No aldermen attend Pelahatchie mayor’s first State of the Town Address

Mayor Beechem says they may not have known about it
Updated: Jan. 8, 2020 at 7:51 PM CST
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PELAHATCHIE, Miss. (WLBT) - From money woes to heated exchanges between local officials caught on camera, the town of Pelahatchie has dealt with its fair share of issues.

So all eyes were on Mayor Ryshonda Beechem Wednesday as she gave her first State of the Town Address.

"It’s important that the mayor speak to citizens with clarity and transparency and clarity as to the state to our town,” said Beechem.

Before a small group of citizens, Mayor Ryshonda Beechem discussed what she calls the “good, bad, and ugly” going on in the town for the past two years since she’s been in office.

The good includes the economic development improvements.

She says more houses are currently being built and businesses are relocating to Pelahatchie including Performance Therapy, a safe room and a million-dollar upgrade at Yogi Bear Park.

“I would love to see a Waffle House and a hotel. We are the last town in Rankin County with development opportunities.”

Then there are the problems plaguing the city. The mayor claims there is a staffing shortage at City Hall.

“We have one full-time deputy clerk for a period of months. Per my understanding, it is required we have a city clerk. The board hires and fires.”

Beechem has not had a good relationship with the board ever since she was elected. She admits she is still upset her salary was cut by 75-percent and that they cut theirs by 50-percent.

"We are still at a standstill. We are still in litigation for the cut of pay and we are in litigation for the day-to-day operations. I would love for it to be over."

Late last year there was lots of turmoil in the city. The mayor and aldermen blamed each other for paycheck delays in the city. She also suspended the police chief for insubordination, but the board stepped in and voted to override her decision.

The town aldermen did not attend the speech, but Beechem says they may not have known about it.

“Well, I am not disappointed. They may not have known. It was posted on Facebook and I asked everyone to share, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. They may not have heard.”

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