With the recent retirement of Fire Chief James "Smitty" Smith, the board appointed Ronnie Huffman as interim fire chief. In addition, the board voted to advertise for the vacated position.
In other city business, Kyle Cravens, owner of Allen's Fine Jewelry, presented the Winona Board of Aldermen an updated engineer's drawing of his new store, currently under construction at the corner of Highway 51 and Jones Street in Winona. The board accepted and spread upon the minutes the new engineer's drawing. The board granted an exception to the 100-foot width rule on the city's zoning ordinance to 80 feet due to the property only being 80 feet wide.
The board also adopted a formal resolution officially changing the name Southeast Frontage Road, located on the southeast corner of Highway 82 and Interstate 55, to Brother Johnny Walker Drive in honor of Walker's efforts to erect Christ's Cross on the Crossroads.
The ongoing debate of the appointment process of the Winona Separate School Board continued Thursday after Alderman William Travis Johnson motioned to reappoint Dr. Keith Rushing to the board, and Alderman Mickey Austin seconded the motion.
In recent months, the board adopted a formal appointment policy stating that the Winona School Board would nominate candidates as they have in the past, however, the board must submit two names to the aldermen from which to appoint. The policy did not address the reappointment of a member.
Alderman Franklin Seals said he felt Rushing, who has served 14 years on the school board, had served long enough, and it was time to appoint a new member. He also argued that the new policy stated that two candidates should be submitted in the appointment process.
The other aldermen did not agree, and when Mayor Jerry Flowers called for a vote, Rushing was re-appointed 3-1, with Alderman David Ware voting for the measure and Seals casting the dissenting vote. Alderman Kelvin Winbush, who works for the Winona Separate School District, recused himself from the vote.
The Winona Board of Aldermen adjourned until February 18 at 5 p.m.