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Likely veto faces certain override test

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Sept. 20, 2001
At least two Meridian councilmen said Wednesday they plan to vote to override a mayoral veto of a proposal that would give people six months to upgrade their manufactured homes.
Councilmen George Thomas of Ward 1 and Barbara Henson of Ward 3 said they still support giving owners of single-wide manufactured homes an opportunity to upgrade to double-wides.
Thomas' and Henson's comments came after Mayor John Robert Smith said Wednesday at his biweekly news conference that he will veto the proposal even though it passed Tuesday by a 4-1 vote.
A veto override would require at least four votes.
Ward 2 Councilman Mary Perry, who voted for the measure, would not say if she will vote to override; Ward 4 Councilman Jesse Palmer Sr., who also voted for it, could not be reached for comment.
Ward 5 Councilman Bobby Smith cast the sole no vote Tuesday night.
Issue plagues city
For months, owners of single-wide manufactured homes have petitioned the city council to let them upgrade to larger, double-wide trailers.
At the same time, subdivision residents who live near trailer homes have asked city leaders to leave current laws intact. They fear a change would decrease their property values and attract more trailers.
Smith said at his news conference that he will veto the proposal because it would "abate the observance and enforcement of an ordinance for six months." Smith has 10 days to veto the proposal.
Jennifer Hall, executive director of the Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association, said someone from her organization could attend the next city council meeting when members could vote to override the veto.
Proposal helps residents
Hall said she doesn't think the council "made a hasty decision" and said she expects them to override a veto. She said the proposal lets people improve their homes and choose the homes they want .
Thomas said he doesn't know of anything at this time that would make him change his support for the proposal. Henson said that she expected the mayor to veto the measure.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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