Johnson to represent SC

The Stone County Board of Supervisors appointed Diane Tasha Johnson to Mississippi’s Commission for Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

Johnson will represent Stone County and be a voting member on the Region 13 board, which also serves Hancock County and Harrison County.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve my community in this capacity,” Johnson said.

Regional mental health commission oversees and supports community mental health centers throughout their districts. Each board of supervisors appoints one member to represent the county on the regional commission every four years. 

Mental health centers like the Gulf Coast Mental Health Center in Wiggins offer a range of services and programs for patients with substance use and mental illness. GCMHC also offers crisis intervention services and resources available to law encipherment.

Johnson is a Stone County native. She founded InEducationWeTrust, Inc, an educational nonprofit that strives to make education accessible to communities. Johnson’s nonprofit works with schools and students, offering support with consulting, advocacy, scholarships, resources, and mentor programs.

She was elected to the Stone County School Board in 2014 and serves as board president. Johnson also serves on Stone County United’s board of directors. 

She replaces Dr. Marie Heim, who recently resigned.

The Board accepted interim Region 13 Commissioner, Mariano Barvie’s resignation.

Stacy Miller, the executive director of the Gulf Coast Mental Health Center, which operates under the commission, later presented their requested budget needs to the Board.

 Miller also updated supervisors on the Wiggins’ location’s operations and recent personnel changes. 

The board took the 2020-2021 budget under advisement. 

During Monday’s board meeting, County Supervisor and Board President Lance Pearson said Johnson came highly recommended.

“(Johnson) is a very respectable person in the county,” Pearson said. 

Pearson said Johnson came highly recommended. 

He said Johnson was a good fit for the position because she is a local and is active in the community.

Since the commission helps implement programs and services, Pearson said it was important to have a good person representing the county’s interests.

“It takes somebody that cares,” Pearson said.

The next regular meeting will take place at the Stone County Courthouse on Monday, Oct. 19 at 9 a.m.

The board also:

• Approved the requests to declare one 2011 Ford F150 and one 2005 Ford Expedition as surplus of the Stone County Sheriff’s Department.

• Approved the SCSD’s request to get an undercover vehicle tag.

• Approved the purchase of replacement Vulcan kettle for the Stone County Regional Correctional Facility for the lowest bid of $17, 357.13.

• Discussed fixing the SCRCF’s roof leakage issues. 

• Approved a pay increase for SCRCF Warden F. D. Brewer.

• Approved the request for two correctional officers to register for training with the Columbia Law Enforcement Training Academy.

• Approved the Stone County Tax Assessor and Collector’s request for wage adjustments and personnel changes.

• Approved the Road Department’s request to hire Robert Harris and Richard Craven as full-time employees.

• Heard from Melissa Galatas, outreach educator of the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence and signed a proclamation to support domestic violence awareness.

• Approved monthly payroll and the most recent accounts payable docket.