McComb Selectman Devante Johnson asserted Tuesday that, as a member of the city board, he has the right and duty to monitor city employees and their work.

That claim came after he asked why Human Resources Director Donjurea Davis was told to call him to set up a meeting to talk about remarks by Johnson that appeared in the newspaper.

Those remarks concerned the job performance of City Administrator Kelvin Butler, which was discussed in executive session. Executive session discussions typically are not made public.

Mayor Quordiniah Lockley said board attorney Angela Cockerham had called and asked him to speak with Johnson.

“That’s not what she told me,” Johnson said. “She said you called her.”

He berated the mayor for his efforts to chastise him for talking about executive session matters publicly, then passed out copies of the state Supreme Court’s decision in David Myers vs. City of McComb, issued in 2006.

The decision resulted in Myers, then serving simultaneously as a selectman and a state legislator, resigning from the city board.

As part of that decision, the court noted that McComb’s “weak mayor/strong council” form of government inherently gives the city board some executive functions, citing specifically the board’s role in “appointing persons to executive positions to carry out the duties of the City.”

Under that reasoning, Johnson claimed a right to oversee city employees while objecting to statements made against that practice by Lockley and others.

Lockley did not respond to Johnson’s complaints during the meeting.

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