Monday, September 14, 2015

"The best possible budget"

 The Jackson City Council approved a budget last week that furloughed employees and cut the budget of the police but managed to avoid layoffs and a tax increase.  The Clarion-Ledger reported:

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.    


Council Passes Gas said...

While the assessment offered by Kingfish is accurate, all business furloughs are based on the belief or possibility that 'things will get better' and 'times will improve'. It's not that unusual for a large corporation, for example, to require that every salaried, exempt employee to forgo one or two days' pay per month for a year or a year and a half.

Kingfish, however, does seem to ignore the function of a bandaid, in the first place, which is to provide temporary protection for a wound while it heals.

The City Council either doesn't have what it takes to study the problem and deal with its causes or doesn't care to go through that process. If the problems are caused by a poor national economy or a temporary downturn, a temporary furlough might work. If Jackson's problems are not caused by those things, then they are farting in a whirlwind.

The Council is obviously farting in whirlwinds, the result of which is all of the rest of us smelling the result of their poor decisions.

Anonymous said...

We should start putting up signs - "Welcome to Detroit South"

Anonymous said...

8:04, I think KF is a lot closer to the mark than you (or the Mayor & Council for that matter.) You are correct in the function of a bandaid - and of furloughs. But the problem with the City of Jackson is that 'healing' is not what is required. The city is operating at a larger scale than it did when its population was 50% more and the business base was many multiples larger.

Unless the City decides it is time to reduce the size of the government in areas where it can be done - not in police, fire and public works, but in the amenities that are nice but not a prime purpose of government - this wound will continue to fester and never heal. A furlough would solve the problem if there was hope for a change over the next year, but there is nothing on the horizon that indicates that the city's economy will be any better. To the contrary, there is every evidence that it will only get worse.

Existing businesses are moving out - new businesses are not moving in to offset. When a business that pays $1M plus in taxes leaves Jackson for the burbs (something that has happened at least twice this past year) that is a direct hit to the budget. You ain't gonna solve that by a furlough and cell phone cuts.

Anonymous said...

Jackson does have untapped revenue. Require a $100.00 inspection fee on all single home rentals. This would be paid each time new tenants rent the property. Most of the rentals HUD anyway.

Anonymous said...

Look at the "Jokers" on the city council. They are the cause of the budget problems YET they keep getting re-elected. So, let me correct myself."The majority of peoples of Jackson who voted these sapsuckers into office are the cause of the problems". So, I say if you can or if possible MOVE OUT OF JACKSON. If you can't, buy steel reinforced doors, replace window screens with armor screens, put a German Shepard in the backyard, pack a small pistol on your person at all times, build a garage with a garage door, and lastly keep your house up for sale until someone who want to buy it for a Oxford House comes along. Then get out. I can't advise where to move since Madison and Ridgeland are full of snobs, Rankin county are full of tobacco chewing, beer can littering rednecks.

Anonymous said...

At some point Jackhole's obvious problems will form the content of a Chapter 9 filing and you can add it to the inauspicious list of "democrat" municipalities that have to be rescued from themselves. Hopefully the legislature will simply stay the hell out of it and let the train wreck unfold on its own. Let a court-appointed manager take over and institute corrective actions without the albatross of an upcoming election. Hell, even Detroit ... DETROIT ... figured out the idiocy of not collecting payment for public services.

Council Passes Gas said...

10:29 - That's why I said this: " If Jackson's problems are not caused by those things, then they are farting in a whirlwind." Pay better attention. And you'll also note that I said the problems are not going to fix themselves over time.

But, contrary to your analysis, the problem here is not the size of municipal government and Jackson's problems will never be solved (in whole or in part) by reducing the number of employees, regardless of their function or department. Jackson could pare down to one municipal employee (whose job it is to turn out the lights) and the problem would not be one iota less. They/we/you can analyze government function and employment numbers til the rats take over Smith Park and that exercise will be meaningless.

But, thanks for your lesson regarding why people and businesses leave and the impact of that. What a concept. I had never considered it.

Anonymous said...

one word--COSTCO. offer them free land...plenty by metro...force the madison county and rankin county crowd to come into jackson.

or--plenty of room on 220...

or--plenty of room on county line road (jackson side)...

the mayor should be begging them to take what they want--if just for the sales tax revenue alone!

Anonymous said...

I gave up when Chokwe Lumumba was elected. If Jackson can't secure capable collabrative leadership then the city will continue to be overun with problems. But on second thought, with what happens when folks like Mcquirter and Lee run for public office in Hinds County or the City of Jackson, I can understand the lack of credable candidates vying for the job!

Anonymous said...

Costco wouldn't come to Jackson even if you gave them free land. The demographics for their business don't match Jackson at all. The city continues to profess there is overwhelming poverty in the whole city. Nobody can afford nice housing, they can't pay their utility bills, fix their homes or afford to feed their kids. The residents also depend on free school supplies and free school breakfasts and lunches, 365 days a year. You see, you can't "cry poor" one minute and then expect a large corporation to even think about relocating or expanding its business, in such a poverty stricken area. It's not a smart business decision. The so called "entitlement" attitude has finally blown up in in the City's face. It may have worked 40 years ago when it was possible to draw sympathy. Those days are long gone. It's time to raise taxes, make people accountable for their overdue payments and run the city like a business.

Anonymous said...

11:49, even if Jackson gave Costco free land, a free building, and even more of a tax rebate than it was going to get from Ridgeland, Costco would STILL not be interested in Jacktown.

Costco never really WAS interested in Jackson. The chain's feigned interest in Jackson was merely part of a larger gambit, to create, in the minds of the general public, and among Ridgeland's "community leaders", a GAME MENTALITY. Theirs was a brilliant strategy. They were able to create a consensus in which Costco was a wonderful prize. "Leaders" saw themselves as "team players, out to win the big game and be heroes".

No "upscale" retailer is interested in a population like Jackson's. Jacksonians are coveted neither as customers nor as employees. Even with free land, a free building, and diminished taxes, Jacksonians would simply be more trouble than they were worth.

People avoid 220, because of the insanely fast and reckless driving (of underinsured hooptierides). People avoid County Line Road, because of the congestion. Retailers avoid the area, now, because of shoppers like the lovely young lady whose traumatic shopping story was shared with us here, yesterday (too many 'shoppers' with wider agendas than to exchange money for merchandise). At today's narrow profit margins, can you imagine how much merchandise you'd have to sell, in order to recoup the fees from engaging just one law firm, to deal with just one frivolous suit, by just one lovely young shopper? Sad thing is, for retailers in local Malls and 'Lifestyle Centers', there are more time-wasters, shoplifters, and grievance-mongers than there are legitimate customers.

In any event, why would "winning" Costco have been the coup so many were led to believe it was?

"Merchandise you just can't GET in Jackson."? REALLY? Kroger and WalMart know their market really well. If local demand were adequate to justify the stocking of some item, you can rest assured it would be stocked. As it is, you can get fresh Lemongrass at Kroger, despite any local demand for it (and that's only one example of local retailers' stocking of unsellable items, simply because having a "great selection" is important). Stores have reached the upward size limit, just because they're approaching the 'Kinds of Stuff' upward limit. They've already got, basically, everything anybody could possibly want.

Whatever Costco has - Kroger's already got it, or Sam's has already got it, or WalMart's already got it.... or Whole Foods, or Rainbow Co-Op, or Office Depot, or some boutique in town's got it - all at prices close ENOUGH to those which will be charged by Costco.

Truth is, area retailers are already offering more crap than we've got money to buy it with. We've already got multitudes of venues, offering everything the locals find desirable. SOMEBODY in the Jackson Metro is ALREADY selling everything people in the area want and need. People are already buying whatever they need/want and can afford. They're ALREADY paying as much sales tax as they're likely to pay.

And as for the implied bonanza of the metro's becoming a "shopping destination"... I'm pretty sure we've maxed-out in that regard. We've already cannibalized the downtowns of every little town within a half-day's drive. Those towns are already dead. We've ALREADY got all the out-of-town shoppers who have cars good enough to make the drive.

And at the end of the day, chain retailers take more money out of the region's economy than they bring in. They are not creating wealth. They are siphoning wealth - leaving Mississippi poorer.

Anonymous said...

That is well frickin said 3:06. Somebody wake Gene McGee from his coma.

Anonymous said...

At least they didn't refinance their debt again, like Priester was saying they might a couple of weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

3:06 said - Whatever Costco has - Kroger's already got it, or Sam's has already got it, or WalMart's already got it.... or Whole Foods, or Rainbow Co-Op, or Office Depot, or some boutique in town's got it - all at prices close ENOUGH to those which will be charged by Costco.
I get it. Think about this - 25 years ago there was a building supply place on I-55 north (Sutherlands ??). Seems like it was near Cowboy Maloney, but regardless, they were not very good but sold what folks needed and stayed in business. Then Home Quarters came near Country Line Road. They were much better and took most of the business. Then Home Depot came to I-55. The older store, Sutherlands, went out of business and Home Quarters lost a lot of business because Home Depot was better. Eventually Home Quarters, who had been the shinning new star a few years earlier, folded. Then Lowes came near County Line road. Home Depot has been hurt because Lowes appears to be better overall. The point of all this is the original Sutherlands had most everything 25 years ago the Lowes has now, but the difference is actually night and day. Competition makes everyone better. You either get better or you go out of business.

One Goofy MF said...

I've never seen anybody that looks like Melvin Priester. I've traveled the globe and have never heard anybody talk that sounds remotely like him. I think he's an alien. Can somebody please log on here and post that he is a legitimate humanoid? He belongs on Star Trek. How can he possibly be partly responsible for the budget of our state's largest city? The only way I'll believe he's real is for Kim Wade and Cowboy Maloney to both attest as to his authenticity.

Anonymous said...

Think about this - 25 years ago there was a building supply place on I-55 north (Sutherlands ??). Seems like it was near Cowboy Maloney, but regardless, they were not very good but sold what folks needed and stayed in business.

YOU don't really know. You are a f*&king JJ commenting FRAUD.

Anonymous said...

I'll say it ten thousand more times, Jackson should give free land to Costco. Ridgeland does not want it. Put it on the jackson side of highland colony. Jackson appears to need all the tax revenue it can get.

Anonymous said...

7:16, Priester looks like a black Paul Giamatti.

Anonymous said...

Costco and Sam's are nothing but mini Walmarts, and the last thing any city needs is more Walmarts. They are sucking the blood out of our communities and they contribute very little to society.

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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.

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