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Sykes disappointed by Florey's change of heart

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
May 1, 2002
District 1 Supervisor Hank Florey has changed his mind about operating a petting zoo at Q.V. Sykes Park in west Meridian.
Florey said today he has been flooded with calls from constituents opposed to the zoo.
Supervisors have been discussing the proposed zoo for months and are expected to vote on the issue Monday.
District 4 Supervisor Q.V. Sykes, for whom the park is named, said this morning he is disappointed, but understands.
Florey was considered the swing vote. District 3 Supervisor Craig Hitt and District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell are outspoken critics of the plan, while Sykes and District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Smith support it.
In March, Sykes asked supervisors for $13,869 to operate the zoo at the recreational complex from May 1 to Sept. 30. Animals already at the complex include a pony, sheep, goat, chickens and rabbits.
Last month, supervisors voted 3-2 to hire former elections commissioner Henry Stringfellow to work at the zoo. Stringfellow works 20 hours a week and is paid $8 an hour.
Boswell said today that while he is happy about Florey's decision to vote against the zoo, he still has concerns about money that has already been spent.