The Jackson City Council really got the ball rolling on its new term Monday afternoon by kicking the can on two important issues - the confirmation of Lumumba's selection of fire and police chief - not one week, but two weeks down the road.
Council President Charles Tillman, Ward 4, set a public hearing for Thursday, July 18, at 6:30 p.m. for citizens to come out and let their voices be heard on the appointment of Lindsey Horton and Willie Owens as police and fire chief, respectively. Mayor Chokwe Lumumba held a press conference to introduce the duo minutes before the council meeting began.
When asked by Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon, Ward 7, why the delay of a vote was necessary, Tillman said he was going to "be accommodating" to the council members who were not present who said they wanted to be a part of the process.
The two absent members were Quentin Whitwell, Ward 1, who was attending a Mississippi Bar Association Convention and LaRita Cooper-Stokes, Ward 3, who does not attend special meetings of the council on principle.
Tillman ended the meeting by saying he should have his committee appointments done by next week, at the latest, and said he's excited about how efficient this council is going to be.
The good news: Tillman approved Cooper-Stokes' seating arrangement proposal, and the council now sits in the correct order - from 1 to 7 – except seats 4 and 5 are flipped so the president can sit in the middle. (So the order is now 1-2-3-5-4-6-7.) Perhaps next, the council can get its priorities in order.