City Council votes to make replacement on school board
The Picayune City Council voted to appoint Mr. Jerel Myers to the Picayune School Board of Trustees to replace current member Reverend Edward Stubbs as Stubbs most recent term was coming to an end. Both Myers and Stubbs are black (African American).
Councilman LarryBreland made a motion to reappoint Stubbs and it received a second from Ms. Lyn Bogan-Bumpers. Before a vote was taken, councilman Breland gave a long speech about how he felt the council was “disrespecting” his and fellow council member Lyn Bogan-Bumpers vote. Breland said that it was an unwritten rule that he and Bumpers would not bring up another candidate for the school board out of respect that the person being appointed was the choice of Breland and Bumpers’ constituents.
Breland questioned why the other council members would not adhere to the way it had been in the past. He said this was the first time that opposition had come up on the minority appointment to the board of trustees.
“We’ve been told ‘your votes’ don’t mean nothing, “ Breland stated in referencing his and Bumpers votes as council members.
Breland added, “When you sit here and do this, you are going to divide this community like you don’t even know.”
Councilor Bumpers stated that Stubbs said he wanted to be put back on the board, and she felt the council should do like they have in the past and all vote for a reappointment.
Breland and Bumpers pointed to the re-appointment of Frank Ford to the school board as an example. Breland had invited some of his constituents to the meeting to speak on behalf of his decision to reappoint Stubbs to the school board position.
One of the constituents, Charlie Johns, said this decision to not reappoint Stubbs was like “putting a rope around our neck and hanging us.”
All of this and more comments from Breland constituents came even before a vote was taken on Stubbs reappointment. When the vote was taken, Breland, Bumpers, and Mayor Ed Pinero voted for the reappointment which failed for the lack of a fourth vote.
After that the vote, Councilman Wayne Gouguet made a motion to appoint Jerel Myers for the school board to replace Stubbs.
Immediately after the motion was made and received a second, Breland became irate and said, “You all going to stick it to us and we are just supposed to sit here and take it.”
Numerous times during the discussion that followed, Mayor Pinero had to raise his voice and call the meeting back to order as the meeting turned to a series of shouting matches among council members and people from the audience.
When the vote was finally taken on Myers, Mayor Ed Pinero, council members Wayne Gouguet, Tammy Valente, Jan Miller-Stevens, and Bumpers voted to appoint Myers to the position to replace Stubbs on the school board with Breland voting against the change.