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Scheduling Conflict At County Building Addressed At Meeting

William Shelton told supervisors a scheduling conflict at the Multi-purpose Building created confusion for the food bank distribution.

By David Howell


COFFEEVILLE – A scheduling conflict last month at the Multi-purpose Building was addressed at last week’s Board of Supervisor meeting after William Shelton explained to supervisors that the distribution of food from the Mississippi Food Bank was disrupted by the county’s Christmas party.   

“We are normally warned about stuff like this and we know how to make adjustments. These are volunteers, they were moved to the side of the building,” Shelton explained, adding the food recipients, some in wheel chairs and using walkers, had to navigate around horse poop to get to the food. He also said one of the supervisors was a “little rude” about the situation.

“It is a county-wide program, we deliver to Water Valley, Oakland and Coffeeville on the same day,” Shelton told county officials at the Jan. 2 meeting.

Chancery Clerk Amy McMinn first addressed Shelton’s concerns, explaining that when her office scheduled the use of the building for the county’s Christmas dinner, they were not notified of the conflict.

”We weren’t notified that y’all were going to be there that day or we would have selected another day,” she explained.

“They should have been aware,” Shelton said, “We have been meeting in there for years.” 

“Someone also said it was the rudeness of this particular supervisor,” Shelton continued after the scheduling conflict was addressed.

“I will take responsibility for that and will speak to it shortly,” Board President Cayce Washington explained, before District 3 Supervisor Lee McMinn added input on the matter.

“I was there in the doorway when people started coming in. I saw Cayce go outside and reroute the truck around.  It is just one of those things that happened, nobody had any ill intent. You said you have been doing it since 2003. I assume since 2003 it hasn’t been a problem.  This seems like such a minor thing for all the good that is done, to bring up something like this,” Lee McMinn told Shelton.

He also told Shelton that the situation didn’t merit a trip to the county board.

“I would have quietly said something to the chancery clerk’s office about the issue instead of coming to the Board of Supervisors meeting to complain,” Lee McMinn said. “I know some people walked in and wanted to know what was going on. I told them to get a plate and eat. It’s a Christmas dinner, there was a lot of good will and a lot of happy folks there, everybody got what they wanted. Since 2003, I have never heard of anything like this happening before, it just seems like a minor inconvenience. I thought it was a good situation all the way around.

“So you are saying it was inappropriate that I came to the board?” Shelton asked. 

“It could have been handled in a different way… It seems like it is so easy to remedy, we are going to make sure it is done right the next time,” Lee McMinn added.

“That is why I am here,” Shelton answered.

More Input

“That is true, what you are saying. The problem was when people on walkers and canes had to dodge poop. That was unsanitary, that was unsafe,” Riva Shelton explained.

“When I addressed the issue about the poop, Mr. Washington’s comment was ‘don’t step in it.’  That was his comment, as an elected official, to me. That is why we came to the board. We didn’t have a problem about the location, it was his presentation to us,” Riva Shelton explained, adding that Washington didn’t introduce himself either.

“Everything that you have said is correct and true and I will say that in front of the general public. But I would like to advise how that developed,” Washington said.

Washington said he learned the food truck would make the delivery on the morning of the Christmas dinner, a meal that had been prepared for the hard-working county employees. Washington then explained that one of the occupants in the delivery truck started complaining the minute the truck pulled up, telling Washington that he had wronged the program. 

Washington also acknowledged there was some poop at the entrance of the back of the Multi-purpose Building.

“It wasn’t anything that couldn’t be stepped around or over,” he explained. “This county does a great job of supporting this program, and I think it is a needed program because we have a tremendous need for this county and I am very thankful for that. I probably did come across rude. But the people came across like we were wrong for tying up their space. That is county-owned property and we were celebrating with our county employees that day. I think in my mind I did everything I could to accommodate that situation. The people had a nice place to sit and not out in the weather, but it wasn’t on the pavement where they were accustomed to. I thought I was doing the best I could, for someone to poor-mouth what we were doing didn’t sit well with me. So I apologize for offending anybody, but it wasn’t by intent. But I will tell you right now, I do not like it when someone starts poor-mouthing this county when we are accommodating .”

“But when I asked, you came at me and I didn’t even know what was said or done prior to me getting there. That is why I took offense,” Riva Shelton explained.

“It was a misunderstanding, after 13 years this is the only time you have had a situation like this. Is there really not anything else we can talk about,” Lee McMinn added.

The final comments on the matter came from Shelton, who told the group he understood the situation. 

“I have been satisfied by you, Mr. Washington. But Mr. McMinn has really said some things that seems like this was not supposed to be brought up to the board to discuss,” Shelton added. 

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