Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mayor Yarber to council: We looked at tax increase because you didn't want to cut spending. (Video)

 Note: Kingfish editorial on how to fix city budget at end of post.

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber told the city council Monday that he proposed raising taxes because no one on the city council wanted to cut any spending even though the city faces a $15 million budget deficit.  Mayor Yarber said he didn't want to raise taxes but the city council "have the stomach for what needed to be done."  Mayor Yarber also said he was creating a contingency plan to layoff employees if the city council did not square away the budget.   Watch the video posted below as Mayor Yarber calls them out on their spending ways. 

That was the news, now for the opinion. The problem is except for Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote, no one on the city council has owned or operated a business.  They are thinking not like liberals or conservatives but people who have been in government their whole lives and do not know what to do.  Well, the Kingfish is going to offer some suggestions in order to help them see things in a different way. 

There are basic functions a city government must provide: police, fire protection, water and sewer service, trash removal, and road maintenance.  Everything else is gravy.  It makes no sense to cut personnel in public works when everyone knows Jackson's infrastructure is falling apart while Jackson carries museums, gardens, and golf courses on its books. 

The City Council has been committing financial suicide for quite some time but the finances have gotten much worse ever since Chowke Lumumba became Mayor. Here are some reminders:

*Mayor Lumumba hiked the budget by 40%.  Part of the increase was to begin infrastructure projects BUT he managed to pour the government honey in other areas- such as his office.  Yup. Mayor Lumumba gave his office a $1 million budget increase so he could stuff the payroll with his cronies. 

*The city council instituted an increase in minimum wage for city employees even though revenues were flat.  If you pay them, the money will come.  Great slogan for the city council's mindset.

*The loss of businesses such as Puckett Machinery.  All Puckett wanted was some curb cutouts for its facilities on Highway 80.  Mayor Harvey Johnson couldn't even return the phone calls for help.  Sources say the city lost sales tax revenue that was over a million dollars. That is just one business.

*The city council budget.  The city council operates the city clerk's office.  The city council made sure all council members had a full-time assistant and made them employees under the city clerk.  The clerk's office has not one but TWO policy analysts.  The city council has steadily increased the number of employees and the budget of the city clerk with no regard for paying for this honeypot.

*Then there are the collections in public works.  Mr. Foote said the city was collecting water/sewer fees that were $20 million short of what they should be.  The Raftelis report focuses on Jackson's mismanagement of this basic service.  This little fact ties into....

*The city council abolished the reconnect fees for water and sewer service.  If your cable, cellphone, or electric services are stopped, you have to pay a reconnect-fee in order to re-establish service.  It acts as an additional incentive to pay the bill on time.  Jackson removed that fee after Ms. Stokes threw a tantrum over it so Jackson residents have one less incentive to pay their water bills on time. 

The city council should not look at furloughs nor layoffs but instead look at cutting whole departments.  Is each department one that the city should continue to operate and fund?  Want some suggestions? Here is a short list:

*The Planetarium.  Give it to the Mississippi Museum of Art.  Its nice, its cute, its fun for the kids, but it is not making money for the city and it is an expense Jackson can not afford.  It is already part of the same building as the Museum.  Just give it to them and get it off of the books.

*Mynelle Gardens.  Its a beautiful place and has provided wonderful memories for many a bride.  However, the city can't really afford to operate or promote Mynelle Gardens. Give it to a non-profit organization or the state.   Get it off the books.

*The municipal golf course.  Jackson  makes little, if any money on the golf courses.  Parks and recreation are a proper function of government.  However, it is completely misguided when Jackson wastes money on a golf course used by few while it does not even have a dog park- something that is popular in most major cities.  

*The Municipal Art Gallery.  There are several museums in Jackson.  The city can not afford to operate the Municipal Art Gallery.  It doesn't have the resources to invest in it nor promote it. I love art.  I am a member of two museums.  Art has a very valuable place in society.  It should be used to enlighten and educate.  However, Jackson does not have the money to carry the gallery.  It is time to either shut it down or give the assets to the state and sell the building.  Get it off the books.

*The Jackson Zoo.  The burbs benefit from the Jackson Zoo and make no mistake, they put it on their list of amenities when they are recruiting businesses.  Its time to move the zoo from a city-operated zoo to one that is regional.  That means a regional board.  Jackson foots the bill for the zoo and makes up the shortfalls when the zoo needs the money.   The burbs should chip in for its operation.  However, the burbs will expect to play if they are paying.  That means a regional board of trustees overseeing the operation of the zoo although it should be weighted for population.  Jackson needs to take a long look at what it wants and what it can afford. 

*Capital Complex. The state wants it.  Give it to them.  Let the state maintain its own infrastructure for the capital complex.  The state can provide primary law enforcement while Jackson.  Charge the state a fee for the fire protection.  JPD will have a reduced area to cover.  Jackson can focus on providing services to other areas.  Get it off the books. 

The city council needs to get some spine and swing an axe at departments and programs that are not a part of a city government's core functions.  Mayor Yarber said the city was spending at a level for a population of 200,000 when getting revenue for a population of only 154,000.  Something has to change and it needs to change now. Layoffs and furloughs are a mild tonic compared to what really needs to be done.  The city council can either start some serious cutting or face a reckoning as Detroit faced. 

However, this is a city council that hikes its own budget, raises the minimum wage for employees, raises the overall budget by 40%, abolishes the reconnect fees for water and sewer services, and keeps going down the path of financial suicide while it avoids accepting any responsibility.   They won't fix anything unless they are forced to look down the barrel of the deficit gun they loaded. 


Anonymous said...

Bull. Yarber proposed raising taxes because he doesn't have the desire nor the 'nads to cut the budget either. Now, it's convenient to blame his lack of leadership on the council's possible squeamishness at cutting the fat. He should step out and proposethe tough decisions that need to be made or shut up and keep doing what he's doing, which ain't much. Let's hear him talk about the contingency plan, because raising taxes is a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

The size of Jackson government today is not the same as it was when the city had a population of 200,000. It is larger.

Anonymous said...

spending brings political favor which comes back. No one wants to interfere with that. Also, taxes mostly affect businesses and larger homes. Most of their voters may not even pay property tax or at least very little.

Anonymous said...

EXCELLENT SUGGESTIONS!! This must be read out loud to the city council at their next meeting!

pjm said...

Should have Enoch Sanders read these suggestions at the next city council meeting. He's got influence correct?

Johnny Weir said...

WoW! Great suggestions Kingfish!
Wish you were the Mayor. But, Alas that will never happen because you are white. Great comments 12:46 PM,1:51 PM,1:56 PM,2:15 PM.

Anonymous said...

And I'm going to go tell my boss that I need a larger salary because I can't control my spending - oh wait...

Anonymous said...

We all know that the suburbs hate Jackson. They resent the leadership that has made one bad decision after another, they sneer at the crime that has been allowed to continue unabated, and they mostly laugh at the public school system that is a far cry from acceptable. However, it is time to recognize that Jackson, (yes, poor, pitiful Jackson) is the great hope for the State. Nice shopping centers in Ridgeland, baseball fields in Pearl, Corinthian columned Walgreens in Madison exist because Jackson was/is the political, economic and geographic center of the state of Mississippi. It still is, and it's time to recognize that it likely always will be.

Mississippi is never going to be more than a punchline unless we focus on making our largest metropolitan area more desirable. Want to tout "music" tourism in Mississippi? Then make Jackson a better starting point than Memphis. Want people to travel to historic Natchez or Vicksburg, make the Jackson area a better place to travel to. Want to finally have some larger conventions here, make Jackson a travel destination.

And that's just tourism. If you ever expect children in Mississippi to have a Zoo worth visiting, museums worth learning in, or events worth attending; they aren't going to be in Madison. They're already here.

It isn't easy, and the path ahead isn't clear, but there are too many examples across the country of revitalized and gentrified downtown areas that show that it can be done. Until then, come downtown and dine at Saltine, one of Bon Apetit's 50 best new restaurants. Take a brewery tour at the Jackson area's only brewery at LuckyTown. Check out the state's largest art Museum downtown then walk over to Parlor Market for fantastic drinks and dinner. Finish the night at the landmark Hal & Mal's or Underground 119.

If you don't have an altruistic bone in your body, do it because Jackson's growth is as important to the people in Jackson as it is to those in Madison, Ridgeland, Pearl, Flowood, and Rankin. Show the State politicians and outside businesses that the Greater Jackson Area is important enough to invest in. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Anonymous said...

What is the current population of the COJ?

Anonymous said...

What is the current population of the COJ?

Surely you can look it up for yourself.

Anonymous said...

August 19, 2015 at 2:56 PM = Blah, blah, blah, blah. Jackson is the "great hope". Blah, blah, blah, blah. BULLSHIT.

Anonymous said...

@3:29 And where would begin building a centralized area of development and prosperity? I welcome your proposals on how to lift Mississippi from the bottom of every meaningful metric.

Anonymous said...

Agree with @12:46 PM. Yarber should have put the right-size govt budget in front of the Council with no property tax increases from the outset and forced their hand. His punting in advance because the Council lacks the stomach rings hollow.

Anonymous said...

hey 3:42pm, I'll tell you where to begin and it won't be cultural crap. You gotta walk before you can run, and the infrastructure of this town is a joke. Fix that first. Kingfish points are all good except for one: you don't need a large public works department when you have NO budget for asphalt, concrete,...etc. What are they gonna do, lean on their shovels? Jackson has something like 1200 miles of road but their budget for road materials is around $1 million. It was around 10-15 million 20 years ago, which was paltry then. Wonder where THAT money went.

Anonymous said...

so how is reconstruction working out for everyone? It would be fun to watch the total stupidity of the City Council if I didn't own a house in NEJ. Not real funny now. I will give Ashby this...he gets an A for patience in trying to explain 2 + 2 = 4 to folks that are all products of Jack Pub School System.

Anonymous said...

Fixing Jackson lifts "Mississippi from the bottom of every meaningful [education] metric"? Get real. What about the shoping centers, baseball fields, etc on the Coast, up in Desoto County, in Oxford, Starkville, Hattiesburg, and many points in-between. Do they exist because of Jackson? And why are you only mentioning downtown Jackson? Throwing good money after bad into downtown has already proven to be a monumental waste. The Convention Center is a colossal red ink mess. When Jackson starts making the really hard and tough decisions to turn itself around then give us a shout. Until then spare us the We-Need-Jackson holy chorus claptrap.

Anonymous said...

1. Close the golf course and sell the land to a private entity for development. At the minimum get the land back on the tax rolls.

2. Don't put another plug dime into the Zoo. If it can't make it without taxpayer subsidies then it needs to close. It is a shit zoo anyways and not remotely close to current zoological art. No city regionally Kingfish is going to get involved in the Zoo and fund it until it moves from that location and you know that. Period.

3. You can't run a bus system that only collects 10-15% of its operational expenses through fares.

4. Privatize the customer facing aspects of the water system. Meters, meter reading, billing, A/R, collections and 1st/2nd tier customer support. Put a private company in charge and the damn money is going to get collected. Disconnect the lines of repeat offenders at the main in the street if necessary.

5. Get the city out of public cable television programming. If whatever fees received from Comcast aren't enough to cover the bills then shut the channel and studio down. Don't spend another penny on PEG.

6. Stop sending glossy Jackson magazines to households. Yarber is using those mags to self-advertise his wonderfulness and mugg like the f'ing statewide Republicans use their budgets to get their names repeated ad nauseum on Supertalk.

7. Migrate to metered garbage service. Small business owners are bringing some business generated garbage to their houses to be picked up essentially for free. There is business owner living IN EASTOVER who has been doing this for at least a decade.

8. Fight idiots like David Blount who on one hand bemoan the State owned tax free properties that hurt Jackson and then on the other lead the legislative effort to have the state purchase even more properties like the Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home last session. YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYs BLOUNT.

As for Kingfish and "get it off the books". Kingfish, you reduce the operational expense but those assets continue to not generate any property tax dollars.

Kingfish said...

True. I said my list was a place to start. I'm looking more at the expenses as they recur rather than revenue gained from one time sales.

Anonymous said...

Never seen a city need an independent municipal utility commission more than Jackson

thusbloggedanderson said...

My position continues to be that Jackson is the only thing more dysfunctional than the Legislature, which should take over Jackson, appoint an administrator responsible to the Leg, and get to work. No sillier than many other suggestions.

Anonymous said...

The Zoo is not 'city operated' which I believe is one of their many problems! Its time the COJ stop bailing them out every time they go broke! Its also time they start paying their damn water bill just like other businesses!!! From what I hear, they owe well over $1,000,000 alone & have yet to pay a water bill since the new director came in!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"City planning department, which includes economic department, presented its $34.5 million budget." (From the Jackson Free Press.) They have an economic development director and City of Jackson planning director. Maybe the directors need to be directed or justify their positions.

Anonymous said...

9:07 - to adapt the old joke, if you owe the water utility $1000, you have a problem; if you owe them $1M, *they* have a problem.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Kingfish. About time someone said what needs to be said.

Kingfish said...

The city delegates the operation of the zoo to a non-profit by contract.

Anonymous said...

@2:56 I see you're catching some hell. But WTF. The problem with your post is that Jackson is not all that important to most of the people in the state. This is an economic center because this is where Flowood, Madison, Ridgeland, and Brandon are. It is not a cultural center at all. Folks in the northern part of the state have Memphis and vicinity. Hattiesburg and Laurel are more culturally tied to New Orleans and Mobile than Jackson. Jackson really doesn't matter to most folks in the state. The handful who have government business dread coming here and get away as quickly as they can.

Finally...I live in the suburbs and I don't know anybody who "hates" Jackson. Some people are scared of it. Some exasperated with it. Some sorry it turned out so badly for it. Some just laugh at it. And most people are some of all of the above. Jackson will never revive. The taxpayers from around the state are gonna have to pitch in to help pay for some of the infrastructure (which is somewhat fair in the downtown government area...but is really NOT fair since if it were not for government business most people would never visit the hell hole). But a city whose tax base in insufficient to pay for routine maintenance and repair of vital infrastructure is dead, dead, dead. No hope.


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with 10:49. Nobody is going bail out the entire city. The State building infrastructure is logical, but residential streets and business are a City responsibility, as is the crime problem. There are way too many homicides that are now classified as "domestic problems." In the 40's, 50's and 60's it may have been a Cultural Center, but that is long gone and will never be replaced. Jackson desparately needs diversity to survive. They don't need a smug "I told you so attitude," but they must be willing to listen and cooperate with their neighbors. Have they ever asked Flowood, Brandon or Madison to ride with their police force to see what they do differently? Have they bothered to look at how billing is done for water and how trash bills are managed, along with tax collection. Maybe they can incorporate another LOCAL towns successful ideas into their own system. They just have to stop trying to be so independent. Giving them money is not an option, showing them how to do things successfully is. That's if they will listen to suggestions and why they work.

Anonymous said...

What about Smith Robertson? If there is a useless money sink in the city, it's that place. I don't know who funds it, but the city should cease to send money to an empty building that is nothing more than a JPS field trip destination. I'd love to know what the budget is for that place vs what the monthly visitor figures are. Forget the budget issues. Do it simply because it would be fun to watch Donna, Todd, Tom Head, and the other person who posts at the JFP all go into a frenzy of racism accusations. I think Tom Head's head would explode if Yarber stopped funding SR.

Anonymous said...

2:56 pm is absolutely correct.

A State capitol is supposed to be the crown jewel of a State .

A State capitol will never be relocated. It is not feasible and never will be.

As a result, most State legislatures support their capitol cities and the cultural and historical entities that exist in their capitol city, but not us.

Most States have zoos and museums in or in close proximity to their capitol cities that the State supports. They see that as culturally important for the young people in their State. Schools , both public and private, have field trips to those locations.

Most States do not have the duplication of services and competition for limited funds that exists between county government and city government that we have in Mississippi!

The Hinds County budget is $111 million for goodness sakes!

In Mississippi , we seem to want little government fiefdoms where we duplicate government and can't ever take advantage of economies of scale nor can we cooperate on anything for the benefit of the State. And, at the same time we supposedly want smaller government!

That most of you don't know what a mayor can and cannot do is obvious as well. And, that is a huge part of the problem. Did you look at the budget for the city of Jackson? Did you know the mayor has already cut employees and benefits by 2.6% his first year and that the budget's been cut 21% ? Do you know what he can and can't cut without the city council's cooperation?

Do you know how the budget is changing in Madison or Ridgeland?

It's important to know how government functions and how government should function and to look at how your elected officials are spending money!

That way, you don't get snookered with political nonsense all the time!

Anonymous said...

let's start with the legislature taking over the Airport authority, now would be the time to trade Yarber & Co. a little something and make it so you can fly in and out of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

The dog is loose and dumping on the neighbor's yard again.

Anonymous said...

2:56's perspective is spot on. Mississippi is dropping further and further behind our peers in the Southeast, much less other parts of the country in virtually every metric. Mississippi is at the bottom of the list of places in the US where college graduates want to locate UNLESS you are from here. That's reality. Jackson is the doorstep for Mississippi whether you like it or not. There can be a collective effort to make Jackson better or we can accept that the State is NEVER going to get off the bottom...Simple as that. There are too many people around here that are simply ignorant about what's going on in other cities in the US or they just don't care about their Capital City. We've always been backwards, and it really shows with this 20th century mentality about Jackson.



There can be a collective effort to make Jackson better or we can accept that the State is NEVER going to get off the bottom...Simple as that.

Slippery slope FALLACY.


Anonymous said...

And everyone keeps lookig over the fact that Jackson's leadership, which includes the sitting Mayor, decided to line the pockets of Seimens, not to improve the water system, but to line the pockets of those that were aligned with Seimens. Talk about how that money grabbing bogus contract has impacted the budget. Talk about how these horrible overinflated contracts that have excessive fat built into them for the payment of undertable handout to political supporters and politicians is impacting the budget. Talk about how the citizens are bearing the cost of someone getting illegally paid for services not rendered. Talk about that. That alone could put the city back on track from a budgeting perspective.

Anonymous said...

Saltine is in Fondren and Lucky Town is in Mid-Town, not Downtown. Don't know much about the city, do you?

Anonymous said...

@ 11:22 - Don't the facts get in the way of a good story.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the City Council has called Tony Baloney's hand.

Anonymous said...

KF, please see Melvin Priester's budget plan on his City Council FB page.

Anonymous said...

2:56 is correct.

Anonymous said...

2:56 is incorrect.

Anonymous said...

2:56 is absolutely correct.

Anonymous said...

2:56 is absolutely incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, well, the white racist are in rare form on this site! The Hood wearing KINGFISH is leading the pack. If I thought a logical and reasoned explanation for Jackson's issues, including those belonging to Jackson's "SOMETIMES" failed leadership but more having to do with a city written off by the state once it became non white, we might have an intelligent conversation. Maybe this STATE is a loss cause because of the level of denial, illogical thought processes and a "NEVER GONNA HAPPEN LONGING FOR THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF WHITE DOMINATION AND CONTROL. All you REVISIONIST BIBLE THUMPING RACIST WILL ONE DAY DIE OFF AND MAYBE THEN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI MIGHT BECOME MORE THAN A JOKE AROUND THE WORLD AND EMBRACE "ALL" OF ITS CITIZENS OF ALL RACES AND ETHNICITIES.

Anonymous said...

3:06- Jackson should try this. Take race completely out of the equation. Exclude those that include strong religious beliefs into a solution. What do you have? Flesh and blood PEOPLE at one table who are willing to work together. Jackson insists on working alone. They refuse to ask for assistance from neighboring counties or the state unless there is cheap or free money attached. If advice is given from neighboring outsiders, it is viewed as not being in the interest of the people. The City continually chooses to embrace only Black Culture over diversity, to the point Major Corporations pick other locations for their expansions. This has been shown by the 20% hiring mandate that's always thrown on the table. The city insults its own citizens by saying You Must Hire Our Residents. Ever think that the companies, on their own, would hire more than 20% based on skills and the way the applicants represent themselves? It is very common in other cities to just "walk away" or "leave" when faced with self serving attitudes. It's gotton old and the word is out that Partnering with Jackson and even Hinds County is a fruitless endeavor. It has to be "Their way or the highway." Over the years and even in the present day, Corporations chose the highway, along with the thousands of people who have relocated to surrounding areas. Only when the attitude of Jackson changes will the city be able to compete with anyone but themselves.

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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.

Note: Security provided by INS.

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