Council votes 3-2 for new insurance company

Three months before the City of Clarksdale was to solicit bids for municipal insurance, the Council of Mayor and Commissioners, by a vote of 3 to 2, decided to make a change.

Clarksdale has appointed Marketing Group of Mississippi Insurance (MGOMSI) as its official agent on a request from Ward 3 Commissioner Willie Turner and a second from Ward 4 Commissioner Ed Seals. Ward 1 Commissioner Bo Plunk and Ward 2 Commissioner Ken Murphey questioned why the decision was made so quickly when the city would seek insurance quotes in August.

When the vote took place, Turner and Seals voted for the change, with Murphey and Plunk voting against it now. Mayor Chuck Espy, who brought the company before the board earlier this month, cast the deciding 3-2 vote.

The city was approached by Homer Braylock and Artie Armstrong earlier this month seeking the city’s insurance business, specifically health insurance endorsements. MGOMSI’s simple three-page website, – – states that they have over 25 years of combined experience in providing health insurance coverage. MGOMSI lists the office at 357 Towne Center Blvd., Suite 201 Ridgeland.

“The guys who have our insurance now have saved us millions of dollars and all I want is the best possible insurance for our employees,” Plunk said. “Don’t we have to bid and isn’t that how we’ve done in the past?

City Council attorney Melvin Miller said the city doesn’t have a contract and can change.

Mayor Espy said the city would be accepting offers in August and it was a trial. When Plunk asked for clarification on how long the company would operate in the city, Espy said one year.

Plunk called for the vote to be postponed to better understand what would change and why.

Espy pointed out that there was one motion and a second and a vote was called.

Before the vote, Murphey said he felt the application process, which the city has used for years for insurance, was the best process.

“I have concerns about this; do we get the same coverage, better coverage, better rates or what,” Murphey said. “I don’t know why we let go of a company that has been good to us. »

Seals and Turner remained silent on the issue.

In other cases:

• The city has approved a request from Michael Barefield for police and firefighters to participate in an anniversary parade on Friday June 10

• Commissioners approved a request by Bill Gresham for a street sweeper in the town center by 7am on a set day to allow residents to move their cars that morning.

• John Ruskey presented a $1,000 check to the police department from fees paid by campers who stayed during the Juke Joint Festival

• Commissioners have authorized Public Works to accept a quote to repair the drainage at 636 Oakhurst

• Commissioners authorized Public Works to obtain quotes to repair drainage at 1411 Park Lane, 1035 Russwin, 1040 Spruce and 477 Ohio.

• Endorsed Mayor Espy as a voting delegate to the Mississippi Municipal League convention in Biloxi in June. The alternate is Commissioner Plunk

• The city has voted to strike a deal with architect Belinda Stewart to publicize repairs to the city’s auditorium roof

• Recognize vague expenses that will be paid with ARPA funds.

• Acceptance of an estimate from Britts Tree Service, in the amount of $1,600 for the removal of three trees.

• Acceptance of an estimate from Resurface Paint in the amount of $5,525.00 for the installation of a dividing wall on the third floor of Town Hall.

• Council accepted an estimate from Timbo Construction in the amount of $9,613.69 for the installation of carpet in the town council chambers

• The city paid the following bills: Cornerstone $2,250; City of Clarksdale $1,858; MDA $1,858; Cintas $543.94; Avaya $3,975; Travelers $1,326; Slaughtering and associates $7,024.38; Debra Brown $1,100; Hammons & Associates $227.70; Robert Huff designs $1,400; O’Reilly $744.95; Britt tree service $250; Center sound $2,239.80; John Deere $3,518.95; Cannon Cleveland $47,275; Geiger $284.67; Visa $1,234.85.

• The board did not fill the following vacancies:

  • Clarksdale School Board, Ward 2.
  • Blues Museum, Ward2.
  • Quality of Life Commission, Ward 1.

• Council voted to allow Constable Bell to attend homicide investigation training in Choctaw, Mississippi, May 24-25.

• The board recognized Asst. Chief Ramirez will not attend the Mississippi Gulf Coast chiefs conference.

• Council voted to get quotes for landfill to remove dirt and prepare to move from cell to cell.

• The city will advertise for an assistant clerk position.

• The Board acknowledged that Lakeisha Jones is on sick leave.

• The city voted to pay further longevity increases for the following firefighters: Joseph Pittman, Christopher Terry and Jameel Wallace.

• The city voted to pay a claim, as advised by City Council attorney Melvin Miller on Tenyuntay Brown.

• The city has agreed to a city/county equipment loan agreement that will allow the city to work outside the city limits and set the prices to be paid for the use of equipment and labor ‘work.

The city adjourned until its verification meeting on Thursday, June 9 and this one, Monday, June 13, regular meeting.

Source link

Justin D. O'Neill