A rose to Main Street Columbus, its volunteers, vendors and all who turned out for Saturday’s 26th Market Street Festival. This year’s event was special, marking the return of the festival to its original spring date. After two years of COVID-caused schedule changes, no doubt organizers were delighted to have the festival return to its traditional spring date. So, too, was the public, which turned out en masse on a gorgeous weekend to join the fun.
A thorn to Ward 2 Columbus councilman Joseph Mickens, whose criticism of Joe Dillon, the city’s Public Information Director and FEMA coordinator, went beyond questions of Dillon’s job performance to an unfair, though veiled attack on his character during Tuesday’s council meeting. Mickens’ questions about Dillon’s role in handling the city’s FEMA reimbursement request after the February 2019 EF3 tornado were proper. But Mickens crossed a line when he asked why Dillon has keys to city buildings, noting obliquely that some employees had said they believed someone had been entering their offices after hours. This sort of guilt by innuendo is unfair and reflects poorly on the councilman. An apology is in order.
A rose to 44 Properties and its manager, former major-league pitcher Roy Oswalt, for its plans to bring the old Vowell’s Marketplace property back to life. The 60,000 square foot property, located in a prime retail area of Starkville, has been vacant since November. The development will add new shopping options for residents and generate tax revenue for the city. The plans include a specialty grocery store, a hardware store and another retailer yet to be determined. Vowell’s took over the site from Piggy Wiggly seven years ago and will be remembered as being a good corporate neighbor for the city and its residents. We trust 44 Properties will continue that tradition.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.