Hoseman garners formidable opponent

First-term Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, already in hot water with school boards for attempting to micromanage 16th Section school land leases, is now accused by Gulf Coast officials of “over-stepping his bounds” by proclaiming control of coastal city harbors. His latest power play has garnered him a formidable opponent in the June 15 Republican primary.

School boards had complained to state lawmakers that Hosemann’s dabbling in small details of 16th Section school land leases was crippling their ability to manage the school land trust. Reforms enacted 30 years ago that changed control of the school lands from county boards of supervisors to school boards has dramatically increased the amount of revenues for schools.

The Mississippi House passed a bill to clarify a 1978 state law and confine Hosemann’s power merely to signing off on leases negotiated by school boards. However, the measure died in the Senate.

Bill Minor
3/16/11