• Michael Williams

City Council adopts Census 2020 proclamation; Drops usage fee for 501(c)(3) entities


At last night’s regular meeting of the Picayune City Council, Mayor Ed Pinero and council members heard a presentation from Traycee Scott Williams, a representative with the U.S. Census Bureau. Williams asked the council for a proclamation to install a “complete count committee” for the April 1st 2020 census. Designated areas of the City would have a member of this committee direct crews to do actual head counts.

Census 2020 representative Traycee Scott Williams and Mayor Ed Pinero

Williams explained the importance of having everyone counted in the census because every person NOT recorded equals $2,000 dollars of Federal money that Mississippi misses out on. In 2010 roughly 30% of Mississippians did not respond to the census, so changes were made to make it easier for people to be counted.

The census can now be completed on-line or even with your phone. Residents will still get census forms delivered to their homes as in years past. Mrs. Williams also stressed the fact that the census has always been completely confidential – with no names – they only want an accurate count of everyone living in a community.

Williams stated that, as always, they are striving for 100% participation in the Census 2020. Council members unanimously approved, and Mayor Pinero signed the proclamation to begin the process in forming the “complete count committee”.

Also, in what comes as welcome news for churches and non-profits with 501(c)(3) designations, the council approved to temporarily suspend the rental fees for charitable organizations holding events that are free and open to the public to be held at Crosby Commons Park. This temporary suspension of fees will stay in effect until the city can draft an ordinance that officially clears non-profits from fees associated with rental of the park space.

Events that are “for profit” or organizations not meeting 501(c)(3) status, will still have to pay the required fees. A $500.00 deposit will still be collected to reserve the park from the non-profit 501(c)(3) entities, but will be returned if the park is kept in pristine condition after usage by the non-profit.

Councilman Wayne Gouguet shared his thoughts on this move by the council with WRJW after the meeting.

“The taxpayers built the facility and we should utilize it to the greatest extent possible. Non-profits with the 501(c)(3) status should be able to use it at no cost to them.”

During the council’s July 2 meeting, they heard from non-profit Sundown in the City (Donnie Pascal and Rashell Reese) about their difficulties in getting approval from the city to use the park to promote free events like movie nights to be held in the park as a way to bring the community together. Pascal and Reese told the council members that the process and fees associated with using the Crosby Commons were not clear for organizations wishing to utilize the park for public events.

This move by the council should allow more events to be schedule at Crosby Commons.


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