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COFFEEVILLE – Supervisors opted not to require workers employed by the county to be vaccinated for Covid. The discussion surfaced in Monday’s meeting in Coffeeville after Covid outbreaks last year forced closures in departments at both county courthouses.
“We as employers of employees can require it if we so desire, so we need to have a discussion about how we want to manage that,” Board President Cayce Washington noted during opening remarks regarding a potential vaccination policy.
“I am not forcing any of my employees to get a shot,” District 5 Supervisor Gaylon Gray said. “I’m ambiguous about it myself, whether I am going to get it or not. I am going to wait and see.”
“I agree,” Washington said, a sentiment also shared by District 4 Supervisor Eddie Harris.
But Harris recommended that Yalobusha County EMA Director Dalton Coleman keep supervisors updated on when the vaccination is available for essential county workers.
“It needs to be available as soon as possible for the workers in the county who want to take it,” Harris noted as he cited the earlier outbreaks at both county courthouses.
Supervisors also revisited the personnel policy for employees and opted to extend the 160 hours of paid administrative leave available for county employees who test positive for coronavirus or miss work due to potential exposure to the virus. The policy was enacted not only to comply with an earlier federal policy that required 80 hours of paid administrative leave, but also to provide assistance to employees who were potentially exposed at work and forced to quarantine.
Other business conducted in the meeting included:
• Approved additions to the homestead exemption list for six people in the county who are either over 65 or disabled. The additions, which were not included in the initial list Yalobusha County Tax Assessor/Collector Linda Shuffield provided to supervisors, included Linda Hopper, Robert C. Sturdivant, Michael Bardo, Josh B. Burrowes, Vanessa L. Harden and Rosie Holmes.
• Reappointed Steve Cummings as one of the two representatives from Yalobusha County who serve on the Northwest Mississippi Community College Board of Trustees. The appointment is for a five year term.
“He really enjoys serving in that capacity and every program we go to that is connected to Northwest, he is there faithfully,” Washington noted. Sammy Higdon serves as the county’s second appointee on the college’s board.
• Hired Archie Ables as a full-time truck driver for District 1.
• Voted unanimously to adopt a resolution honoring George Suggs, who served as District 4 Supervisor from 2004 to 2016. Suggs passed away last month. District 4 Supervisor Eddie Harris requested the resolution, which passed unanimously.
“To put it in both newspapers, that is my motion,” Harris added.
• Reappointed Crow Martin, LLC as the board attorney for supervisors. Shannon Crow is the firm’s primary attorney who handles the county business.