Political Sisters: Tyrus Byrd (#Parma)

Before we get into the juicier aspects of Ms. Byrd's story, can we just say congratulations?

And not just to Ms. Byrd herself, but to the citizens of Parma - rhymes with "karma" - Missouri who (I'm guessing) got fed enough to remove their old mayor of 37 years.  Congrats to each and every one of you who got out there and voted - couple that with Nigeria's recent historic election, you've got me feeling inspired.

Looks like Ferguson ain't the only one getting a leadership overhaul.  For those of you who haven't been paying attention to what's going on out in Parma, we need to get you caught up:

She was barely even sworn in yet! They took off before she even stepped foot into the office!!!
In the town of Parma, Missouri (population 713 and reportedly declining), five of the six members of the town’s police department resigned, as did several city officials, just before the town’s first black woman mayor took office last week. Mayor Tyrus Byrd won a recent election by 37 votes against the previous mayor, Randall Ramsey, who had served for a total of 37 years, and apparently the previous administration was just really, really loyal to Randall.

Former Mayor Ramsey told local TV that the officers’ resignations, as well as those of the city attorney, clerk, and the supervisor of the waste water treatment plant, were motivated by “safety concerns.” Exactly what those safety concerns were, however, remain a mystery to Mayor Byrd, since she has not actually seen the resignation letters. It appears they were stored on the city’s computers, which were helpfully wiped clean by the outgoing City Hall office staff. Wasn’t that helpful of them, to let her start with a completely clean office like that?

Because of the missing records, Byrd said that she couldn’t comment on the resignations until she had more information. We bet that the former city officials will be more than happy to fill her in, should they ever return her phone calls. It could happen! Also, we haven’t done any research into this, but isn’t there some slight likelihood that maybe wiping city computers of personnel records just
might be a crime of some sort? Somebody ought to maybe look into that!

~ Wonkette, "We Are Sure Entire Missouri Town Had Good Non-Racist Reason For Quitting When Black Lady Elected Mayor"
Okay, see there...that right there?  That has "we need to invite the DOJ to investigate" written ALL over it.  In fact, we need to start a petition about that ish.

Ever since the DOJ's report on Ferguson, it seems to me that police departments across America are scrambling to avoid a similar fate by any means necessary.  Riots?  Shit...they can handle that.  They can handle anything better than having Feds mercilessly rip through their closets and air all their dirty laundry to the entire planet.

If you're like me, you pay attention to international news, and thanks to Google Translate, I can read about American fuckery in Chinese, German, Swedish, Spanish, French - you name it - and those online news sources have been having a field day.  Because when American towns in Nowhere, Missouri are making headlines in international papers, you know shit has gotten real.

There's not much info about Ms. Byrd online.  Ain't a whole lot of pictures; couldn't tell you what platform she ran on or what speeches she made but I'm pretty sure this is more than just about her race - this is about her.  If had it been some clueless brown bimbo becoming Mayor, I doubt they would've resigned.  But Parma elected her.  Something about Tyrus Byrd was apparently so terrifying that these fools literally fled before her..

Commenters have pointed out that these people were quitting their jobs - giving up actual income - in this economy, so you already know it was serious.  After all, wiping the computers before they left is a crime.  Commenters have pointed out that those computers and the data they stored were paid for by taxpayers; ergo, the data was city property and thereby public record.  Since Byrd is a former city clerk herself, and she keeps saying her first order of business is to "clean up the city", I think she knows what went down, or at least has a pretty good idea.

Either way, congratulations, sister.  Good job.


  1. I heard this and while I wondered if it was because she was black I also wondered if it was because she was a woman. A lot of men do not like working for women period. They still think you need to be pregnant in the kitchen or servicing them.

    1. " I heard this and while I wondered if it was because she was black. I also wondered if it was because she was a woman."

      I ve mentioned my thoughts in my post. I think it may be less about her being a woman and more about her race. If its not her race,theyre afraid that she may open their pandoras box of controversies.

  2. Dismay with the Parma police had already become heightened a month before, when a white part-time officer used a Taser on a black teenager. The officer said he had attempted to apprehend the 17-year-old, who is related to Byrd, over suspicions of prank calls made to the police department. When the teen refused to speak, the officer Tasered and arrested him.

    That night, a number of African-American community members gathered at the police station to lodge their concerns over the incident, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    Byrd told KFVS that she would wait until she had more information to discuss the issues. Her first order of business, she said, was cleaning up the 713-person town. Nearly a week after taking office, Byrd told KFVS that she could not yet locate the resignation letters. Nor could she find financial statements, budget documents or other papers, she told the Post-Dispatch.

    Aaaaaaaand the plot thickens.

  3. Hoorah for Tyus becoming Parma's mayor .

    Far as those folks that resigned because og supposed "safety reasons"..,what a lame excuse.

    I see their resignation as a blessing and a hinderance...a blessing because who knows what they hiding?They were probably racist and\or not up to no good. Its also a hinderance because they may spread their poison to someone elses city hall.

  4. When Byrd showed up for work at City Hall, she was unable to locate financial statements, the book of ordinances, budget, meeting minutes or any other city documents.

    “There’s nothing,” Byrd said.

    As it turns out, Kim Hampton, who has been city treasurer for 24 years and runs the Mahan Gin, keeps many Parma financial documents in a 14-by-14-foot fireproof safe at the cotton gin.

    “I do all of my job here,” said Hampton, who did not resign.

    Asked how the city could fulfill public records requests when the documents weren’t at City Hall, Hampton said, “They (the residents) all know where I’m at.”

    Byrd said she eventually obtained some account statements. A few of those statements showed that city employees routinely used city credit to purchase personal items, and then paid the city back by having money withheld from their paychecks over a period of months.

    Ramsey said he allowed the practice because the city did not offer employees benefits, and the wages were low.

    “In my mind, I considered it a benefit of the job, like having a credit union,” Ramsey said.

    Ramsey said Byrd didn’t reassure employees their jobs would be safe. In a fourth-class city such as Parma, Ramsey said, the Board of Aldermen, along with the mayor, hires and fires employees. But over the years, aldermen gave him that sole authority and went along with his personnel decisions.

    He said employees probably assumed that Byrd would enjoy that power.

    “I feel like they didn’t want to hang around and get fired,” he said.

    But Byrd said she didn’t even have a chance to talk with employees.

    Ramsey said he lost the election because black residents — more than a third of the city’s population — turned out to vote for Byrd. He said it’s possible the Taser incident motivated them.

    “I have always had a good rapport with the black community as far as I know,” Ramsey said. “But it wasn’t good enough.”

    Ramsey, now 78, said he believes that things might have worked out for the best.

    “You wear out your welcome,” he said. “Or stay too long sometimes.”


  5. Hi, my name is Anita Ford, and I wanted to know how's it's been going since the newly elected Mayor Tyrus Byrd has taken office and since the mass resignation.


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