Change came to Batesville, MS on Wednesday 10/19/22, thanks to a push by a 1st amendment auditor/constitutional rights activist and all of his supporters!
It was more than just a constitutional challenge and open refusal to comply with controversial ordinance passed by the Board of Alderman on July 19, 2022. The Ordinance in reference barred the use of photography or video recording inside of any City Building. However, on October 13, 2022 all of that would come under direct challenge by a Journalist/1st Amendment Auditor/ Constitutional Rights Activist.
The very next day, October 14, 2022 Reardon put in a call to the Batesville Mayor, Hal Ferrell. Later that day, he got a return call from the Mayor. In that call, matters deteriorate as both Reardon the Mayor take two completely opposite stances on the matter at hand. Reardon states that he is fully intent on constitutionally challenging the Ordinance and will return to request public records, recording video as he is doing it. Mayor Ferrell then welcomes the challenge, stating he will even personally address the matter when Reardon comes in video recording. Then both state their willingness to fight the matter in court.
On 10/17/2022, Reardon calls Mayor Ferrell back to let him know he was coming to constitutionally challenge the city Ordinance and request Public Records on Wednesday 10/19/2022 to ensure the Mayor was going to be there.
On Wednesday, 10/19/2022 just after 2pm, Matt Reardon delivers on his promises and arrives at City Hall walking in with not just one camera recording video, but three separate cameras. Mayor Hal Ferrell comes out of his office and immediately greets Reardon, shaking his hand, and stating that he and the board of Aldermen convened the night before. During this meeting they discussed all the grievances stated and took into account all the calls and emails received on the matter from a plethora of concerned citizens. Ferrell says they held a special vote and voted to repeal the Ordinance.
Since that time, Reardon says that he and the Batesville Mayor have spoken several times and that a mutual respect and friendship have been established. Mayor Ferrell has shown an insistence on transparency being given to the Citizens of Batesville and any interested citizen into the function of matters in Batesville, MS.