Bobbie Jean Pounders

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 21, 2009

Miss. Municipal League president George Lewis (center) describes the public service of Bobbie Jean Pounders (left) during a ceremony Tuesday at Batesville City Hall. Pounders had served as Ward 4 alderman for 20 years before she was defeated in June. Mayor Jerry Autrey is pictured at right. Pounders told the present board to “pay close attention” to issues and “make the best decision you can for the city of Batesville.” The Panolian photo by John Howell Sr.

Do what’s best for Batesville, urges long-serving alderman

By Jason C. Mattox

Long-serving Batesville alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders returned to the city board room Tuesday, where she urged city leaders to base their decisions on what is best for Batesville.

Pounders represented Ward 4 for 20 years. Her long career in public ended in June, when she was defeated by Eddie Nabors.

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Her former colleagues from the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, and a representative of the Mississippi Municipal League, were present Tuesday for a reception in her honor.

Mayor Jerry Autrey presented a plaque to Pounders while MML CEO George Lewis presented a plaque commemorating Pounders’ induction into the organization’s Hall of Fame.

A municipal official must serve a minimum of 20 years to be included in the Hall of Fame.

“This is a wonderful opportunity,” Lewis said. “When you think back to when you first started, you had a lot to learn. Now when you look back, you have learned a lot about your city and the people you served.

“You did the best you possibly could with your leadership, and this honor is well deserved,” he added.

With plaques in hand, a cheerful Pounders spoke to a crowd of friends and family gathered for the ceremony.

“This is truly an honor,” she said. “Those of us on the board didn’t always agree, but we always worked together.

“I want to urge you to pay close attention to the issues that are before you now and make the best decision you can for the city of Batesville,” she continued. “Also, don’t forget about your city employees. This board sets policy, but it is up to the people you have working with you that carry it out, and I want to thank them for the dedication they have always showed.”

Pounders then received a standing ovation before saying her goodbyes and leaving the board to other business.