By Joe B. Coates
Wesson area residents will be more protected by law enforcement than ever, thanks to recent action by the town’s Board of Aldermen to increase the number of full-time police officers from one to two. During last Tuesday’s regular board meeting the board voted to hire Daniel Hutchinson, a law enforcement veteran of 10 years, as the second such officer besides Police Chief Steven Carlisle. Additionally, the department is staffed by several part-time officers who also serve as sheriff’s deputies or in other capacities as law officers.
In other matters the board will get input from the town’s Zoning Committee regarding a skateboarding ordinance. While not a widespread issue, on several occasions skateboarders have been spotted practicing stunts not only on property owned by the town, but also on private property, raising the ire of local business owners and residents alike. Shaw pointed out during Tuesday’s meeting that the town does not wish to end all skateboarding or other related activities, it only seeks to find a way to limit such activities to certain areas. By turning it over to the Zoning Committee, the board will be better able to come up with a solution in a quick timeline.
The town’s noise ordinance and how to enforce it correctly were also discussed briefly. Several complaints have been logged recently about loud car stereos startling residents during sleep at night or at local gas stations while drivers are filling fuel tanks during the daytime, as examples. Shaw stressed that since policemen can’t be everywhere at all times, he urged Wesson residents are to report violations of this, and any other similar nuisances to the police department, so that law enforcement can begin citing violators and cutting back on the number of instances. Shaw and the board also urged local residents to be as vigilant about witnessing others tossing or dumping litter on the roads and streets of the area.
“The two issues are just alike,” Shaw explained. “If the violators see the police in the area, they cease throwing out their trash or turn down their car stereos, so they don’t get caught. We can start working on these problems with the assistance of our residents.”
The Wesson Chamber of Commerce, as reported to Mayor Shaw, has been very active lately and will be very busy in the coming weeks. On Monday, February 25, the chamber will host its annual Legislative Breakfast at the Thames Center on the Co-Lin campus. Area residents will get a chance to grill their legislators about the current session, and enjoy a great breakfast. The buffet-style meal will be served starting at 6:45 that morning with a question-and-answer session beginning shortly after 7 o’clock. Everyone is invited, and tickets can be purchased in advance from Copiah Bank and Trustmark Bank, both in Wesson.
Also on tap for the Chamber is Founder’s Day, which has been officially moved to Saturday, April 26 from the second Saturday in June. The Chamber has also hired Suzy McQuage to handle administrative duties. She will be in the office two days each week from noon to 5 o’clock in the evening answering phone calls, preparing mail pieces and assisting the Chamber board in several ways.
The board handled several routine matters and accepted a $2,000 check from the Wesson Lions Club to help restore the old Water Works Building before recessing until Tuesday, March 4 at 7 o’clock in the evening.