Supervisors OK salary raise for jail administrator
By Rupert Howell
A request to increase the salary of the jail administrator by $500 a month failed, well sort of, when District Three Supervisor John Thomas said he didn’t think the request was enough and made a motion to increase the raise to $750 per month.
The motion to approve Thomas’ motion passed unanimously and Jail Administrator Bobby Meek will receive an annual salary of $55,200 following action at Monday’s Second District meeting in Batesville.
“I think it is money well spent,” said Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby who said Meek’s service to the jail, “Is a great value to us.”
Meek has held the position since former Panola County Sheriff Shot Bright was elected and has served under two other sheriffs since.
Darby explained that Meek oversees keeping sheriff department’s cars maintained along with overseeing the maintenance at the David M. Bryan Justice Complex that includes the jail and sheriff’s department.
Board Attorney Gaines Baker who also serves the county as prosecutor said, “He also helps us out a lot after hours with youth court offenders.”
Meek’s increase comes from existing sheriff department funds and no adjustment was needed for Panola County’s budget.
Supervisors also passed an order stating property owner Elizabeth Berry, whose rental units on Heafner Road on Sardis Lower Lake was adjudicated by the county, had fulfilled her obligation to the county with both District Four Supervisor Donald Phelps and Land Commission Enforcement officer Chad Meek stating the property was in a lot better shape.
Berry was represented by Como attorney John Calvin Patterson who received a copy of the order and was asked by Sheriff Darby to please ask Berry to be careful in vetting potential renters as his department in the past has had to deal with drugs at the location.
“Tell her she can call me anytime,” Darby told Patterson.
Supervisors ask County Emergency Coordinator Daniel Cole if the county had any unused antenna towers after learning a building being used by the county located north and east of Batesville is having trouble receiving high-speed internet.
Sheriff Department Administrator Robbie Haley said high-speed internet cost would be astronomical unless the county could find another source.
Cole stated an antenna was stored at his building in Sardis that might fit the bill and supervisors instructed him to meet with Gray Nickels to see what could be done.