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Feb. 18, 2001

By Staff
On Smith: He's just the mayor'
To the Editor:
I suppose the Mayor is the chief law enforcement officer for the city of Meridian. Just like he is the chief fire department officer, and the chief water department officer, and the chief road construction officer and the chief City Judge.
Well, in reality, he is just the Mayor. And as the Mayor, he selects the Fire Chief, the Police Chief, the City Judge and lots of other city department heads and employees. Is he qualified to attend a fire and tell the fire chief what lines to lay down or how to fight the fire? I think not.
Is he qualified to tell the City Judge how to rule in any City Court case? I think not.
And is he qualified to make prosecute/don't prosecute or (of all things) shoot/don't shoot decisions for the police department? Not by a long shot.
He is the Mayor. And if he does not agree with the way the Police Chief or the Fire Chief or the City Judge is doing his job, then he can remove him. But it is improper command influence for the Mayor to use his position to control the day to day decisions of the Police Chief, or the Fire Chief, or the City Judge, or the City Book Keepers, or the City Engineer. Should any other official attempt to influence or quash a criminal action because "no good can come of it," they might find themselves facing criminal charges.
Citizens are prosecuted for crimes in many instances where "no good can come of it." Just a certain group of citizens will benefit from the benevolent actions of the Mayor and be insulated from such prosecutions. You can be certain that citizens who make false felony charges and are not part of the Mayor's select group will be prosecuted in the future. In fact, all persons making false felony charges should face prosecution.
H.W. (Sonny) Jones
Attorney at Law
Filing a false report is still a crime
To the Editor:
I am very disturbed to learn that Mayor John Robert Smith made a decision not to press charges against a woman who lied about being raped. Filing a false report to the Police Department is a crime, especially after a victim admits that they lied. The Mayor made a statement that the woman has children and to prosecute her would have caused more harm to her.
Then Mayor Smith, what about the young black men who could have been stopped and questioned about this rape? What about their rights as a citizen? The decision should have been left up to the Chief of Police or Investigation Division, not the Mayor. Councilman Jesse Palmer should get the details before he starts taking sides.
In reference to this incident, I commend Councilman Bobby Smith for being concerned about the report and I agree with Councilman Smith  the Chief of Police should be under Civil Service.
John Nelson Jr.
Lt. (Retired) Meridian Police Department
Mayor or dictator'
To the Editor:
I am a native of Meridian and lived there for 39 years. I thought by now things would have changed when it comes to city government. After reading this article, I see how wrong I was.
The Mayor said Meridian has a civilian run government. After reading how he has intervened in these cases, it should make one wonder, mayor or dictator.
It's all right to be informed, but if the police and other law enforcement officers have to wait for the Mayor to decide who to press charges against and who not to, then why have a Chief of Police?
This is just one person's opinion.
Major Gaddy ll
Lathiona, Ga.
Unanswered questions
To the Editor:
On Friday, Feb. 2, there was an accident at the intersection of Stennis Drive and Highway 39 North that involved a Jeep and a log truck.
The young woman died as a result of that wreck and on that day our families' lives changed forever. We have so many unanswered questions. I know that a lot of people were there to help and from the depths of our hearts we thank you. Whether you helped with Ren, stopped to see if there was anything you could do or just said a prayer for our precious girl, your kindness is greatly appreciated since she was there alone and so far away from her loved ones.
That is the reason for this request. If you were there, please contact us. This is not for any other reason than to know if she said anything, asked for anyone, knew she was not going to live whatever you might be able to tell us would be of great help.
My son had been engaged to Ren for four years. They were so full of life and plans for their future together, but all that ended in Meridian on that Friday.
My son is really suffering. As is his mother, I am trying to get some type of closure for him and for our family.
Anything that you might be able to tell us, no matter how small, please contact me: work 1-800-962-7270, ext. 335; e-mail cpparks_49@yahoo.com; 2320 Highway 287, Business #6, Waxahachie, Texas 75167.
Thank you for your time and efforts on this. If you happen by the place where we put her memorial, remember her and her family in your prayers.
Peggy Parks
Waxahachie, Texas
Bishop family says thanks'
To the Editor:
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the truly wonderful people who helped us during the recent tornado crisis on December 16.
On that day we only had to contend with the "last minute shopping" we always do. However, at about 11:40 A.M. that all changed. Our home and numerous vehicles were severely damaged or destroyed in minutes.
We thank our Lord that our entire family escaped with only minor injuries. So often we don't realize the quality of people that we surround ourselves with until something like this happens. We know now that there isn't a more sincere, thoughtful, helpful and caring community in the world than we have here.
We only wish it hadn't taken a disaster like this to open our eyes.
We want to thank everyone who helped, volunteered, prayed, and had deep concerns for our family and all of the other families that were victims of the storm. We will never be able to repay all the people that helped us. Our entire family is truly grateful.
May God bless each and everyone of you!
The Bishop Family
Kevin, Debbie, Brandon &Cory
Time to stop telemarketing
To the Editor:
It's time to wake up, get off your fanny and contact your state representative about the Senate bill which was passed and sent to the Mississippi House of Representatives about telemarketing.
If you would like to stop telemarketing calls to your home then let your local representative hear from you. There will be resistance to passing this bill. The House version was killed in committee, so it's up to you to let your representative know that politics as usual is not good enough on this issue.
Woody Davis, MD