Friday, August 21, 2015

Costco chaos

Ok, folks.  Here is the much awaited video of the Costco forum held at Ridgeland High School last night. It was a packed house and the discussion grew pretty heated at times.






75 comments:

Anonymous said...

Would someone mind giving me a brief,objective synopsis of this controversy, please? I no longer live in Jackson, but I know some players involved. What's the beef?

Anonymous said...

Ridgeland. Potential Costco. Disagreement re: proposed location. Gene McGee. Caught substantially lying to public. Debacle. Furor. Divisive Mayor.

Anonymous said...

10:01, Quick recap:

City had a master plan for economic development, zoning, etc.
Costco had been shopping the market for a year or more.
Jackson was putting heavy pressure to lure Costco to build at the baseball park on Lakeland, but lost out.
Ridgeland got involved, but required non-disclosure agreement.
Costco found part of planned Renaissance area (south of Old Agency) suitable but it wasn't zoned correctly.
Several weeks ago, a zoning meeting was held and changed the zoning to accommodate the then non-identified retailer. Most people weren't paying attention and the City did not raise any attention to it other than requisite public notice.
Rumors spread about the retailer being Costco, and Mayor kept rebuffing the talk as merely "rumors."
Everything came out last week when it was announced that Costco was indeed the retailer.
People around Dinsmor area are mad because they think it hurts their home values and believed the mayor deceived them.
Everyone else in Ridgeland loves it.

Anonymous said...

You aren't missing anything....just a small, vocal group of uppidy, pompous Ridgeland rednecks acting out. They either built or bought homes near a commercial development and are now upset that the development is happening. Did they really expect that land valued at $1-$2 million an acre would sit vacant for ever?/ Idiots!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to shop at Costco. It will be great. Thanks Mayor McGee for your leadership.

Kingfish said...

Card filled up. There were about three people at the end who did not get on the video. I wasn't able to go last night so I sent someone to tape it for me.

Anonymous said...

Now let's see where the politicians fall. Aldermen, House members, Senate members...all need to take a clear position so the Mayor and the residents will see where you stand.

Bargain Lover said...

BUILD IT! I love Costco. I live in Mccomb, MS & it will be worth my while to drive to Ridgeland. One again Build it! 10:40 AM comment is accurate.

Anonymous said...

Seems like it would fit better along the new frontage roads in Ridgeland, but whatevs.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see all those nice cars with the red "D" sticker in the parking lot of Costco.

Anonymous said...

Costco is great for everyone in the Tri-county area except for the 20 homeowners in Greenwood Plantation. Most are OBGyns anyway, so those honking delivery trucks shouldn't be an issue. They are used to not sleeping.
Bring on my big box retail store. Mama needs a new pair of shoes and a years supply of Tide and Charmin.

Anonymous said...

is this right by that really nice neighborhood, greenwood plantation? yikes

Anonymous said...

Maybe a good compromise is for Costco to built a bike trail around the parking lot. Then the kids wondering where they will ride their bikes will be happy. I wish there would also be a Dollar Tree in the complex.

Anonymous said...

Is Sally's Beauty Supply relocating to be next door to Costco? At this rate, I might as well move to Ridgeland. All the good store are relocating north

Anonymous said...

if i lived ANYWHERE in ridgeland, i would be VERY CONCERNED about 2 things, neither of which would have anything to do with its proximity to my house, namely:

(1) LYING deceitful politicians and the damage they have done and what to do about it: and

(2) the fact that ridgeland will get NO TAX REVENUE from this development at this location and will basically be subsisidizing Bailey/Mattiace/et al, for 15 years (or $27.7 million), PLUS increased taxes

after that, my next concerns would be how quick to get all current elected officials replaced with people of integrity and to get the FBI and AG to begin investigations into possible public corruption involving project "santaclaus" and it's secret beneficiaries....

Anonymous said...

So, applause was allowed (If I heard correctly), yet there was a deafening SILENCE, after Buster Bailey and Andrew Mattiace spoke.

Ever since Kingfish started running the old articles about the Rankin County 'Gold Coast', I've been wondering which, among Jackson's notoriously scummy "Old Families", got their starts as bootleggers/saloon-owners/brothel-keepers. We all know that the Capital's "Old Families" are descended from the Carpetbaggers and Scalawags who descended upon Jackson during Reconstruction, and, during their reign of terror, basically purged the area of decent people.

Many of us who moved to Madison County, from other parts of the state, did so, because of the nasty "socialites" in Jackson. Our mamas told us to avoid them: "They're not our kind of people. We tried to keep Jackson girls out of our sorority, and you'll see WHY, when you've lived there a while."

When the author of 'The Help' created 'Hilly', she accidentally got that ONE character right. Hilly's mother was too aristocratic to have been "Old Jackson". But Bible-thumping, mean-spirited, rude, crude, chewing-with-her-mouth-open Hilly absolutely embodied the kind of women we encountered, when we got to Jackson, in the Eighties. We followed the advice of our elders, and bought out in Madison County, "Where nice people are starting to settle. They have that Chapel of the Cross, you know: much nicer crowd than that bunch of helmet-haired, tiara-wearin' baton-twirlers at the Cathedral, Downtown."

So, seeing Buster Bailey up at the podium leads me to wonder where his family's capital came from, Initially. And how about the Whites, who also had a savings & loan? I'd love to know where the 'Gold Coast' families are, TODAY.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone ever purchase an expensive home so near commercially zoned land in the first place is beyond belief. So why are you complaining! Sounds like granite counter tops, open entertaining areas and good schools clouded your buying judgement. There is no way Costco will bow to your "not in my backyard" attitude. After all, you "knowingly" bought in the "backyard" of commercial development.

Anonymous said...

I love Costco and I wish it would come here tomorrow. I have to wonder if any of the people that are opposed to it have ever been inside a Costco. It is so much nicer than Sam's; it sells much better products. It is a great employer with high-paying jobs. The land is commercially zoned. I have a feeling that the people involved in opposing this project would not be happy with any potential development going in at that area. With really happening here is that they are acting like they own land that they have not paid for. The last time I checked it is not a socialist country here, yet. The only negative news I heard from last nights meeting is that it will be at least 2017 before before the Costco in Ridgeland is open.

Anonymous said...

To me Costco is not the issue to most dissenters. It's the fact that Mattiece and McGre conspired in 2014 to slip supposedly innocuous zoning modifications by the public and Aldermenn to fit Costcos specs to a T.Then Costco contracted to buy the land in 2014.McGee,instead of " no commenting" repeatedly lied to everyone who asked,including many of his supporters,about ANY knowledge of Costco or its interest in this property.Many,including me,are very suspicious of why McGee did what he did and about his relationship with Mattiece.

Anonymous said...

The people are upset because the mayor lied to them. The developer also gets to recover $26,000,000 through Mississippi Development Authority loan. All Mississippi taxpayers should be outraged.

Anonymous said...

@11:20 you'll drive 1.5 hrs to save a couple bucks on toilet paper. Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

1:30 - yes, that's my own take.

I would like a pharmacy and a tasteful gas station (the one at the Ridgeland exit needs competition), but I'm not crazy about the big-box store. Doesn't get my panties in a wad, however.

Anonymous said...

The state auditor needs to begin an investigation of McGee. His backing of this Costco reeks of corruption.

Anonymous said...

The cornerstone of economic development is the public/private engagement for the development of the local economy. Costco does that in spades. The reason Ridgeland is desirable is in large part to the same economic development practices that it took to attract Costco.

There is no reason whatsoever Costco shouldn't come to Ridgeland as planned.

Those whining about this are the ignorant minority. I own land and a business a stone's throw up HCP in Ridgeland. I welcome the added traffic.

Anonymous said...

Yup, the bigger problem...

If the mayor & board lied about this, they will lie about anything. Heck, they may have a dozen 'hidden' lies buried under the guise of non-disclosure in addition to this.

Non-disclosure should not be a legal offering when the tax payers will be on the line.

Having an entity that you DO NO KNOW require that you lie to all of those that you DO KNOW is a horrible thing to agree to. Honestly can't understand that.

Anonymous said...

These videos made me cringe. Yuck. Glad I don't live among those snobs.

Anonymous said...

Why 12:48, what an arrogant b*tch you are. Pleased with yourself, are you? I believe, dahling, that you have the scenario reversed. Bless your heart.

Anonymous said...

12:48

Some of the more interesting social commentary I have read on this website in a long time.

Can you expound more on the history of these Old Capitol families?

I am a student of history --where can I read more about this?

Anonymous said...

helmet-haired, tiara-wearin' baton-twirlers

Kinda takes my breath away.......


Anonymous said...

Seems to be a general public ignorance about tax incentive programs and how things get developed, etc. and ignorance with a microphone is quite entertaining/depressing...

Anonymous said...

I was there last night and am one of Costco's supporters. I would have spoken in favor but was afraid I would have been booed and harassed as the anti-Costco crowd was rude, vicious and downright mean-spirited. They heard what they wanted to hear and, frankly, I was embarrassed by their "performance" which I understand was pretty well staged. I do hope Costco is not easily dissuaded from coming to this area. They have done their homework. You can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. And you think MHB doesn't tell fabrications? Mayor McGee is three times more honest!!

Anonymous said...

August 21, 2015 at 4:17 PM - Add frightening. The level of anger is just not proportionate... Ruins any credibility they might have had. They had written their scripts of false information, rehearsed and had their little moment in time at the mic.

Anonymous said...

at 1:51 PM ---@11:20 you'll drive 1.5 hrs to save a couple bucks on toilet paper. ---

Only if you want to ignore their great (and cheap) wine selection, cheeses, bakery goods, fresh produce and a whole bucket load more of stuff that you will just not find in Jackson.

Costco ain't SAM's.


Anonymous said...

@ 539 - of course MHB lies. She lied about the peacocks being: Against code, a safety hazard and not associated with Christmas. It wasn't until social media took action that she capitulated and left the lady alone.

Yes, mayors lie. they lie like Bill Clinton lies.

Anonymous said...

5:43 I challenge you to try to amass information as a private citizen without any judicial discovery dealing with untruthful, deceitful elected officials. Their untrustworthyness in this matter has been well documented. I do not doubt for a second that those of us who are opposing this incompatible land use proposal have made some mistakes. All of the people that I have been associated with in this matter are of the highest character. We have endeavored to be honest & forthright in informing our neighbors. Our concern is & always has been to defend our quality of life for our families. Other than being concerned about the negative impact of the value of our homes, we are not for money on this project.
We would not like to see this type developement adversely effecting any neighbor in our city. Other than for a greed for taxpayer money, this unfortunate issue would have never materialized. Notwithstanding the damage to public trust, this issue could be simply remedied by relocating this gigantic big box store with its huge parking lot to a legitimate compatible land use site. Is Mayor Hawkins-Butler that much smarter than McGee, or is it she puts her residents over the interest of developers. Please ride up to Madison & see how & where she located Sam's. & while you are there, try to invasion a building 10,000 sf larger with 150 more parking spaces would replicate a typical Costco warehouse. Also, notice the ease of ingress/egress, with a newly constructed frontage road which the proposed Costco warehouse will never have because of the Historic Natchez Trace. One may also notice when leaving the Sam's parking lot, one does not transverse the center of a 12-13 mile multi $m bike/walking path. Do not forget how close hey 51 is.
Everyone knows that are many more sites in Ridgeland where Costco Warehouse could locate that would better for the city & its residents. It is all & only all about the $26.7M tax diversion. Money that could be used to benefit the city of Ridgeland. The city will get no sales tax at this location until these wealthy Jackson developers get their $26.7M or 15 years whichever comes first. At a time when many think MS is not fully funding education, when state law enforcement has been severely reduced, when citizens feel over taxed, our state supplements wealthy developers. One may call this republican welfare. I am proud that our state has stopped this program.
Now on a related subject. In economics 101 one will learn that there is only so much money in an area. When there are new developments money is merely shifted around. We can not print $4T/year as Feds. The only way to get more money is to increase targeted area. Why can not we, like Madison, place the gigantic warehouse so when one rides to Ridgeland from McComb to buy their toilet paper that residents of these city will be minimally impacted & inconvenienced, not to mention reducing our quality of life & reducing home values.
While we are merely moving this money around, most likely local merchants close reducing sales tax to a non sales tax producting entity for the city. And, how about his home. Does he lose that?
There are 3,000 signatures on petitions opposing this site location. I believe I conservatively spend $5,000\year at Sam's with all plus gas & meds. If Costco warehouse locates at this site, like the retired professor stated last night, I will not do business with the devil. Now if those 3,000 signees do as this lady & I, that is will be $15,165,000 less sales,fees, for this Costco warehouse at this location. According to last night, that is lost profit of $3,712,500/year. I realize they claim they lose $40M/year on their cooked chickens, but that is corporate wide. All this lost revenue so a few wealthy Jackson developers can get into the taxpayers pockets.

Anonymous said...

@ August 21, 2015 at 5:39 PM

Sat right next to you. You said nothing because you had nothing to say.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Someone unlocked a psycho.

Anonymous said...

@7:49

Costco won't miss yours nor your pompous, self-infated, egotistical neighbors' money.

The rest of us logical, rational people in the area will gladly spend our money there over Sam's.

People will bitch about anything..... And people wonder why Mississippi has such a hard time getting anything nice.

Anonymous said...

This is not about Costco; this is about the devious tactics that have been employed to get Costco to a location that never should have been in contention. And the heavy handed tactics continue. That "rude" group of people that some of you keep referring to, sat quietly and respectfully while every Costco representative as well as the developers and our city planner gave their presentations. It was probably close to 45 minutes as the citizens of Ridgeland waited patiently to have their opportunity to express our concerns. There were several hundred residents in attendance. Because of that large number, there was no way every one would have an opportunity to speak. Our only opportunity to express our opinion and exercise our right to free speech was by clapping. Yet, we were told we couldn't clap EXCEPT when we were told to clap. What is happening to our country? Whichever side of this debate you might be on, every one should be incensed that we are being ridiculed and criticized and pummeled for exercising our basic American right to free speech. What has happened to our beloved America that there is even one among us that supports that kind of suppression? Shame on Costco for their fascist arrogance, but shame on any one that ridicules a fellow American for exercising their right to free speech. The last time I checked, America was still a free country. Although if some of these posts are any indication, I doubt that she will continue to be for very long.

Anonymous said...

5:39 said:
"the anti-Costco crowd was rude, vicious and downright mean-spirited.”

“Vicious" ? . . . now that’s funny !

“Mean spirited” . . . let me guess, they also don’t buy into the goofy phrase . . “diversity is our strength"

Anonymous said...

A few thousand local signatures against a Fortune 500 company isn't enough to stop them. Threats that local physicians and Lawyers won't support them is childish. Costco isn't depending on 20 thousand "upper" class Madison residents to keep the business running. Sorry, but this warehouse will attract many citizens that have disposable income. That includes SNAP for babyfood and juices as Costco prices are better than SAM's. Surprisingly, residents of Flowood, Brandon (and they too, can well afford it) and even the old money in Jackson know where the good deals are. Rest assured, come payday, tax time and Christmas there are plenty of shoppers to take up your slack and honestly, nobody really cares what you think. I was embarrassed to see professionals acting out at this meeting. Ever wonder why well known Doctor's and Lawyers are keeping a low profile, you embarrassed them, too. As far as comments of dealing with the devil, remember that these Costco executives are not from the Bible Belt. They are probably not of your religious affiliation either and your banter made absolutely no impression on them, other than watching you act a little strange at a business meeting.

Cliff Notes said...

@ 7:49,Hey, hey, hey, hold up there Tolstoy. I was going to refute you point by point (to include bad grammar/typos), but I'm worn out by your diatribe. I WISH they had landed a mile from my house (Lakeland) but Tony Baloney somehow screwed that up. It's a COMMERCIAL SITE. HELP, HELP, I'm being repressed! Come to Jacktown, I'll take you on a tour of the violence inherent in the system....

Anonymous said...

Anybody notice that when the rest of the community does not care that this is going into an "upscale" area the argument changes to tax rebates and zoning and confidentiality agreements? Did they really think that insulting the rest of the City, county and metro area was going to win them friends? Strawman at the best.

My neighborhood (GASP, on the east side of the interstate) has a closed Facebook page. It is red hot tonight. Those that felt the pain of the westside residents no longer feel that pain. Now they are asking for a letter writing campaign to Costco to encourage and welcome them into our fair city.

Yes, free speech is alive and well. But so are consequences for what you say and how you say it. No one was arrested for the clapping and red neck screams and shouts, but the amount of respect that was lost will never be regained. Actions have consequences, all of them.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:16- Make sure you catch the residents of Flowood and Brandon. I'm sure you'll get a positive response. Can't speak for Pearl, but they're good people and will support you.

Anonymous said...

$26.7M can buy a lot of bloggers.
If it was not so sickening, it would be comical the way the people with their hand in the pot are trying to divide this good city. These sick people are attacking residence of this city who have made Ridgeland their home. Do you think these big time wealthy Jackson developers care about anyone in east Ridgeland? Do you think one of these wealthy Jackson developers is gonna invite you to one of their palatial vacation homes? How many east Ridgeland people have ever been to the elitist Cashier, NC? Unlike your neighbors in west Ridgeland, these wealthy Jackson developers do not want to live with you. They chose not to live with us!
Now for Costco! They themselves said they like the demographics of west Ridgeland. Costco snubbed east Ridgeland. James says in the Bible, "actions speak louder than word ". Costco has snubbed east Ridgeland. Costco wants your city sales tax, but they do not want you. There are several places along hwy 51 that could be made more attractive. Why are your aldermen not trying to help you? Your alderman want to develop west & turn their backs on east. But, it is not all together your alderman' s fault. There is a little matter of $26.7M of the sales tax of the entire city of Ridgeland. Citizens of Ridgeland do not fall for this sickening ploy. We, east & west are in this together. Do not let a few wealthy Jackson developers & a multi billion dollar foreign corporation divide us. United we stand, divided we fall.

Anonymous said...

Costco should have never insulted east saying they liked the demographics of west. The Costco executive said west was their choice. Costco wants their developers to get the sales tax from this location for 15 years rather than the entire city of Ridgeland. They snub us but want our tax money!

Anonymous said...

Psycho's back

Anonymous said...

Wow! Costco snubs the entire Rankin County & you want the good people there to get on their knees & beg Costco to come to Ridgrland?
You people know not shame! Costco has said Rankin County people are not for them, west Ridgeland residents are what they want.

Anonymous said...

I am totally miffed. Where have the residents of west Ridgeland insulted the residents of east Ridgeland? I must have missed something!!! Every Ridgeland resident suffers when we have to forfeit our local sales tax dollars on a retail development. There are only so many ways that a city can earn money; Sales tax has always been Ridgeland's bread and butter. Recently residential development has been so prolific that the increase in homesteads has increased our total property tax income without having to increase millage. However, our city officials have decided to forfeit our bread and butter (sales tax) by financing projects for developers which means giving up our sales tax to pay off debt. So ALLLL the citizens of Ridgeland take the risk and the developers make all the money! We currently have two such projects- one is Lowes and one is Renaissance. Lowes has been a losing proposition since its inception and will continue to be so until we pay off those bonds. On Renaissance, we are merely breaking even and will continue to do so for the next 10 or so years until those bonds are paid off. (That will be about the time that Renaissance is considered "old" and sales drop off and tenants begin to move out.). And now we are going to add the Costco project to our list of projects that we have financed for the developers. They will get the $26 million dollars from the state coffers (our state taxes) and we will get -- you guessed it, NOTHING -- for the next 15 years or until the debt is retired, whichever comes first. We will also have the privilege of paying for additional police and firemen and for additional road maintenance, which would be fine if we were getting additional income but that won't happen for 15 years! (Keep in mind, the east residents will be spending their tax dollars to maintain all those roads to and from Costco for those "rich, snobby" west residents'.) So what is the mayor's solution? raise millage on our property taxes!!! It's the developers that are making out like bandits here and on the backs of ALLL the residents of Ridgeland, not just the east or the west!!! Please believe me, this Costco development affects the whole city. It's the very reason our property taxes are increasing. The solution is to ban together not let petty differences tear us apart.

Anonymous said...

Don't even- 11:03 don't even.

I used to live in Ridgeland- thought the place was quite alright until I saw these videos- " we are most of the tax base= we have more money".
This time, someone has more money than you and your ilk, and you cannot stand that you are NOT in control. Being mean, inducing class warfare, and all that jazz has many 'bleeding heart liberals' that try ever so honestly to care about the people here and you just judge them by their money or perceived lack thereof. Typical new money you are- the last time I checked, those folks worked hard to pay the bills whatever it is they do.
But let me tell you something about southern liberals; that bleeding heart turns into one with daggers flying out of it once you truly hit a nerve. You just marginalized a whole metro against you without even knowing it.
If there's anything you can take away from this, learn something; when you try to prevent something from happening, a lot of times it makes the situation worse. I cannot believe that self professed Christians would act that way while calling a corporation 'the devil' that would provide affordable food stuffs to all.
I'll pray for you and I don't mean that in any sort of snarky way. I'll also pray for your law enforcement because they apparently have to put up with petty stuff that probably makes them want to puke.

Anonymous said...

Clearly there are some folks that don't have all the facts. This was NOT zoned for a Costco until on June 2, 2015, when our city leaders used a zoning ploy straight out of Costcos play book to altar our 2014 zoning ordinances enabling Costco to come to the property in question. Their actions were, at the very least, underhanded and there are many that question its legality. That is why there were so many passionate residents at the meetings. Zoning ordinances are in place to protect citizens property rights. The mayor made absolutely certain that Ridgeland residents were totally locked out of the process and had no opportunity to have any knowledge or input.

In 2014, this location was zoned for the same type of commercial property as the rest of Highland Colony Parkway; not for warehouses and fast food drive thrus and gas pumps! We welcome more of the Renaissance-type development at the property in question. And, we welcome Costco, but NOT at the property in question!!!

We were duped! And when I say "we," I mean all of Ridgeland. You see, the zoning alteration affects every piece of C-2 property in the city!!! Yep, that's right! So you may be loosing an apartment complex in your back yard (apartments are C-2), just to be gaining a big box store!!! Good luck, friends and neighbors. It seems no one is safe.

Anonymous said...

I have a question: I keep reading the anti-Costco claims that Ridgeland will reap "no taxes!" from a Costco because of the MDA sales tax rebate deal. But aren't property taxes also a big deal? Wouldn't the city benefit in a big way via property taxes a Costco would pay? I don't have a real dog in the fight since I don't live out there, but I will admit to being pleased at the thought of a higher quality alternative to Sam's.

Anonymous said...

12:50. There was public notice of the zoning change. It was posted. I bet you neglected that notice and did not attend that meeting. You weren't duped. You're just a dope.

This reads exactly like the Oxford House ordeal. Vocal minority who failed to ensure proper zoning have an "undesirable" move in and lose their damn minds. Will we see an "interview" of someone who's loved one chocked on a $1.50 hotdog implore you not to be fooled by the evils of Costco? Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Costco could have built BEFORE the June 2nd zoning change, the zoning has always allowed big box stores. The only thing the zoning did was allow gas pumps! Which is needed over there, my parents have lived over there for over 20 years and it is a pain to have no nearby gas pumps!

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt to any reasonable honest person that the comments of a paid Costco representative, who I believe is their real estate guy, said Costco selected that site because of the demographics. He was speaking on behalf of Costco.
I do not know Stephanie Nix. She was probably nervous. She was probably very emotional due to the deceitful manner in which the citizens of this community have been treated. She was giving her personal opinion based on her long experience in this real estate market. It was her personal opinion. She was speaking on her personal behalf. This is still America. A lot of people have given their lives to protect that privilege. I applaud Stephanie for having the guts to speak up in a public forum. It is not always easy. I only heard one person speak in favor of this proposal & he was from Pearl, and the audience applauded for him to get a Costco in Pearl. I did heard a lot of rude, interrupted remarks when opposition people were speaking from the little spineless pro people that did not have the guts to be recognized to speak.

Anonymous said...

7:57 Why didn't you fill your car up with gas goIng to/coming from school. There is no public high school over ther either.

conservationsouth@gmail.com said...

To the person questioning where these families got their money -
How about they not only worked for it but have also worked to keep it? Is that a concept that requires a whole lot of thought?

Dow Yoder said...

We live just down the street from Jane and Gene McGee. While I understand the need for a degree of confidentiality in economic development, the decision to collateralize the pockets of a few private investors with $26,700,000.00 of taxpayer money has been made.

While Gene and the Board of Aldermen continue million dollar deficit spending, they also conspire to increase our taxes, so that we can pick up the tab for the Mattiace Lowe's development on County Line Road. They are giving away our tax dollars to people who will return a percentage of their profits to the pockets of those who are elected to protect our interests.

Mattiace and Bailey won't leave a sack of $100 bills in Gene's freezer---- they will buy life insurance policies from him; engage in 'discretionary' business relations with his family, etc., so that it's not a direct quid pro quo the FBI can easily target. Forget the local DA and AG---- they don't target or prosecute public corruption.

Gene takes no responsibility in failing to negotiate a good development with Harbor Walk, or with efforts to redevelop distressed commercial and residential properties south of Lake Harbor.

The majority of Ridgeland taxpayers can expect 1 thing for every resident on the East side of I-55: HIGHER TAXES, TO UNDERWRITE THE PRIVATE INVESTMENTS OF A FEW MILLIONAIRES WHO ARE RETURNING THE KICKBACKS TO GENE MCGEE AND THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN THROUGH CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS, PRIVATE, NON-REPORTED CONTRACTS, AND 'IN KIND CONTRIBUTIONS.'

Anonymous said...

This whole debate would be laughable if it wasn't so stupid. Costco wants to go to this location rather than one on Highway 51 for the same reasons that they wanted to go to the Smith Wills site rather than all the other locations suggested by the high-handed neighbors in NE Jackson. They like the traffic count, the demographics and the visibility.

The 'welcoming neighbors' that want Costco, but just not in our neighborhood are just as idiotic as the folks in Eastover who rejected Costco after having rejected the Department of Revenue building. NIMBY at its finest.

I didn't hear all the 'neighbors' on the west side of the interstate complaining about the 'tax lost' with Reinaissance development. Or the GOZONE bonding for that development - oh no! They got a Fresh Market and Mint. Ooops - lost the Mint but thats just a detail. Still didn't hear about the 'government intrusion' or the financing schemes for all those deals. Just don't like this one because .... wait....wait....wait....IT includes gas pumps! Or, it takes down the trees that I like to look at. Or, it will put too much traffic on Highland Colony - a false statement from what I read about the current traffic count compared to the design capacity, but let's don't worry with facts here. Truth is - its a dislike for the developers and the neighbors think they should control someone else's property.

You want to control what goes there? Then buy it. Otherwise, recognize that HCP would not exist if it had not been partially developed by the landowners along the way including those that built the residential subdivisions and those that are building the commercial property.

As to alleged 'deciet' by city officials - check out the history of any economic development project. Confidentiality is almost always a requirement - that's why development projects have code names. Remember Nissan? It was done quietly all the while the Governor and development officials 'denied a project'. Same thing with the big damn deal in western Hinds County now. We all know its going on, but you can't get anybody on the record to acknowledge it because they are bound by development agreements. You don't like it? Then give up any new development and die on the vine like my fair city of Jackson is doing.

Anonymous said...

All of the people complaining bought or built homes in the backyard of commercial zoned property that welcomes big boxes,and yes,it did this BEFORE the June 2nd rezoning! The outlash should be against your realtors and builders who did not inform you that one day HCP would be fully developed!

Anonymous said...

4:38 nails it. Don't ignore economic development and complain after. Don't like what could come in, buy the property.

Anonymous said...

Dow Yoder, you are absolutely correct.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they need to "Land Lease" the property and charge each home owner an extra $2000 a year, just like the Reservoir pays. The price is higher of course in West Madison because they support the area tax-wise, and also this is commercial land can never be developed.

Anonymous said...

Costco never wanted to be in Jackson fools.

Anonymous said...

GO DOW!!! DOW YODER for Mayor!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how HCP was built? Madison County, at the request of HC Bailey, passed a special assessment on all the adjacent HCP landowners in order to buy and build HCP. Most of the landowners were farmers that did not have the thousands of dollars required annually to pay the special assessment and were forced to sale their land at farm land prices to guess who- HC Bailey. HC Potter purchased the land knowing his investment would reward him ten-fold. And now, Potter has all the wealth and now you know the rest of the story.

Anonymous said...

12:50, you bring up a good point. The NIMBY argument against Costco is exactly the same as the one against Oxford House. Where's Senator Longwitz? Could his chumminess with the Mayor be keeping him from looking out for his constituents?

Anonymous said...

I live in Ridgeland. I have never considered this east/west division. The first I heard of it was from the mayor. A mayor for which it has been well documented, has been untruthful & deceptive to his voter. No CA required him to do this. Even when the developer released the mayor from this CA, the mayor continued being untruthful & deceptive. In the mayor' s press conference, he stated that Costco started purchasing this property in 2014. The Costco representive in charge of real estate for Costco at RHS meeting denied this. The mayor further stated in this press release that the city would receive $1.5M in sales tax revenue from this deal. Again, simply not true. The developer himself admitted at the RHS meeting that the sales tax from this property would be diverted to him rather than the city receiving any until he recovers 30% of his investment or 15 years, which ever comes first. The second time that I heard this east/west divisive ploy was from the above mentioned Costco representive when he stated he liked the demographics of this site. Obviously snubbing the people of Rankin, Jackson, & east Ridgeland?
Now good citizens of Ridgeland, with whom would you rather align, you neighbor citizens who are trying to protect the quality of life in Ridgeland and in doing so, safe guarding the fiscal integrity of or city, or do you want to align yourself with a mayor, in which it has been very well documented, has secretive & covertly conspired to deceive his constituents.
It has been reported that this projected was named "the Santa Claus project". Have these people been watching too many spy movies or just trying to usurp the laws of Mississippi? Where are you media people that have fought so hard for the open records law in Mississippi?

Anonymous said...

12:00, you are so full of S$$$ that you can't tell which end of your body it is spewing from. Your statements of what is truth and what is a lie just don't hold water. Bet you also have great dreams at night.

Anonymous said...

Would the Costco supporters on this site please explain what revenues Costco will bring to Ridgeland that makes this a good example of economic development for the community? Where are the dollar figures?

IF this is good for Ridgeland and Madison County, it should be demonstrable with objective dollar figures from other communities. Where is the cost/benefit analysis from an objective source? That is the FIRST thing McGee should have demanded.

And, those figures should include an impact on the residential property values and residential tax base.

NIMBY is a cute derogatory jab, but it overlooks that commercial development and increased traffic have a real impact on residential development and property values.

The elected officials conspired with Costco to buy the land cheaply, rezone it without informing the public as to WHY it was being rezoned,and gave Costco an enormous tax break that erases the revenues for the time this location will be most profitable and viable. Then, like Sam's et.al, they will relocate and do this again.

The way this was done makes one suspect the taxpayers are again financing a business and guaranteeing profit with no return on investment. Please explain why this is now justified as a function of government in a capitalistic society.

IF Costco is a good business, why do they need the $26+ million for start up from forced investment with no return on investment?

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the merits of this development project, many of the people at last week's meeting were mean, nasty, arrogant, and uncivilized. You talk on these threads about "not having enough time to be heard".....bullshit! You were heard; it's just that you were all saying the same thing. What did you expect the good preacher to do....let the meeting consist of everyone screaming and yelling all at one time? There had to be some resemblance of order, and the preacher tried his best to do just that. No, he was not very successful.....because of you rude, pompous rednecks with your holier-than-thou attitude. It would have served your cause better if you had appointed 1-2 persons to deliver a civilized, succinct, informative, and thoughtful message, but you blew your opportunity! You acted like a bunch of wild animals. You people are the same folks who looked down your preverbal noses while Ferguson, Missouri tore itself up from the inside. Open your eyes! You did the exact same thing. I agree with a previous poster about you.....you looted and stole the civility and common decency you were taught by your mother and grandmother. Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

Poor little genie weenies!
Often when people are lied to & deceived they have a tendency to get upset. These people were brave speaking up against big money & power. If you were so in favor, why did not you have the guts to speak. The "good" preacher got all his instructions from Costco. He was the one that was abrasive. I heard a lot of gears from the spineless wimps who did not have the guts to orderly go down front & be recognized to speak.

Anonymous said...

To 8:26......Personally, I could give a shit whether or not Cosco gets built. What I hated to see is you pompous ass rednecks acting like.......well.....pompous ass rednicks!

Anonymous said...

To 9:49...After hearing all their whinning, I'm very happy that Ridgeland will be ground zero for the project. Costco would be foolish to not move forward and build. I have personally collected 500 letters, all from different individuals, asking Costco to please come to Ridgeland. They've been mailed via Fed Exp. Rankin County is out because the their liquor laws and Jackson is out because they don't have the proper demographics. This is a high class business and the majority of local residents welcome them!

Anonymous said...

Gene will look good in black& white. The question now is, who will be sharing his new stylish look?

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

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!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
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