Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber said the city budget for the upcoming fiscal that was approved Thursday by the Jackson City Council is as barebones as you can get.
The council adopted a roughly $113 million general fund budget that includes furloughs of most city workers one day a month and reductions to the police, fire and public works budgets.
But one thing the budget doesn’t include is a tax increase, which was one of the initial budget recommendations by Yarber’s administration.
“We have the best possible budget for the circumstances we have,” Council President Melvin Priester Jr. said.
The budget, which goes into effect Oct. 1, will see a $500,000 decrease in police funding, the fire department will see a $318,000 decrease and public works will see a $319,000 decrease in funding. Rest of article.
Kingfish note: That was the news, now it is time for the opinion. The position of this website regarding this budget is a pox on all of their houses. There was no leadership at all on the budget. No one wanted to lay anyone off. No one wanted to close any departments. The city has not one but two public golf courses (and Lefluer's Bluff makes it three.). Councilman Ashby Foote proposed closing a golf course. No dice. The city is collecting $20-30 million of what it should receive for water bills yet there was no talk of re-instituting the activation fees when water services are terminated for non-payment. They all yapped about how Jackson's budget was based on a population of 200,000 and but when push came to shove, none of them wanted to reduce or close anything.
Councilman Tyrone Hendrix flat out said he was hoping for more business so Jackson could have a larger budget next year. It never occurs to liberals such as him that maybe Jackson's high taxes and other policies drive businesses to the burbs. It also does not occur to him to find ways to actually restructure city government as the furloughs are just a band-aid. They cover up the wound for a while but the wound is still festering and bleeding. The fact is there was no leadership on the budget. Speeches were made. Hot air was exhaled and tables were pounded but in the end, no one wants anyone to suffer. Trying to avoid pain means the pain will just be that much worse when finally faced.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.
The City Council just plays around with the budget and then hopes it will disappear until next year when the same circus will start anew. The only way this crowd will do anything constructive is if Jackson goes full Detroit and blows up.