By PAUL SIMS
Oktibbeha County supervisors named Ruby Shurden Monday to fill the unexpired term of her husband, Jimmy Shurden, who served as the District 1 constable.
Jimmy Shurden did not seek re-election to the office for the August primary and November general election. He died April 19 at the age of 68.
In April, Circuit Clerk Angie McGinnis said she had looked over the law and thought a special election was unnecessary since the office became vacant in the term’s final year.
The seven candidates qualified to run for the seat are – Democrats Curtis White, William Ford, Joe Morse and Freddie Bardley and Republicans Shank Phelps, Tom Roberson and David Starsky.
The primary will take place Aug. 2. The general election is set for Nov. 8.
District 1 Supervisor Carl Clardy notes Ruby Shurden has served in law enforcement for several years. “I feel like she’s capable of handling it,” he said, adding it’s customary to allow a spouse to fill out a term. “We feel like she’ll do a good job.”
Both her roles as constable and as staff support technician at the Starkville Police Department “can be done on an equal and effective basis,” Starkville Police Chief David Lindley said: “We look forward to working with Mrs. Shurden in her new capacity,” he said.
Ruby Shurden said: “I’m humbled and honored that they would give me that opportunity to serve for the next eight months.”
In other matters, the board:
u Enacted a board order to allow County Administrator Don Posey to serve as the contact with any surrounding counties in need of help as they work to recover from last week’s severe storms. As a county government, “we are limited on what we can do, but want to be available and offer whatever assistance we can to help them through this critical and stressful period,” said District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer after Monday’s meeting. Trainer presided over Monday’s meeting in District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard’s absence.
u Listened to Dorothy Bishop make an appeal to the board to have at least her name listed among those in the Unity Park planned for the county education building under construction on Main Street.
She listed various activities she’s participated in over the years to support a number of causes.
“I’m a civil rights leader,” Bishop told the board Monday and asked if her name couldn’t go on the display if her image could. County officials had previously decided not to add local people to the display.
Trainer told her that a full board was not present Monday but that the panel would take the matter under consideration.
u Heard a report from County Road Manager Victor Collins, who said crews have performed some storm-related work, to include replacing a cross drain on Polly Bell Road.
u Transferred $100,000 from the buildings and ground fund to a fund for construction of the county education building. Posey said the county has transferred about $309,000 out of a total $320,000 matching amount.
u Took under advisement bids for a pumper truck for Bell Schoolhouse Volunteer Fire Department.
u Made supplemental agreements to address a ditch which is washing out and a culvert which is not wide enough on Poorhouse Road.
u Decided to proceed with asking AT&T for relief from fees related to phone record subpoenas. Sheriff’s Department Cmdr. Robert Elmore told the supervisors the charge can be at least $50, sometimes more.