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City Workers Plant Flowers on Private Property

Entrance of Dean Acres (Where Mayor Robert Smith Resides)

Ron Williams

I’d heard the information previously and some alert Columbus citizens have been complaining. The complaints were that Columbus city workers had been seen planting and maintaining flowers around the entrance to Dean Acres, a community just off of Yorkville Road not far from Omnova. Dean Acres is the community in which Columbus Mayor Robert Smith resides.

At the last city council meeting, I asked Columbus Public Works Director Mike Pratt about the situation. I’ve always had a good relationship with Mike and if I ask him something, he’s never failed to answer me candidly. As soon as I mentioned it (though I detected a reaction similar to that of someone caught with their hand in the cookie jar. RW), Pratt freely admitted that city workers planted the flowers. To my knowledge, that piece of property is not city property, but private property. Therefore, city workers are not allowed to do work on private property.

The entrance to Dean Acres. Photo courtesy of an alert Packet reader.

Those complaining claim it has been going on for years. If that’s true (considering all the worked hours by city workers and cost of equipment, materials, etc)…it could be costing taxpayers a pretty good chunk of change. That hurts when hard-working private homeowners have to foot their own bill when maintaining their homes, yards etc. And when they see something like this happening, they lose trust in their local government. Yes, it goes on. But there are people out there paying attention. So if you’re in a position of working for the taxpayers, you might want to keep that in mind…and do the right thing!

Leroy Brooks Will Be a Mississippi Delegate to the Democratic National Convention

Longtime District 5 Supervisor Leroy Brooks had previously been chosen as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention which will be held the week of September 3rd in Charlotte, North Carolina.
I got to thinking about the distinction last week and its possible association with the i-phone incident. Like me, Leroy Brooks grew up relatively poor and he worked hard to get an education and rise through the ranks to reach his position of county supervisor. Growing up and never having much, Brooks likely realized that he’d be considered behind-the-times with his fellow delegates in Charlotte by only possessing a common Blackberry (county-issued) phone as opposed to an i-phone (considered a ‘must-have’ item to the ‘social elite’. That’s not to say that anyone with an i-phone is a ‘social-elitist’. But in order for Leroy Brooks to fit-in, he probably figures he MUST have one. RW)
Just some food for thought during this upcoming event!
(Footnote: I wish I had a Blackberry. I’d consider it a luxury. If I didn’t have to pay for it, I’d consider it a God-send. RW)
Southside/Townsend Park 5th Annual Blues Festival July 2, 3rd and 4th

The 5th annual Southside/Townsend Park Blues Festival will take place starting Monday and run through Wednesday, July 4th. Monday will be the Softball Challenge at 6 p.m. with free admission. The Softball Challenge Finals will continue Tuesday evening with music from DJ Tall Paul! Wednesday July 4th, the festival will get started at 10 a.m. and last until…Music will be provided by Ms. Jody, The Caldwell Sisters, The Mississippi Nightingales, Keith & Margie, Swing Shift and the legendary Clarence Carter (Mr. ‘Strokin’ himself!).
There will be Kids Events, Inflatable Jumpers, Face Painting and much, much more. You don’t want to miss this! For more info, call Gene Taylor at 662-425-1833 or Jeff Smith at 662-386-6923.

Columbus Conventions and Visitors Bureau Appointment Tuesday

I’ve reported to you previously that the Columbus City Council will renew the restaurant appointment to the Columbus Conventions and Visitors Bureau at the Tuesday, July 3rd meeting. Bernard Buckhalter, who now occupies the position, has applied once again. The other applicant is Glenn Baldwyn, who owns Cattleman’s.
Even though – under the silly ordinance that governs those appointments – that Buckhalter is eligible though he works in Starkville, I still believe a local restaurateur should get the position.
But…I learned a long time ago. It doesn’t matter a hill of beans what I think!

Ron Williams can be reached by email at Ronsings2you@aol.com



  1. Jack Robinson

    We all know and have always known what the Mayor was. The people who vote him in don’t care. This is very petty as to what else goes on. What about the Mayor putting on the lunches for free. Who pays for those? YOU KNOW!!! Why does no one question what MDOT pays the city for the upkeep on the by-pass. I have asked but THEY just say the city gets paid. This works well in the re-election time. As for LeRoy – well I heard he ax someone to loan him one for the trip. At least the county will be better off with him gone.Ron, keep up the good work. You are our only source of this type of news.

  2. I must have misread the portion of the ordinance governing appointments to the CVB board. I thought it specifies the appointee must own or be employed by a business subject to the two percent tax. I thought THAT two percent tax was a local tax, meaning local as in Columbus or Lowndes County.

    • Ron Williams

      Thom…the ordinance says that someone who owns a restaurant subject to the 2% tax can simply submit a name to the council. In other words…that person doesn’t have to work for a restaurant. That’s why I called it silly. What a joke!

  3. New Hope Band

    More proof that the local Democratic Party is so far out of touch with hard working, honest people.

  4. Jack Robinson

    Thom, You are right – and you are not to plant flowers on private property. The Dems do what that like. That is why every major city in the US is upside down. Besure to tell everyone to go vote.

  5. Allen Harmon

    I heard Buckhaulter was fired and is working a Lowes in starkville. Was he the one arrested for DUI and spent the night in Starkville jail?

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