Crowder mayor seeks county’s help with polling place

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 13, 2015

Crowder mayor seeks county’s help with polling place

By Rupert Howell
Crowder Mayor Stephen Stanton is seeking a polling place for Panola elections in his town and met with Panola supervisors Monday to express his request.

Stanton told supervisors that he and other Panola residents in Crowder have to drive nine miles to Tocowa to vote. Crowder straddles the Panola/Quitman County with a population split between the two counties.

District Three Supervisor John Thomas spoke up stating, “There are a lot of people in Crowder that don’t have transportation or that are elderly,” backing up Stanton’s claim.

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Supervisor board attorney Bill McKenzie recollected, “(the) state encouraged counties to reduce the numbers of polling places to reduce costs.”

He and District One supervisor James Birge came up with three or four balloting stations that were closed several years ago.

“We’re the only town not to have a voting poll,” Stanton said, “I think you have enough (voting) machines, and we (Town of Crowder) have a building.”

McKenzie recommended the request go through Circuit Clerk Melissa Meek-Phelps and the five member Election Commission who is in charge of holding elections, recommendations and implementation of issues concerning local voting.

McKenzie also said he doubted any changes could be made in time for this year’s election cycle citing Justice Department approval and publication of notifications.

In other business Monday, Shane Tapp, son-in-law of the late Bill Bryant, was approved as tax consultant for Panola County’s tax assessor’s office.

Bryant, who had consulted with Panola County for several decades, recently died from complications caused from cancer.

Tax collector/assessor David Garner made the recommendation to hire Tapp and said he had not only lost a good consultant but also a close friend.

Garner also received supervisors approval to disallow taxes of two property owners in Districts One and Two who have claimed Homestead Exemption. One of them is a senior Homesteader paying no taxes, for the current year and to collect the previous year’s taxes at the full rate.
Asked if the law allows him to collect the back taxes, Garner said the law allows him to go back as far as seven years.

Supervisors also reappointed Danny Holland to the regional rail commission and approved assisting the City of Sardis with demolition of a house on Pocohontas Pearl Streets at the request of that city’s public works director Bubba McDowell.

Supervisors recessed until February 18 at 9 a.m. when they will receive bids on a bridge replacement for Farmer Road located in District Two near Longtown.