Pelahatchie's mayor speaks out on surprise 75 percent pay cut - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Pelahatchie's mayor speaks out on surprise 75 percent pay cut

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
PELAHATCHIE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Pelahatchie's mayor took a surprise pay cut and it's a huge 75 percent. Ryshonda Harper Beechem tells 3 On Your Side this is just one of many challenges she's faced since taking office.

“Well, of course I didn't know the board meeting that was about to take place. However, as everyone else, I was shocked as well,” said Mayor Ryshonda Harper Beechem.

Mayor Beechem admitted she was surprised and stunned by the news the board of aldermen was cutting her salary by 75 percent. Instead of earning $1,000 dollars a month, her salary was reduced to $250. She was told it was a budget decision.

“I don't think I was frustrated. I was disappointed,” said Mayor Beechem.

The board also cut its salary, but by 50 percent.

“At the end of the day it is not about money, it is about people. I am here to serve,” added the Mayor.

 Beechem became the first African American woman mayor in Rankin County back in July. She admits the months following her historic win have not been easy.

"One biggest challenge I would say as a mayor, wanting to get on the same page with my board members and maybe some of the employees and just trying to make sure doing things the right way," said the Mayor.

But Beechmen refuses to quit. She says God called her to lead this small town and despite the challenges and big pay hit, she is committed to improving the quality of life for those who live and work there.

“At the end of the day, my focus is to improve our infrastructure, which includes Milton Park that we are taking donations for right now," said Mayor Beechem. "I want to improve our community functions and events. I want to improve communications with the Board of Aldermen and also with the town. I want to be on one accord and prosper and grow our town.” 

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