Moss Point rec director fired, citizens petition to get her rehired

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - By Patrice Clark – bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) – Moss Point's recreation director has lost her job, and she's not happy about it. Donna Joseph claims the Board of Aldermen got rid of her without "just cause." Now, Joseph's family and friends have started a petition to try to get her job back.

LeShonda Randall is going door to door in Moss Point in support of her cousin. Donna Joseph held the rec job for four years, but some board members said they wanted change in the department and voted her out. Randall said the board is not being fair.

"Donna has done so much," Randall said. "After Katrina, she got the ballparks going, she got Sue Ellen off the ground and she found the funds. So we do not understand why they fired her."

That's a question Joseph said she's still asking herself. She didn't want to speak on camera at this time, but said off camera she's never been written up by the city for any disciplinary or criminal problems. Mayor Aneice Liddell backed Joseph and vetoed the termination. The board overrode the veto on Tuesday night.

Neighbors hope this petition will help Joseph get her job back. Louise Ragsdale was the first to sign.

"Even in our church and things, she has been involved and she has always been diligent," Ragsdale said.

Patrice Green is also a Joseph supporter.

"I think it will be a big loss because she genuinely is concerned about Moss Point.  She is a native of Moss Point, and she does all the wonderful programs," Joseph said. "She has this personality that makes people want to do things for Moss Point."

Donna Joseph said she is not sure if she will appeal the termination decision. But if she does, the fight may be long and hard. Currently, the city operates under an at-will employee agreement, which means someone can be fired at any time, for any reason.

City administrators said they're working to put a specific policy in place to set goals and objectives for each department.  The mayor thinks that should help department heads, like Donna Joseph, prove whether they're doing the jobs they were hired to do.

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