Monday, June 20, 2011

Editorial: Matt Thomas should resign from Jackson Revelopment Authority


The Clarion-Ledger reported last week Alcorn State University supporters are attempting to chance the annual Capital City Classic to a home-and-home series:

"Alcorn State's threat to end the 17-year-old Capital City Classic - and return its home game in the series to its campus in Lorman instead of Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson - has elicited a bevy of reaction from the Jackson area.

While JSU students mock the Braves, disappointed lawmakers and flustered city officials are discouraging the cancellation of the Classic, a weeklong celebration filled with events in the Jackson area and capped with the Alcorn-JSU football game, usually in mid-to-late November
."

The Classic brings $3.5 million to local businesses as fans descend upon the Jackson area for the game. There are more than a few problems if the game is played in Lorman. No hotels, few restaurants, limited road access, and a stadium that seats only 22,000 people. Of course reality and financial facts are lost upon the Alcorn State supporters:

"Last year's Capital City Classic, which drew an announced crowd of more than 32,000, produced $3.5 million for the city. That includes revenue from food, gas and hotel rooms, said Wanda Wilson, president of the Jackson Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

"We will do whatever we can to try to dissuade them from splitting the game again and alternating it between the schools," Wilson said. "Our city is better capable of handling the large number of people who attend the game. Everybody wins when the game is played in Jackson."

Not so, says Alcorn State president Christopher Brown, the one spearheading the move. Brown is heavily leaning toward not renewing the yearly contract for the Classic. He has created a committee, led by his chief of staff, to study the Classic and provide findings to him within 90 days
." Article

Well, President Brown certainly has the right to try to change the terms of the arrangement with Jackson State. However, there is one little nugget of information in the story:

"Matt Thomas, former president of the Alcorn State alumni association, was on the Classic committee when it was established in 1994. The committee's plan, Thomas said, was to hire a promoter after two years, in 1996.

"It never happened," said Thomas, a Jackson resident who supports Brown nixing the Classic.

"If we take this and put it under good management, I'd have no problem with it," Thomas said. "Neither school has the expertise or the time to do this in the manner in which it should be done. We are fooling ourselves
."

Who exactly is Matt Thomas? A commissioner of the Jackson Redevelopment Authority. You got it. What is the JRA? Its website states:

"The Jackson Redevelopment Authority (JRA) was established in 1968 as a quasi-govermental redevelopment agency for the city of Jackson. JRA is responsible for the resurgence and revitalization of residential, business and investment growth in the city."

That's right. He sits on the board of a Jackson agency created bring business to Jackson. Don't take my word for it. Look right here.

The Jackson Advocate called Mr. Thomas "ASU's #1 Fan". He once served as President of the Alcorn State Alumni Association and Chair of the ASU Foundation. A man can not serve two masters and Matt Thomas has no exception. Mayor Harvey Johnson should demand Mr. Thomas resign from the JRA as he has an obvious conflict of interest: Helping Alcorn State destroy the Classic and move it to Lorman while helping Jackson develop business. He can't have it both ways and should leave the Jackson Redevelopment Authority as he obviously does not have Jackson's best interests in mind. The late Mayor Frank Melton appointed Mr. Thomas to the JRA in 2008 and we are stuck with him until 2014.

Can one imagine reaction of Gene McGhee, Brad Rogers, Gary Rhodes, Rosemary Aultman, or Mary Hawkins-Butler if a member of such an agency supported moving one of the their biggest moneymakers to another city? They would put so much heat on the infidel he would have to resign and Harvey should do the same. Oh yes, that's, right, according to Precious Martin Black people fight too much. Well, these are exactly the kinds of fights Black people should have as there are always people who want to destroy events such as the Classic that do benefit everyone while they profit from the destruction, everyone else be damned. The fact is, Thomas and his President want to destroy one of the premier Black social events in the South and replace it with.... nothing. Mayor Johnson should demand Matt Thomas resign from the Jackson Redevelopment Authority.

















6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fish,

Great story and I'm with you 100%. The problem is you will be disappointed because you are expecting too much. No "brother" is going to "diss" another brother for the sake of "doing the right thing". Translation: Harvey will never ask him to resign. We see daily examples of the blacks in control protecting their own. Not just in Jackson, but nationwide.
That's just the way it is. They call it "payback" and the debt will never be satisfied.

Frugal Gal said...

I thought I was going to have to start my week without being exposed to some stereotypical racist crap not-co-cleverly-disguised as "commentary." But is isn't so! Thanks, Anon 8:19!

Anonymous said...

My question would be what does ASU. get from this? It's always a road game on JSU's home field, they get no parking money, no concession stand money, it's a better recruiting venue for JSU than ASU. So what does ASU gain from playing in Jackson?

From an event standpoint I see that it is good for Jackson. But this is a confrence game a rival game.


How About this a double header where JSU plays a non confrence opponet and ASU does the same. Now it's good for both schools and the City of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

ANON 8:37

The reason is that is just to simple and makes sense.

Anonymous said...

FRUGAL GAL....

Thanks for the compliment! I love ruining the day for people who don't believe the truth about the thugs running Jackson and Hinds county.

anon 8:19

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kingfish. The Mayor should ask for Matt Thomas' resignation. This is not about college fraternities or rivalries, at least with respect to the JRA. It is about economic impact for the City of Jackson. Thomas can't serve two masters. Kick his butt off the board!

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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