Natchez City Clerk Resigns: ‘Now’s the Right Time’ – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

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NATCHEZ – Natchez City Clerk Servia Fortenberry, who has managed to get the city’s financial records in order, has resigned.

Fortenberry tendered his resignation on Friday, Mayor Dan Gibson said at Tuesday morning’s meeting of the mayor and council of aldermen.

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Fortenberry will remain in her post until November 15 in hopes of helping train her replacement and bring that person up to speed.

Aldermen voted to begin advertising nominations for a new city clerk on Thursday this week.

“My son is in his final year of college in Alabama (at the University of Montevallo) and I want to go see him and I want to travel,” Fortenberry said. “It’s a lifetime opportunity for me. It is the right time. I’m leaving the city in good shape and it’s time for me to take a leap of faith and bet on myself.

Fortenberry said she has a positive relationship with the mayor and each of the aldermen.

“I enjoyed working with them all,” Fortenberry said.

She was hired in October 2019 by the administration of former Mayor Darrell Grennell. She arrived in Natchez de McComb, where she served as City Clerk from October 2016 until arriving in Natchez. A native of McComb, Fortenberry has over 24 years of experience in city administration in various locations, starting with a role in the administration of former Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson. She became Magnolia City Clerk in 2014.

Fortenberry also served in the United States Army and the Air Guard.

Gibson praised Fortenberry’s work.

“It has been a difficult few years and she was able to perform three audits in a calendar year,” he said.

As part of a related action, the mayor and aldermen approved a contract with accounting firm Silas Simmons to handle the reconciliation of bank statements from 10 of the city’s largest accounts.

Completing bank statement reconciliations on a timely basis has been a problem for a number of years at Natchez, until the Fortenberry department went to great lengths to catch up with them.

The aldermen have considered either the outsourcing of jobs within the clerk’s office or the addition of additional staff.

“The contract is on a monthly basis until the city has additional staff in place to bring it in-house. We want to make sure during this transition period that the city does not fall behind. We’ve worked really hard to do three audits in one year and we don’t want to fall behind anymore, ”said Gibson.

The city will pay $ 95 per hour for the reconciliation of returns for the remainder of the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021. Fortenberry and its staff had completed most of this work and only two months remain.

For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021, the City will pay Silas Simmons $ 2,795 per quarter to reconcile the statements of the 10 accounts.


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