A rose to Oktibbeha County’s Unity Park Committee, for its selection of Monica Banks and Clarence Taylor as the ninth and 10th honorees of the park. Banks, who died in 2016 months after serving on the committee that inducted the first Unity Park honorees, served as the county’s first African American chancery clerk, a position she held for more than 20 years. Banks was known as an advocate for those treated unjustly and was a voice of change and reconciliation in the community. Taylor, who died in 1999 at age 77, spent a lifetime of service in a wide variety of organizations, including The American Legion, Griffin Chapel United Methodist Church, the OCH Regional Medical Center board of trustees and the Oktibbeha County NAACP, where he served as chairman of the legal redress committee. Their long service to their community makes them worthy of this special recognition. We applaud the Unity Park Committee for their selections as 2022 Unity Park honorees.
A rose to the Columbus City Council for adopting a food truck ordinance and to city building officer Kenny Wiegal, who took the lead in fashioning the rules that will govern how and where food trucks can operate in the city. Wiegal’s plans adopted best practices from existing food truck ordinances in surrounding cities as well as research on food truck policies across the nation. We believe the new ordinance will strike a much-needed balance between the emerging food truck industry and the traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant industry. The ordinance will provide fair competition without favoring one restaurant segment over the other, helping ensure that both operate on a level-playing field. The adoption of this ordinance is good news for our restaurant industry, no matter which form it takes.
A rose to Terry Kemp, who announced last week that he will be retiring from his position as general manager of the Starkville Utilities Department in March. Kemp’s 11-year tenure was relatively short, but eventful, a period that saw SUD add a new power substation, a project years in the making that will help meet the needs of a growing city. He arrived at SUD with 36 years of experience in the public sector and his leadership proved invaluable. His “can-do” approach to the job made him a trusted, valuable partner for city leaders and the community as a whole. Kemp’s successor will inherit a SUD that has benefited greatly through his contributions.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.