President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk: “The Buck Stops Here.”
We commend Mayor Billy Collins for calling an emergency session of the Grenada City Council Thursday following the latest two shootings near the Lewis Johnson Senior Citizens’ Center. These were just the most recent in a string of armed robberies, shootings and deaths in our city. Unfortunately, under our form of city government, the mayor has little power, other than to preside over meetings and sign proclamations. Calling an emergency meeting and spotlighting the epidemic of violence killing and wounding our citizens is about all the mayor can do.
Under our form of government –
The Buck Stops With The City Council.
This city council needs to learn that there is more to effectively governing a city than going on lavish trips and building edifices to name after councilmen.
Most City Hall observers agree that Councilman Lewis Johnson usually calls the shots at the council meetings. The other six councilmen usually follow his lead or remain silent.
It is time for Mr. Johnson’s council to step up to the plate. According to testimony at Friday’s meeting, the Grenada Police Department is woefully undermanned and underequipped. Chief Ben Williams said he is short 14 officers, and some of the current officers are having to supply their own equipment. The police department needs to be adequately equipped and manned.
If a revamped police department does not solve the problem in 12 months, we urge Mr. Johnson, the Grenada City Council, the Mayor, and the City Manager to contact the Mississippi Attorney General and ask him to send in an emergency crime and gang-fighting task force to make Grenada safe once again.
Our citizens – particularly our black citizens – have been attending too many unnecessary funerals lately.