Clarksdale City Council Shakes Things Up: Energy Rates Surge, Diversity Shines, and Justice Prevails in Action-Packed Meeting! Plus, Meet the Newest Judge


By Yasmine Malone | April 2, 2024

Clarksdale, Mississippi – The City of Clarksdale recently reconvened its council meetings to address essential city matters, covering a spectrum of topics crucial for the community’s well-being and progress. Here are the notable moments and decisions that transpired during the recent session.

Mayor Chuck Espy acknowledged the city’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity by appointing Cynthia Mitchell as the municipal court judge and Burks Rogers as judge pro tem. This move aims to enhance the efficiency of the municipal court, enabling it to accept cases on Tuesdays and Thursdays, thereby improving access to justice for the community.

One of the prominent announcements made during the meeting was regarding an adjustment in energy rates by Clarksdale Public Utilities. Beginning April 17th, energy rates will see a modest increase of approximately one dollar, setting the flat rate at $9.00 year-round. CPU attributed this adjustment to rising operational costs due to inflation and the necessity for infrastructure upgrades. Notably, recent investments in replacing 30 miles of wiring systems and a transformer have resulted in fewer power outages during storms. This rate adjustment will also contribute to supporting a more efficient water treatment plan, ensuring a stable energy cost throughout the year for consumers, which still remains one of the most competitive rates in the region.

Ward 3 Commissioner Willie Turner addressed speculations regarding his status as Ward 4 Commissioner, reaffirming his dedication to serving the people of Clarksdale. With an illustrious career spanning 36 years, Commissioner Turner emphasized his continued commitment to public service, ensuring that the legacy of community engagement and leadership endures.

Acknowledgment was given to the city’s grant writer for their exceptional performance, securing substantial funding to address issues such as truancy, which is seen as a preventive measure against crime. Concerns were raised about the potential need for holding facilities for minors, reflecting a proactive approach towards community welfare and safety.

In a bid to address unresolved criminal cases, the council approved rewards of $1,000 each for information leading to the resolution of a robbery and murder case, as well as other unsolved homicides. This initiative underscores the city’s commitment to ensuring justice and safety for its residents.

The council announced job openings for CDL drivers, firefighters, and police department positions, reflecting efforts to bolster essential services and public safety within the community.

Mayor Espy approved several new budget items, including back pay for municipal court judges, overtime compensation, funding for the Care Station, and efforts to address abandoned properties through demolition.

The council highlighted upcoming events such as Brickyard Day on May 18th, an Asthma Awareness Walk on May 4th, and the observance of Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd with a police escort.

The council discussed proposals such as the construction of a cross near the crossroads to symbolize community faith and safety measures like installing speed bumps on Sunflower Avenue to prevent accidents.

In conclusion, the recent Clarksdale City Council meeting showcased a commitment to addressing pressing community issues, fostering diversity in leadership, and promoting public safety and welfare. Through collaborative efforts and proactive decision-making, the city continues its journey towards progress and inclusivity, ensuring a better quality of life for its residents.

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