By CALVIN ADKINS
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
PRINCEVILLE – Town officials will hold the regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at the town hall. It will be the eighth meeting held since the Local Government Commission took over the town's financial operations.
Commissioner Ann Howell said nothing of significant note is on the agenda. Since the LGC took over the town finances last July, the town's agenda has been skimpy. For most municipalities during this time of the year, the budget is often discussed but Princeville officials will have little, if any, participation in creating the budget because of LGC's control.
One item that could be discussed is a widespread rumor concerning a personnel issue with one of the police officers. The officer has been accused by citizens of inappropriate behavior while on duty. Police Chief Joey Pettway maintains that his officer is innocent, but that he has been suspended while an investigation is ongoing. Citing a personnel issue, Pettway declined to comment on the situation.
Over the past few months, commissioner Calvin Sherrod, who was appointed by Mayor Priscilla Everette-Oates as the police commissioner, has openly acknowledged his displeasure with the police department. Some of his concerns have included a small amount of traffic citations being issued, no driving while impaired citations and a small amount of speeding violations.
Sherrod has criticized officers he says are on the phone too often “jaw jacking.” He also questioned the chief’s working hours, asking him how many hours he works per week.
During Sherrod’s attacks, Pettway has defended his department by saying he has a small force with limited resources. He said his department is doing the best it can to keep the citizens of Princeville safe and applauded his officers' efforts. Princeville's police department consists of four full-time officers, including the chief, and one part-timer. Shortly after Pettway became chief, his department consisted of five full-time and three-part timers. Because of the small force, the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Department assists in policing the town.
The meeting will also be the first after the community meeting held by the LGC on Feb. 27. Everette-Oates, commissioner Isabelle Purvis-Andrews and interim town manager Maggie Boyd did not attend that meeting.
During that meeting, state officials reported that the town finances were improving.