Thomas questions Parks & Rec actions

By JASON PATTERSON,

Ward 4 Alderwoman Elizabeth Thomas questioned why a new director for Parks & Recreation hasn’t been hired and why one board member was fired Monday.

Thomas said a majority of the Mayor and Board of Alderman gave its blessing to hire a new director, but she hasn’t heard anything since.

“What is the status of the Parks & Recreation director,” Thomas asked. “On January 13 we approved hiring Greg Shaffer 3-2. To my knowledge, he’s still not hired. Why?”

Thomas also questioned why Joffre Washington was removed from the Parks and Recreation Board of Directors.

“He was called in and told that his services were no longer needed,” Thomas said. “I know on January 27, we did not approve such an action. He was told on January 23 that his services were no longer needed. That was four days before our last meeting.”

Thomas said she has heard rumors about the action that were not true.

“He was terminated, but these four aldermen did not make that recommendation,” Thomas said. “I received a call saying that I was responsible for terminating Joffre because I was retaliating because he ran for alderman. This is foolishness.”

In another matter, Thomas complained that she had requested stationary with the city’s letterhead for official correspondence, but that request had not been granted.

“I requested 10 sheets of letterhead the other day only to be told that the only people who could write letters for the city are the mayor and the city clerk,” Thomas said. “I’m elected for Ward 4. If I want to write a letter of recommendation or congratulations, or even if I want to write a state agency, I have that right. I shouldn’t be micromanaged. Each alderman should be given city letterhead. If we have business cards, why can’t we have letterhead.”

Mayor Diane Delaware said she never denied Thomas any letterhead.

“I said that we had some cards available with the city seal, and I took those cards over to be available to whomever needed them,” Delaware said. “No alderman has ever asked for letterhead so we don’t have any special printed letterhead. We are happy to provide city letterhead stationary, but we have to order it.We have never denied any letterhead. We don’t have any.”

Delaware said she often uses the city seal on a piece of white paper as letterhead.

“In the world today, many people use this type of paper,: she said. “I would be happy to have any aldermen write what they want as long as it’s not being written on behalf of the city of Yazoo City because this board has no authority to write anything on behalf of the city unless we vote on it.”

Thomas disputed Delaware’s account of what happened.

“Mayor, I was told that I had to bring what I wanted to say to your office and I had to let you or the city clerk type it, so don’t try to tell me what’s what,” Thomas said. “I want it to be know that I couldn’t even get a piece of letterhead.”

“I don’t know anything about that,” Delaware responded.