McComb selectmen won’t have to turn in receipts going forward — at least for per diem spending.

With Selectman Michael Cameron absent, board members split 3-2 in favor of Donovan Hill’s motion to stop requiring receipts for food and gas purchases made while elected officials and employees are traveling on city business.

Hill was joined in supporting the move by Ronnie Brock and Devante Johnson.

Ted Tullos and Shawn Williams opposed.

The same division appeared in the fall when the matter was previously broached. Then, Cameron was present and voted with Tullos and Williams, allowing Mayor Quordiniah Lockley to cast the deciding vote against removing the receipt requirement.

“We seem to be one of the few cities that still requires receipts,” Hill said before the vote.

Board attorney Angela Cockerham noted that the change can only apply to per diem payouts. Receipts will still be required under state law for other travel expenses that are paid out in advance.

She cautioned that the board might not want to remove the receipts requirement because they can “help with auditing.”

Asked by Brock if no longer requiring receipts would hurt the city’s audits, City Clerk Servia Fortenberry said, “It won’t hurt us.”

After the board discussed that answer for a moment, she added, “I said it wouldn’t hurt us. I didn’t say (continuing to require receipts) wouldn’t help us.”

In other business, the board voted to maintain its assessment of 0.74 mill for the Pike-Amite-Walthall Library System.

System executive director Darlene Morgan met with the board Aug. 13 and requested an increase in the city’s appropriation to the libraries, to 0.76 mill.

However, the dollar amount requested was lower than the amount the millage brings in, Lockley said at the time.

Tuesday, Lockley said 0.74 mill, at about $98,000 per mill levied by the city, should bring in $72,250, close to the 3 percent increase Morgan was seeking, without raising the millage.

The board also heard a report on a damaged fire department truck.

Fire Chief Gary McKenzie told the board the FD224, a dually pickup that carried a range of equipment to fire calls, was damaged during the stormy weather on May 9 when a large tree limb fell on the cab.

McKenzie said the truck has been declared a total loss, and the city and its insurance carrier are in the process of determining a fair settlement on the claim.

“When we get the payment, I’d like it earmarked for a new truck,” McKenzie said. “That’s the second truck we’ve lost, and we’re not replacing them.”

(1) comment

Athena 1

I'm curious to know if State Auditor Shad White will support this move especially if an expenditure exceeds $75.00 which the IRS requires every citizen to prove on a purchase over that amount.

It's unbelievable that this foolish move was already voted down once but the same group that seems more intent on voting themselves largess rather than voting on matters to improve The City of McComb were able to get this voted in. Where is the transparency?

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