Two McComb natives will serve as the city’s judge pro tem and prosecutor pro tem, making history as the first Black women to do so.

Shequeena M. McKenzie was hired as Municipal Judge Pro Tem during Tuesday’s city board meeting.

She succeeds Jwon Nathaniel, who was promoted to municipal judge after former judge Brandon Frazier resigned earlier this month.

Conisha T. Hackett was hired as prosecutor pro tem, but with more reservations over the fact that this is a newly created position.  

Mayor Quordiniah Lockley asked if the city previously had a prosecutor pro tem, which Selectman Devante Johnson, who brought the appointment to the board, said the city used to but she resigned in 2019.

McKenzie graduated from Mississippi College School of Law two years ago, and Hackett graduated from the same college in May. This will be McKenzie’s first position as a judge and Hackett’s first as an attorney.

Both are also the youngest to be hired into their positions.

Selectman Michael Cameron said he did not want to hire for the prosecutor position unless the board had advertised it. Johnson said the board did when the job opened up but no one applied.

Johnson also noted that the reason for having a pro tem for both positions is in case the judge or prosecutor has a scheduling conflict or a conflict of interest. 

In other news, the board: 

• Received comments from architect Steve Cox on the Alpha Center project.

• Approved the city employees' insurance benefit packages with Blue Cross Blue Shield as the primary provider and Med Plus as the gap provider.

• Authorized advertisement for two positions on the McComb-Pike County Airport board.

• Made a $24,500 payment to The Gillion Group for work on the city’s 2018  audit.

• Approved a contract with Orkin Pest Control to service Hollywood Cemetery for $795, the McComb Garden Club building for $950 and the McComb Railroad Depot for $1,739. All payments are initial fees for the locations.

• Authorized the board to attend the 2021 Mid-Winter Legislative Conference in Jackson on Jan. 10-13.

• Approved the $10,000 annual donation to the Scenic River Development Alliance and authorized the mayor to sign any necessary documents.

 • Ratified the mayor’s and Public Works Director Alice Barnes’ signatures on a permit submitted by C-Spire to provide services to Cars IV.

• Made a $40,202 payment to Dickerson & Bowen for mill and overlay. Barnes said six of some 50 streets have been completed as of Tuesday night.

• Reestablished work session meetings after voting to eliminate the twice-monthly, non-voting in July.

Johnson, who suggested eliminating them, also suggested the city bring them back. The board voted 3-0 to go back to having work sessions. Johnson with selectmen Ronnie Brock and Shawn Williams voted in favor of the meetings. Cameron, along with selectmen Ted Tullos and Donovan Hill, who attended by phone, were absent, leaving during a lengthy executive session.

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