“You can lose money or gain money in regard to these,” Carver replied, holding the stack of letters.
Donna Kraft, county administrator, said she assumed the notices would be mailed out of Carver’s office.
“I would have thought that would have been out of the chancery clerk’s office, and that would be a part of the chancery clerk’s office expense.”
Carver said his office did have its own postage machine at one time, but he removed it from his operation because it proved to be costly and unnecessary.
Carver added that the homestead notices are mailed out twice a year.
“I am just letting you know,” Carver said. “Any other postage is yours. I have always run it through my machines; every year for the past 12 years. I don’t have a machine anymore so I don’t have that option. The machine was costing too much. I didn’t need it. It cost me $400 a quarter, and I wasn’t needing it anymore.”
“If you want to put some more money in my budget or buy me some stamps…,” Carver continued.
“Now we are getting down to it,” Dew replied.
Dew asked what were the return addresses of the notices.
“It’s mine, but it is your mail,” Carver said. “It’s your money you are getting back. I don’t receive anything from this. You either lose money or collect money as a result of this…the county does.”
Jay Barbour, board attorney, said he assumes there is a statue that says the chancery clerk has to send the notices out. He said he would look into it to see if it states whether the mail-out would be included in the chancery clerk’s duties as part of a statuary obligation.
Supervisor Cobie Collins told Carver to let Kraft mail the notices. He also asked Barbour to pursue an attorney general’s opinion, which could take up to 45 days.
“I think it’s the principle,” Dew said. “But we can remember that budget is coming up.”
“If you want to add postage to my budget…” Carver said.
“That’s not exactly what I had in mind, Quint,” Dew replied.
“If you don’t have a budget, it’s not worth losing,” Carver added.
“That sounds like a true unopposed guy,” said Supervisor Willie Wright, in reference to the upcoming county elections.