Pelahatchie News

Two people are required to sign the Town of Pelahatchie checks for em- ployees, power for telephones and lift stations, gas for police cars and fire trucks, insurance payments for state re- tirement, and pay other essential bills. Normally, that is Mayor Ryshonda Beechem andAlderman Pro Temp Mar- gie Warren or the city clerk, but there is no one currently in that position. "We are fighting to save the Town, not destroy it," said Warren, who has been a Pelahatchie Alderman for more than 30 years. "Something’s got to give. We are grasping at straws." She said the telephone company came out Friday, August 23, to turn the tele- phones off, but the Town was given an extension. But the unpaid bills are mounting up. There’s money there, ac- cording to Warren, but no checks are being written. Warren said that the Town Attorney JohnWakefield advised the Board not to spend money until an audit is done for the safety of each individual member. Beechem’s attorney, Thomas Bellinder, said "When it came time to sign the check for the illegal payment to their private lawyers to de- fend against the state auditor’s lawsuit, the Board had no problem sign- ing. But now, were worried about whose 'job' it is." Beechem feels she has giv- en Warren the instructions to upload to ACH, but Warren said she has never done that and is not comfortable doing it. To help the employees who have not received a paycheck in August, there has been more than $10,000 raised. On Sunday, August 25, $990 was given in Pelahatchie Baptist’s service for the employees. Both the Mayor and Board of Alder- men are frustrated with the situation. The Mayor feels "this board hasn’t given me the tools to do my job. I will happily do all these things if provided with tools I need: I need a full-time clerk; an attorney that will tell me in writing it’s lawful to sign off, I will sign off; quit having meetings in private and making decisions without my knowl- edge with the previous mayor; I need financial management that isn’t depen- dent on illegal loans or borrowing mon- ey from funds that are not permitted A Caring & Friendly Atmosphere Treating Children, Adults, and Seniors Cleanings • Fillings Extractions • Whitening Dentures • Crowns Root Canals • Implants and More By Susie A. Wolfe PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID PELAHATCHIE, MS PERMIT NO. 4 Pelahatchie News P.O. Box 771 Pelahatchie, MS 39145 INSIDE THIS ISSUE Champion to perform at Jubilee - pg. 3 Varner gets "miracle" lung transplant - pg. 9 September 2019 Volume 8 Issue 9 Good News You Can Use Town in Turmoil: Problems in getting checks signed Schedule of events: September 7, 2019, 10 a.m. Welcome - Mayor Ryshonda Beechem Invocation - Pastor Beth Feisel Flag Presentation - Pelahatchie ROTC Pledge of Allegiance & National Anthem - PHS ROTC 10:20-10:45 - Introducing the Miss Muscadine Jubilee 2019 10:45-11:20 - Chieftacular 11:20-12:00 - Political Candidates Speaking 12:00-12:20 - 2019 Celebrity Muscadine Stomp 12:30-1:00 - Political Candidates Speaking and band set up 1:00-2:00 - Grady Champion 2:15-3:15 - Troy Laz Band 3:15-4:15 - Fair River Band Muscadine Jubilee set for September 7 The thirty-ninth annual Muscadine Jubilee will be held on Saturday, Sep- tember 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mus- cadine Park in Downtown Pelahatchie. Craft and food vendors will again line the downtown area, as will train rides, and live entertainment. New this year is that the Kid’s Zone is free. Entertainment includes Fair River Band, Troy Laz, Grady Champion and Pelahatchie Elementary’s Chieftacu- lar. The famous Muscadine Stomp will have local politicians, candidates and celebrities against each other for brag- ging rights. Those signed up as of pub- lication include: Whitney Adams, Jay Hughes, Jeff McDaniels, and DeKethier Stamps. Muscadine Pageant winners will also be introduced at the event. By Susie A. Wolfe Photos special to Pelahatchie News Special to Pelahatchie News continued on page 3 Mayor Ryshonda Beechem is shown signing Pelahatchie employees August checks. It took a few days for all employees to get their checks, but as of the end of August, all employees were paid. Beechem is quoted as saying “This tempo- rary fix will not solve a long-term problem… I, as mayor, plan to continue to avoid personally executing any check, loan, note or instrument on behalf of the Town.” Her attorney has advised her not to sign off on any finances while investigations are underway.