McComb school board hopeful Julius Nash bucked back at the mayor’s opinion he should not receive a city appointment because he lives outside city limits.
The school board is made up of four positions appointed by the city board and one position elected by residents of the school district who live outside McComb city limits.
Nash ran unsuccessfully for the elected seat in November and is asking the city to appoint him to a different seat on the board.
School board trustee Betsy Murrell’s term is expiring and she asked to be reappointed to the seat.
Nash, and a host of contenders, including Evelle Dillon, Billie Jean Easting and Monica Dillon, are hoping the city board appoints them on Tuesday. Jason Van and Matt Codding withdrew their names for consideration after learning Murrell wanted to be reappointed.
Mayor Quordiniah Lockley said Wednesday that he believes Nash was disqualified from receiving the city appointment based on his residency.
Nash noted that the city board had set a precedent when it appointed former Enterprise-Journal Editor Charles Dunagin to the school board, despite the fact that he lived outside city limits. Dunagin was appointed in 2001 to fill a vacant seat and re-elected to a full term in 2002.
“I totally disagree (with Lockley) or else I wouldn’t put my name in to be appointed,” Nash said. “Everyone in the district should be qualified. It shouldn’t be left to have one voice out of five for those outside of McComb.
“Whoever cares about the community and the children should offer themselves up for service.They didn’t have anything saying that I couldn’t be accepted. They called my name out and let me speak before the board.”
Nash, who also is running for a seat on Summit’s town council, noted this was his second attempt to be appointed to the school board.
“It is just part of what I think I need to do as a resident of Pike County, Summit and as a tax-paying member of the school district,” he said.
Nash said Lockley’s statement shows that he already made up his mind, citing that Lockley was quoted as saying “I am of the opinion that he should not be appointed.”
Lockley did follow that statement by noting he was not an expert on the legality of Nash’s request and the city board attorney would look into it.
“If it comes up as a tie, and the mayor has to break it, will I get a fair shot being that he thought I should be qualified?” Nash said. “He’s already gone public in the newspaper that his personal opinion is that I should not be appointed.
“We all have a dog in this hunt. We want to bring the school back up. I went to McComb School District. I am proud of McComb School District, and I want people to come to McComb School District. We are all working to move the district up step by step.”