Sunday, March 13, 2016

Pete Perry responds to Mayor Yarber

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber made quite a stir when he penned some of his frustrations to paper and posted them on Facebook Friday.  Copy of Mayor's remarks.  Sales Tax Commission member Pete Perry responded to his comments in a column submitted to JJ that is posted below*.

I am glad the Mayor has made a statement, although I disagree with his comments about the Oversight Commission put in place by the legislation authorizing the additional 1% sales tax. There are several reasons why I take issue with the Mayor's Facebook post. 

1) He states that the Oversight Commission has only approved the spending of $13 million even though $25 million has been collected.   Last March, the Commission approved the proposed project list that was prepared by the Mayor, without input from any of the 'outside' commissioners (in a take it or leave it ultimatum) to spend $13 million. Since that time, an additional $12 million has been collected and at a meeting last month the Commission approved the spending of $14 million for street reconstruction, although we did put a restriction on which streets would be included until more information was given to the commission about the streets proposed by the Mayor.

2) When the $13 million was approved last spring, it included funds for five bridge reconstructions, fifteen drainage project professional fees and one construction project; four water line installations; and the professional fees related to seven road projects. The approval also included funds for so-called 'urgent needs', professional fees for program management, and some equipment purchases.

3) As of February, 2016 - of the professional contracts related to the street projects - none have been entered into; proposals have been recently received but none of the ones 'approved' by the commission a year earlier have been completed.

The thought at the time of our March 2015 meeting was that it would take some time to engineer and design these projects so that while more information was gathered by the city for use by the commission to determine what priorities existed, the professional contracts could get started and we could fund construction projects with 2016 money.

BUT, it has been a year and the city has not yet entered into the contracts, much less let the professionals get started with the design work. Despite the appearance of the Mayor to blame the delay on the Oversight Commission, once the approval was given to use these funds for these projects, it was not in any way delayed due to this 'oversight' that was put over these funds.

4) In March 2015, we approved the purchase of a pothole patching machine so that the city could do something with the deplorable situation of our streets. Some of us suggested entering a contract(s) with private company(s) to do much of this work last year but were told that was not an acceptable approach; that the city wanted to do this work in house.

Some $400,000 was approved for the purchase of this machine in the spring of 2015. According to information provided last month, the machine was ordered in December 2015 and delivery is expected in the fall of 2016. Again, the fact that this machine is not working today is not due to a delay resulting from a commission having oversight, but that it took nine or so months to get a machine approved by the City Council, a RFP prepared by the city, and the machine ordered. The fact that a private contractor was not hired last year was due to resistance by the city to the commission. I will say, though, that the Mayor did push for - and the commission overwhelmingly approved, the city receiving proposals from private contractors to patch potholes throughout the city this summer, using up to $4 million of 1% money (which was approved at the February 2016 meeting, and evidently was not mentioned in the FB post.

5) Of the 15 drainage project which were approved for design professionals to be engaged, as of February 2016, one - only one - has a contract in place for the professional design work.

More could be said about this process, but my point to be made is that yes - the city has plenty of problems, and infrastructure is only one part of it and the 1% special sales tax is not going to be a major solution but only assist in the process. However, the Oversight Commission created by the Legislature has not been the hindrance in spending these dollars.

Considering that it takes a year or more to get a design professional contract in place, the time frame for getting actual construction contracts started is going to be much longer. And the frustrating part of it - at least to me - is that while we are supposed to be developing a master plan for infrastructure work we are stymied by the fact that the city does not even know what its existing infrastructure is, or its actual condition.

The list of streets that the Commission has been provided by the City includes less than 25% of the streets in the city. The list of bridges provided contains approximately 1/3 of all the bridges in the city. Attempting to get additional information about the streets, bridges, or other infrastructure has been impossible - evidently because it doesn't exist.

As one of the Commissioners, I want to see the additional sales tax money spent, and spent wisely, on the most pressing priorities of the city. I don't care what Ward the problem(s) are in. But - it is impossible to say that the streets that are proposed for repaving are the most pressing when streets we all drive on every day aren't even listed. (i.e. President, High, Greymont, West, Lamar). Only two streets in all of Belhaven are included in the city's list of streets that they consider existing (go try driving on Devine or Myrtle and see if you think they should be at the top of anybody's list. Or, any of the streets in Midtown.)

I am glad the Mayor is addressing the crime issue, and the general feel for the crime issue. Same with the business environment and the ridiculous attempt by the state to take over our airport. My purpose in this post was to point out that the oversight that is to be performed by the Oversight Commission is not what has held back any progress in that area. I do not know why it takes a year to get a professional contract in place (I have my opinions but that doesn't matter) but until those are in place there can be no money spent on the actual construction. And that delay was not due to oversight - maybe there needs to be more oversight on the process after the approval of spending the dollars.

Mr. Perry is Governor Phil Bryant's appointment to the Sales Tax Commission.  

*Note: These are the Mayor's remarks about the commission:

What's going on with the 1% money? Over the last 22 months, $25 million dollars has been collected. The only issue is there is a commission, that I am on, that the State placed over the approval of the money. In other words, the money can only be spent when the commission approves the projects. The commission has so far approved $13 million dollars. That money was approved to purchase pothole patching and other equipment necessary to move improvements. It was also approved to start drainage work in places like Brookhollow, and some street resurfacing. Some bridges are redone as well. What we have also done is used the 1% to leverage $16.5 million dollars in grants to begin work on West County line Rd, near Tougaloo as well. The City has never received that grant before. We secured another $3 million for Mill Street. The next thing we will move to do is leverage about $118 million dollars for this year to see roads, work on water, drainage, and bridges repaired. While that seems like alot of money, in the grand scheme of things, it's not. But, it's what we can do for now. Yes, it's taken 22 months to get here. Why? Because the potholes we see are just symptoms of the water (40%) that's lost once it leaves the plant and heads to your house. It gets in the ground and causes the ground beneath to be unstable, and you get....POTHOLES. It's like an infection. That means, we have had to begin dealing with what's REALLY wrong with the City. We have had to start dealing with horrible practices of spending and practices of management. We have had to deal with a contract with Seimens that has created a nightmare for everyone and created severe problems with billing that we are close to having solved. I KNOW the urgency you feel. I feel it too. I am always frustrated that I can't replace a terrible employee immediately. Or that we can't fix a ditch behind someone's house immediately or at all. But, the City has long systemic problems that must be fixed, or we will be having this same conversation again in 5 years, if the City is still ours.


Anonymous said...

Good job Pete. Hold them accountable and at the same time get the money flowing to repair the streets that need repairing - biasses aside.

Abandon Jackson said...

Some of us suggested entering a contract(s) with private company(s) to do much of this work last year but were told that was not an acceptable approach; that the city wanted to do this work in house.

Stamps is strongly behind the effort to bring everything in-house and dramatically grow Jackson public works employment though his push is more focused on seeding political spoils than actually achieving results. Yarber seems willing to outsource to the private sector but, unfortunately, his efforts all appear geared to source contracts to his campaign contributors.

In the meantime the rate of infrastructure degradation has gone exponential and no one will admit that the delay has only catalyzed more of the few remaining actual taxpayers who have been holding on for better days to pull up stakes and move out of the city.

Anonymous said...

Pete Perry? "Hold them accountable"? ROFLMAO

Kingfish said...

Noticed Ridgewood Road north of Old Canton Road? The street is literally crumbling to pieces in that area.

Anonymous said...

All the money in the world will not help Jackson.

Anonymous said...

The condition of the streets and the condition of the entire city of Jackson means nothing unless some politician or their friends cannot profit in some way.

Repeating History said...

Shades of Nelson Mandella. Take over. Shoot or imprison the white folk. Take Charge! Occupy!

(now what?)

Anonymous said...

"3) As of February, 2016 - of the professional contracts related to the street projects - none have been entered into; proposals have been recently received but none of the ones 'approved' by the commission a year earlier have been completed."

What does the Sales Tax Commission have to do with professional contracts? I thought that was the duty of public works, legal, the Council and the Mayor. The commission should not be involved in this portion. They are not elected officials nor do they work for the City.

I have never been sure why this Commission was "put in place" nor why it is necessary. Seems like an Audit of 1% tax fund expenditures would have been sufficient. If entities entering into professional contracts are involved with Commission members in any way that influences choice by the City of those professionals, this is wrong and contrary to the public interest. Again, these members are not elected by citizens.

Anonymous said...

Astounding news that this "pothole" machine costs so much and takes so long to deliver. Wonder if it will be a maintenance nightmare and what kind of warranty it has. Does the cost of the machine include training of current garage and public works personel? Stamps is the one who pushed this machine. Here's hoping it is so efficient that it can repair super fast and super well. And, here's hoping personnel knows how to use it optimally.

Anonymous said...

They want to do the pothole patchwork in house. Are they smoking crack????!!! Everything they do in house including making the coffee they f¥€£ up. Leave in to the pros yarber. Your inhouse people are incompetent top to bottom.

Anonymous said...

Thought Northside Drive was bad, then I drove on Meadowbrook.

Anonymous said...

Is there a copy of the notice of bid? Who won the contract?

Anonymous said...

Pete, it's incompetence- remember, The Empire State Building was built in less than 12 months in 1929
Competent private contractors would have had all potholes filled in less than 12 months if the money is there.

Jackghanistan Track Record said...

I have never been sure why this Commission was "put in place" nor why it is necessary.

Today's state-of-affairs is the 'why' for the Commission and the reason for necessity.

Anonymous said...

And that, my friends, is the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Yarber, get rid of the minority set-asides and open bidding to every asphalt company in the metro area and in a month from now everyone will think you are a hero. I will bet you that the commission will go for that.

Anonymous said...

I think 730 might be on to something, unfortunately it doesnt work that way in a "cronified" racist city government with a Kenneth Stokes racist leadership plan. How about do away with the city council form of government. Right now, there's too many cooks in the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

Long live Pete Perry

Anonymous said...

I think asphalt is a 12 month bid. Open to all and taken by the low bidder. What does this have to do with pot holes being completed?

@6:22 - Does that mean: Jackson's elected officials can't handle business so "big brother" State Legislature has to take over? Or, was that a racist slur?

Anonymous said...

This kind of shit is killing you Yarber and you are a fool for allowing this sort of bad PR to even happen in your administration. A complete fool. Are you the leader of Jackson's Executive Branch or not?

John on Meadowbrook said...

One positive to hiring contractors to do pothole repair is that they can be held accountable. If it washes out next week, the city can ask for a repatch gratis. The city's in house crews just spend more time (cash) re-doing it. Which brings up a point I have often wondered: what real pothole repair expertise do our crews really have? I bet it's mostly just long held customs. I bet you there are experts in engineering who could supervise a proper repair. Outside contractors would have an incentive to do it right the first time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Pete for a "thankless job". The entire city council and mayor should be put out of office in the next election. My wife and I have lived in Jackson for 38 1/2 years, but as soon as we sell our home, we're leaving Jackson and Hinds County - they both have gone to hell!

Anonymous said...

The Commission is a hindrance if they are requiring information that doesn't exist and can't be generated.
I don't know if this a political game or not.
There is certainly nothing to prevent the Commission from riding around Jackson and using their eyes and ears or from making helpful suggestions of ways the Mayor can accomplish what he needs more quickly.
That the city council is an obstacle is a given.
That Mayor Yarber is cursed with city employees put in place by two previous administrations that act as obstacles is a given.
I suggest strongly that Mayor and his key administrators, the Commission and the City Council get their egos and asses in a room together with a camera to film every single word and ZERO breaks where members are allowed to speak privately and get these problems fixed! It's you damn job! I'm sick to death of the political games played at the public's expense!

Anonymous said...

Great suggestion there 7:59. I honestly think such a meeting is going to happen, as soon as snowflakes show up in hades.

Anonymous said...

Pete, this commission was created as a power play and to emasculate those in power in Jackson, not to be helpful and you know it and are proving it!
You wouldn't and haven't taken public issue with " your guys" emoting when you could have unless you wanted to politically screw them.
The Commission should have been and still should be helping the Mayor overcome obstacles to problem solve.
This is a man who wants to do the right thing and who has a history of being a peace maker and working well with others and the Commission is part of doing everything, including the airport nonsense to spit in his face.
You should be reassuring the council ( yes , some of them are complete idiots but not ALL of them are) and all others that you are not in existence to insult and cast blame and make power grabs but to help solve problems.
I know you. I know you are a take no prisoners political animal and smile with glee when you get to pull one over. I have seen that smile. But, damn it, the health of children are at stake. This is not a game to families in Jackson.
It's WAY past time that all of you race baiters and political game players stopped the insanity! You have stirred up the emotional and immature to the point they are slugging it out at campaign rallies.
Have none of you any sense of decency left?

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree with you 8:20 am but if all of us start demanding such a meeting, we might scare them into behaving better!

By the way, it's no accident that the money is going to roads and bridges or private contracts and potholes is the focus of the response. That's where a lot of political largesse goes.

The priority is the WATER!!!!

This response tries to distract us from the MAJOR problem that must be addressed so the Commission can make sure certain contractors get the rewards they expect!

Anonymous said...

2:04--do you even know anything about South Africa and Nelson Mandela? Given the fact that you can't even spell his name right, it's obvious that you don't. I guess you agreed with Jerry Falwell's assessment that the Apartheid government leaders were "my kind of people."

Anonymous said...

KF , would you post the times the Commission meets and where? I think it's time some of us started showing up to observe.
And, I mean observe, not disrupt, but observe and tell all our friends and neighbors exactly what is going on.

Anonymous said...

If getting the money spent is a problem, the mayor should pick up the phone and make a couple of calls to some of our Madison county folks who've found themselves with some extra time on their hands as of late. They will get that road money spent quicker than he can log into his facebook account.

Anonymous said...

I have read the above comments. I have also read the Mayor's comments and Mr. Perry's comments. As a former resident of south Jackson, which I happened to love, and on behalf of the citizens of Jackson, I have a comment.

Instead of debating who is right and who is wrong and who did not do what when why don't YOU ALL quit talking and get the men who actually do the work to work. Six guys standing around a pothole or a broken water main won't get it fixed. Any woman will tell you that talking about a clean house won't get it done. Now I realize that a lot of you are not used to hard labor, you are "administrative". Well guess what guys, "ADMINISTRATIVE" ain't getting it done. So, as my mother used to say, you're complaining about it takes more time then just doing it. Fix one and move to the next. Again, fix one and move to the next.

As far as the airport goes, according to the Airport "Administration" they made a $3,000,000 profit for one year. You all obviously didn't take math courses if you can't figure out that is TOO LOW A PROFIT. Gez! Again, if you want to keep the Airport, make more money.

I can honestly say that a group of grandmothers could get more done in this City than all of the Administration. They'd box your ears and tell you to get moving. So how about it, could we shut up and start working.

Anonymous said...

Years ago under a white administration, I watched a crew of 14 working on fixing a pot hole in downtown Jackson. The pot hole replacement was about 20 feet by 15 feet. Of course all were city workers in about 6 vehicles which were parked near by. It took all day and they never of course even turned of the vehicles to preserve gas. I am not saying this is not a current problem, but I can assure you a private contractor would be more efficient and economical. P.S. I am relatively sure it hasn't gotten any better.

Anonymous said...

Private contractors are no better than those who oversee or check the work. In Jackson's case people are put under contract with no production required.That leaves more for payoff and that is what getting elected is all about.

Anonymous said...

When the City of Jackson finally has to file for bankruptcy and is put under the authority of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court with an Administrator chosen by a Bankruptcy Judge, the Mayor and the City Council (every last one of them - even Kenneth Stokes)can Facebook, scream, hold press conferences blaming everyone else and point fingers, but it won't matter. They will have NO say so over contracts or the City of Jackson. They will be able to meet once a week and moan they did nothing (wrong). The Administration and every vendor and consultant of the City may want to think about that. A bankruptcy administrator will have a heyday going over all the contracts and the checks. The spigot (money) will really be cut off then. Okay, wait, is there a down side here.

Burke said...

Bingo, 9:19. It was a great article by Ms. Wolfe, but talk about bad news! Could she have been dealing with every last one of the Mayor's "terrible employees"? Or are there many others working for the city? Rhetorical questions.

Anonymous said...

David Banner for Mayor!!!

Anonymous said...

Be careful with your wishes. Remember, Frank Melton talked a good game and look what that got us.

Anonymous said...

Tony Yarber self-inflicts more wounds upon himself.

Pete Perry said...

3:00 - You obviously miss the point!

"3) As of February, 2016 - of the professional contracts related to the street projects - none have been entered into; proposals have been recently received but none of the ones 'approved' by the commission a year earlier have been completed."

What does the Sales Tax Commission have to do with professional contracts? I thought that was the duty of public works, legal, the Council and the Mayor. The commission should not be involved in this portion. They are not elected officials nor do they work for the City.

The Commission's function was to 'approve' the projects as part of the Master Plan and approve the spending of the Sales Tax money on those projects. The action in the Spring of 2015 was to approve the spending of money to hire the professionals (architects/engineers/etc) to design the roadwork or the drainage work.

You are correct - after the commission approved the spending of the money, the rest of the work was up to the City - Public Works, Legal, etc.

That was part of my statement. The delay in getting those projects underway was not due to the "oversight" put on the spending of this money by the creation of the Commission. It did its part on those projects last year, approving the spending of some $13million that had been collected as of that time. The point I was making was that although the funds had been approved for spending, we still don't have the professional contracts in place. And you properly point out whose duty it was to get that work done - it was not a delay created by the oversight.

Pete Perry said...

8:33 - I at least have the honesty and openness to put my name on my comments. If you want to rant, rave and call those that disagree with you as 'race baiters', you should at least be willing to stand up behind your comments. But, I don't really expect you to. Until you do, I am going to ignore your personal comments thrown my way.

But, as to the other items you raise - the Commission was established by the legislature two administraitons back (Harvey Johnson's last term). It had nothing to do with Yarbor or the current council.

If you would come to a commission meeting you might find out that the Commission is trying to work with the City to address the problems. And in a large degree, it is a positive working relationship. There are some disagreements but the last time I checked it was a ten person group and I don't believe it was intended that everybody all stand in line behind one opinion and move forward as one person directs.

My one point in making the comments I did above was that the inference was that there were $22 million dollars waiting to be spent but that the Oversight Commission was putting a stop to it. That inference (not a direct statement but it is how the story was read) was totally inaccurate.

I understand that the Mayor would probably rather not have the Commission. I wouldn't either; but then again, I don't get to make the rules and in this case he doesn't either.

My frustration, as a citizen, is that although the small amount of money raised by the additional sales tax was approved to be spent to begin the work on some of these projects a year ago, the city has not been able to get the contracts underway - and this is just for the Engineering Contracts, not the actual construction contracts.

And if you are interested to know - I didn't just state this in this commentary. I said it very directly in the last meeting, without mincing any words. I didn't say it in an accusing way, but did question why we should be borrowing money against future years taxes at this point if we haven't been able to get the work under contract from a year ago.

Not to spend the money from a year ago, but to get the work under contract! I am not raising the issue as to why it takes this length of time, but I am saying it was not due to the 'oversight' of the commission as was implied.

Pete Perry said...

8:43 - one bit of explanation might be in order - with your comment that its about the water.

While I don't disagree, there are issues with water, sewer, roads, bridges and drainage.

My comments don't address water for a reason. The additional sales tax under the oversight of the Commission has not been prioritized for water issues in general because the water system does have a source of revenue available for its maintenance. Roads, bridges and drainage don't.

However, in the cases where streets are going to have to be rebuilt, the intent has been to replace the water, sewer, and storm drainage underneath at the same time. Thus when a reference has been made to rebuilding of N State Street, for example, it includes the necessary replacing of the water, sewer and drainage structures but is stated as a street project.

The water 'system' however, as is the sewer system, is being handled by the city outside of the Oversight Commission, using water/sewer funds and other outside funding.

Anonymous said...

If Yarber really wanted to make a statement...publicly fire a few people who are in charge of this fiasco....including the Project Manager. A strong leader holds subordinates accountable for results...or lack thereof. "Rolling a few heads" might be good for once. Set a 30 day mandate to get the job going or to quote the Donald: "You're fired!" Otherwise, what's the sense of urgency? They'll keep getting their paychecks....

Can you imagine General Patton or McArthur sitting around waiting on the battle plans to be drafted to fight WWII? I don't think so. If they took Yarber's approach, the French would definitely be speaking German by now.

PittPanther said...

I like Anna Wolfe. A few more articles and Yarber will find himself staring down the barrel of a federal indictment.

Anonymous said...

If Yarber really wanted to make a statement...publicly fire a few people who are in charge of this fiasco....including the Project Manager

Difficult to fire people in these times......there are protected classes. Firing triggers an automatic lawsuit....want to go before any of our judges?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate Pete's taking on this thankless task! Please keep at it Pete for the sake of all of us.

As for Yarber, I am increasingly convinced we need the FBI to look at whatever he gets from his cronies who receive contracts. Why else is he stretching things so to award cronies? Why has he got his office so busy trying to rig bids instead of solving the City's many problems? Why hasn't he fired the water dept and started over unless he's part of it?

Anonymous said...

Don't think the city has enough firepower in public works to pull this off.

Anonymous said...

Anna Wolfe is Hot!!!

Anonymous said...

So, Pete, it seems to me that the Mayor shares your frustrations.
Rather than support him and try to point out specifically what the obstacles are, you take issue with him because of an " inference".
How does that help? How is that going to affect the working relationship?
The inability of government at every level to efficiently prioritize and allocate available funds to where they are most needed when they are needed IS the problem.
The inability of those in positions of leadership to get along well and work together and support one another in a common goal IS the problem.
And, you and I both know the legislature didn't go to the mayors and ask, " how can we help?"
Are you a team for the good of Mississippi or are you competing for MVP?

Anonymous said...

As long as the leadership in Jackson is a complete mess it doesn't matter who tries to help. They do not want help. They want pocket money for themselves and their friends and they are not going to work for it. Anyone ever watch a flock of chickens when one chicken finds something to eat? Sort of reminds me of the Jackson leadership.

Imagine - Mr. Lennon said...

"...I watched a crew of 14 working on fixing a pot hole in downtown Jackson. The pot hole replacement was about 20 feet by 15 feet. It took all day and they never of course even turned of the vehicles to preserve gas. I am relatively sure it hasn't gotten any better.

I am 'relatively sure' you made that up too, unless you really think we believe you sat there 'all day' watching this imaginary group of men in imaginary trucks, left running, working on an imaginary project.

Anonymous said...

President Street. Oh.My.Goodness!!! It's really, really bad. And in the heart of downtown Jackson. No one seems to care.

2016 Hottest Reporter Poll

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?


Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

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