Moss Point's public works director calls it quits - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Moss Point's public works director calls it quits

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point's Public Works Director has quit after just six months on the job. Chan Burns was hired when private company Utility Partners decided not to renew its contract after 18 months.

Burns did not give WLOX News a reason for his early departure. And his decision has left some of his co-workers and residents wondering why?

"It was like dropping a bomb, I didn't know until the last minute," one public works employee said.

Shondra Jefferson is wondering what the shakeup will mean to service. A crew was on her street Wednesday morning fixing a pot hole that has been there for a year.

"Drainage, pot holes, leaks. We are paying taxes, and we would love to see those things done right," Jefferson said.

Burns took the job in October with hopes of improving the department and customer service. Mayor Aneice Liddell said his performance was adequate.

"I am not sure how I should feel. I mean, he has moved on," Liddell said.

The mayor said when Burns was hired to supervise this team, he was put on procedural six month probation. She said the Board of Aldermen recently decided to extended it by three months.

"What the city has lacked over the years is standard operating procedures. And I need someone that understands you have to have policies, procedures, guidelines in place. Until we get some concrete guidelines, that is all we are doing is fumbling in the dark and putting out fires," Liddell said.

Burns is not the first public works head to call it quits. Utility Partners left after 18 months on the job, claiming there was a lack of trust between the company and the city. But Liddell said these departures don't equal setbacks.

"When Utility Partners left, we continued to function. And he's leaving, we will continue to function."

As for the next step, Aldermen plan to meet before any help wanted signs are posted.

Former Director Chan Burns only had this to say about his departure," I leave behind friends and hope for a better Moss Point."

Liddell said an interim director has been appointed over Public Works until a replacement is hired.

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