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Municipal Complex panel: Keep it frugal

February 3, 2011

By KELLY DANIELS
citybeat@bellsouth.net

Biweekly meetings of the citizen-led Municipal Complex Committee are drawing more suggestions from outside.
Appointed by city officials, the committee was charged with finding a feasible recommendation for providing an adequate facility the Police Department and City Hall operations.
Local organizations attended Wednesday’s meeting with requests of their own.
Speaking for downtown businesses owners, Larry Mullins asked the committee to hold off on a recommendation until experts provided by the Mississippi Main Street Association complete intensive design and planning workshops.
“We want to have a voice on this committee,” Mullins said.
Dr. Roy Ruby, committee chair, replied, “Your voice will be heard as loud as you want to make it.”
Reading from a letter circulated among the committee, local TEA Party executive Jane Vemer prioritized the needs of the Police Department and the Municipal Court as most urgent: “The mayor and C.A.O.’s offices are not fancy and extravagant but are certainly adequate. The same goes for the City Clerk’s Office and Public Services Department... We understand the desire to make a good impression for economic development purposes, but nothing says ‘Welcome to our town’ better than a low tax rate and business-friendly city regulations.”
Concerned about tax increases, Vemer said, “... We should not and cannot spend what we don’t have. A taxing authority should not tax its taxpayers beyond their ability to pay.”
Committee member Frank Chiles said that he and other members are keeping frugality a high priority.
“We have tried to be as frugal with the recommendation as we can, because we know there are limits to what people can do,” Chiles said.
The Municipal Complex Committee later entered into an executive session.

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