Monday, April 25, 2016

Harvey & Wyatt trade licks

A food fight broke out between former Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson and the Northside Sun. The editorial page of the weekly newspaper sharply criticized Jackson's leadership for a lack of resurfacing of roads in the Bold New City  The Northside Sun claimed audited financial statements provided the following information on how many miles were paved each year:

Here are the miles of roads that were repaved during each fiscal year of a Mayoral administration:

Johnson: 50.5
Johnson: 60.6
Johnson: 19.8
Johnson: 13.3 Election Year
Johnson: 6.3
Johnson: 16
Johnson: 9.5
Johnson: 5.9 Election Year
Melton: 7.1
Melton: 5.6
Melton: 8.3
Melton: 68.3 Election Year
Johnson: 0
Johnson: 0
Johnson: 10.6
Johnson: 4.2 Election Year
Lumumba: 6.1

Well, former Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson took exception to this editorial and fired back with a letter to the editor:

Dear Mr. Emmerich:

I am writing to correct certain information contained in your article, “Dilapidated roads underscore Jackson leadership crisis”, which appeared in the March 31 edition of the Northside Sun. You asserted that “In 2010 and 2011, the city repaved zero miles of roads.” Of course, certain bloggers have used this erroneous piece of information to continue to bash the Capital City. (He means this post. )

My first reaction was: What would provoke such an absurd statement? In each of the 12 years that I served as Mayor, the city had a street resurfacing/improvement program that was supported by budgeted resources. Any clear-thinking person would realize that the City Council simply would not support a budget that did not have funds dedicated to street improvements (particularly, repaving and pothole repair). Your statement suggests that both the Mayor and City Council did not budget funds for streets, or budgeted the funds but did not spend them…for two consecutive years. Both notions are ridiculous, and neither one happened.

You mentioned “city audits” as the source of your information. So, I decided to examine the audits for the two years (FY10) and FY11) in question, as well as the year prior (FY09) and the year after (FY12). I undertook this exercise in order to provide correct information, and to counter the efforts of those who are apparently determined to re-write a certain portion of the City of Jackson’s history.

(For your information, city audits are based on financial activities that occur during the city’s fiscal year [FY], which begins on October 1 of one calendar year and ends on September 30 of the next. Your and others’ reference to 2010 and 2011 actually refers to the periods October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010, and October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011, respectively, if you are using city audits as your source of information.)

In my research I found the FY12 audit to be a good starting point. On page 133, under the chart labeled “Operating Indicators by Function”, I immediately saw the problem. Under Highways and streets/Street resurfacing, the mileage for repaving was listed for each fiscal year in the 10-year period beginning with FY03, except there was a dash (-) for the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years. You apparently concluded that the dash meant that no resurfacing took place in those years. Had you looked at the notes to the chart you would have seen Note (3), which says “The dashes indicate data that is not available”. The dashes do not indicate that there was no activity. Your conclusion was wrong and hastily drawn!

A closer and more thorough examination of the same chart reveals that there is a dash under “Fire/Number of calls answered” in FY10 and FY11, while there are 11,577 calls listed for FY09 and 9,403 for FY12. Would you conclude that the Fire Department did not answer not one call in FY10 and FY11? Better yet, under “Water/Average daily consumption”, a dash is placed in the FY09, FY11 and FY12 columns, while the average daily consumption for FY10 was 24,024,000 gallons. According to your logic, no water was consumed in Jackson (and Byram) for three years!

Moreover, your article omitted a very important aspect of dealing with “Dilapidated roads” in Jackson, as is indicated in the FY12 Operating Indicators by Function chart. According to the chart, the city repaired over 90,000 potholes during FY10 and FY11, the two years you would have your readers believe that nothing happened to improve the condition of our streets. In fact, this was part of an effort that started in FY10 that placed needed emphasis on infrastructure. For instance, we were successful in approaching the State Legislature in 2010 to change the “1% Sales Tax” statute for the City of Jackson to allocate most of the proceeds to streets and infrastructure improvements; the original legislation emphasized public safety. As you know, the proceeds from that initiative provides the city with its first long term (20-year) funding streaming for street improvements. Although I opposed the oversight commission as part of the legislation, I am not opposed to the provision of needed long term funding that the law provides.

But, what happened regarding street resurfacing in FY10 and FY11? Glad you asked…In the fall of 2008 city officials approved the issuance of general obligation (GO) bonds for the express purpose of undertaking street resurfacing throughout the city. As a result, $26,210,000 in GO bonds were issued on January 1, 2009. These actions took place in FY09; and I came back into office in July, 2009, with three months remaining in the fiscal year. What is noteworthy, however, is the fact that over half of the bond funds ($15,021,677, to be exact) remained unspent as of the end of FY09, September 30, 2009.

In crafting subsequent fiscal year budgets (particularly for FY10 and FY11), I proposed and the Council approved utilizing the 2009 GO bond proceeds to support the city’s annual street resurfacing program. This was done primarily for two reasons: to utilize taxpayer dollars that had already been committed to a multi-year street resurfacing effort; and, to relax the strain on the city’s general fund budget that had been created by city officials not identifying the funding source to support the 20-year, $2.5 million annual repayment required to retire the debt.

The city audits indicate that 68.3 miles of streets were resurfaced in FY09. This is clearly not the case, as evidenced by the amount of bond proceeds that remained unspent at the end of the fiscal year. What likely is reflected is that 68.3 miles of streets were targeted at the time of the bond issuance. It is also likely that some of the targeted streets changed during the course of implementing the multi-year effort, possibly increasing the targeted mileage. But, what is certain that a significant portion of the 68.3 miles of the streets apportioned to FY09 were actually resurfaced in FY10 and FY11.

Please see the “Schedule of Revenues, Expenditures and Changes in Fund Balances – Budget and Actual 2009 General Obligation Bond Funds” in the city audits for FY09 (p. 30), FY10 (p.92), FY11 (p. 92), FY12 (p. 94) and FY13 (p. 95) to track the expenditures of bond proceeds during my third term in office. Additionally, the 2009 bond proceeds were used throughout that time in conjunction with federal, state and local funds to carry out street resurfacing and construction projects; bridge replacements; and sidewalk and bus stop improvements to assist in the city’s ADA compliance efforts. And in-house paving crews were used, especially for resurfacing street intersections.

I would have liked to have been more specific in the above comments, but time constraints, along with limited access to documents, prevented that from happening. However, I hope that, at best, this letter will motivate you to publicly correct the erroneous information that you conveyed to your readers; and, at least, it informs and enlightens you, and perhaps your readers.

Looking forward to your response, I remain…


Harvey Johnson, Jr.
Mayor, City of Jackson
1997-2005 and 2009-2013

The Northside Sun took Resurfacing Man up on his invitation and responded:


Anonymous said...

First, the streets are deplorable and neglect is a major problem that Harvey is part to blame. However, in this fight I would side with the former mayor in a majority of the argument. All Wyatt could do is deflect the points Harvey made and appears to have made no effort to dig deeper.

Lastly, props to Harvey for the letter and research. I highly doubt Yarber, Lumumba or Melton could draft a coherent letter detailing audit items from the city budget. I doubt Mumba Jr could, and certainly Stamps (who killed the mayor Jr) can't. Preister can probably write a decent letter but it will be full of hipster Cali dreamy crap. Jackson's current and future leadership is non-existent.

Anonymous said...

Harvey "I don't give a F*** about Jackson" Johnson. Worst mayor this city has ever had! WORST! He sucked so much, a dog would not take a shit in Harvey's front yard, no where to shit because it's so full of shit!

Harvey "I don't give a F*** about Jackson... screwed, no wait FUCKED this city till the water pipes burst!!!

Anonymous said...

4:36 could only be Harvey. Wyatt and Anthony nailed him, and their response to Harvey's its-not-my-fault smoke screen (the guy must be part octopus ) only reinforced the conclusion that Harvey didn't give a shit about Jackson beyond what he could plunder.

Anonymous said...

Harvey did a real good job of nothing but being arrogant.

Anonymous said...

Harvey was only a symptom, not the illness.

Anonymous said...

4:36 may be Harvey, but I will say that other then the first sentence, the second paragraph is dead on!

Justjess said...

Why don't you guys, with all of the negative criticism of Former Mayor Harvey Johnson, own the fact that he and President Barac Obama are negatively evaluated by you based on sheer down in the woods RACISM.
"Arrogant" is a title often given to black males who are intelligent, love and respect their wife and their children, highly educated, competent and successful in job performance, kind, compassionate, respectful of others - regardless of race, creed or color, excellent strewards of their finances and are law abiding citizens.These are but a few of the attributes of Harvey Johnson but the racist translation is "He doesn't give a shit...." There are so many great people in Jackson who know better and are supporters of the TRUTH. We can't let a spoiler, who is trying to sell papers, beat us to the canvass: It won't work!

Wyatt is lying and he knows that throwing out such garbage would bring out the worst in those who want to keep MS at the top of everything bag and the bottom of everything good. Harvey is no longer the mayor of Jackson: He was successfully defeated by those who had the money, position and power to convince low informational blacks that "He had had his turns - It's time to give someone else a chance." The chance was given to Melton (what a mess) to Lumumba (an even bigger mess ) and now Tony. Yes Chicken Little, the streets are falling but Johnson was working a plan to save them. Real facts can be evidenced.

Perhaps the title of this article will change from "trading licks" to acknowledging FACTS.
Just saying‼️

Anonymous said...

Our roads are deplorable. If the Northside Sun would take a look on Saturday or Sunday afternoon when a HUGE 18-wheeler is unloading at the Dollar Store across the side street from its office, they would see where the huge tractor of this truck literally digs out the asphalt and although the city has repaired this small street several times, very few streets could hold up under this type of abuse. Every shop, restaurant, store, gas station, etc. in Jackson are served by 18 wheelers. This did not used to be the case. Additiionally, the tractors of these trucks are parked all over town. In residential areas where they routinely park, the small residential street pays. Someone needs to look at how these ever increasing weight limits are causing much of the trouble in Jackson.

Anonymous said...

9:56 is a victim of his own delusions. He thinks we would be happy with the state of Jackson's roads (and schools, and courts, etc) if white people were responsible for these travesties. Bless his heart. Come up to Madison County and ask the white and black County supervisors who were turned out of office last election day how voters judge things based on results, not skin color.

Harvey's letter in the Northside Sun last week was pathetic, and reminded us of his total inability to be a leader. "Thus Buck Stops Here" was Truman's motto, and Harvey will never, never understand that concept.

Anonymous said...

Dear Justjess,

Please confine your trolling to the JFP where your decidedly racist rants have some traction. Coming on here and spouting your anti-whitey views and excessive use of the Caps Lock button will most likely not be viewed upon kindly.

Despondent NE Jxn resident

Anonymous said...

There needs to be a thorough investigation on "show me the money". Where is the money? Why hasn't the new tax hike fund been used to fix our streets? What is the hold up? Why does it take so long to decide who is going to do the work? Whats everybody doing everyday downtown? Probably fighting about this or that stuff that doesn't even matter. Seems the whole gang downtown is a little to comfortable with their job. In every job someone has to be accountable. This is about honesty, integrity, and accountability towards our leaders who we are trusting with our money to fix our city. THIS IS NOT ABOUT RACE. I am going to scream if I hear "RACE" one more time. Its 2016 and "RACE" has nothing to do with not using our tax money for the right purposes. It is our right as Jacksonian's to question why things are not being done as promised. What does that have to do with RACE? Poor Harvey didn't make a "lick" of sense while trading "licks" with Wyatt. Wyatt is just bringing it all to the surface. I hope they nail all of them for using our money to make their car payments and buy their dinners. Sorry but one must assume if there is no evidence of the contrary. The city council must be able to show Jackson Citizens where the money is and how it is being spent. Cant wait for the FBI to come in and see whats going on downtown. It's coming so Harvey should actually be scared. If found guilty, the city council will all be jailbirds together. Corruption was uncovered in New Orleans AND Detroit (mayor and city council all found GUILTY) why not get it uncovered in Jackson, MS. If I were the city council I think I might be working around the clock getting bids accepted, contracts passed, and workers on every street corner trying to improving the city as fast as possible. Thank you Wyatt for being courageous and smart enough to say what everybody else is thinking. Someone needs to be accountable to the people for their poor performance taking care of our city. Thanks and Mr Johnson its nothing personal.

Anonymous said...

Harvey's letter would receive an "A" in an English class.

But he was lacking on the facts.

Overall, C-.

Kudos to the Sun for the reporting. As usual, the C-L reads the Sun for information and does a lackluster follow-up story.

Anonymous said...

When I first arrived in Jackson over 40 years ago, the roads were rough and uneven. The surfaces looked to be of poor quality and the grading was terrible. Fine cracks were already appearing. I was told it was Yazoo clay and this was the best that could be done.
Since I didn't know anything about Yazoo clay then, I accepted this on face value even though the roads suspiciously resembled a very bad road I'd seen elsewhere where no Yazoo clay existed.
Over time, I came to understand that while when Yazoo clay is present, it does make putting in a road or anything else more expensive , the roads were poor where no Yazoo clay existed.
The cheap composition, lack of proper grading and construction were contributing causes for the poor quality. There were also little to no requirements for developers who built streets in neighborhoods.
The outcome of any government construction is also dependent on drafting a good bidding proposal for any project. The language must insure that the materials and methods to be used are as specifically described as possible and are the best available within the budgeted funds.
Perhaps, the funds and expertise to do it right the first time didn't exist.
Whether that is the case or the rumors I've since heard of sleazy contractors/developers ( two of whom are notorious in some circles) and/or corruption/incompetence in government are true, the most notorious are dead, the corrupt rationalize well, the incompetent never know they are and there are no remedies to hold anyone responsible. Casting blame becomes a waste of time.
We need to know what it will take to fix the problems that currently exist and come up with a state of the art replacement, repair and maintenance plan going forward.
Isn't that what mature grown ups are supposed to do?

JessMess said...

JustJess says: "Yes Chicken Little, the streets are falling but Johnson was working a plan to save them. Real facts can be evidenced."

Please, now that your union break is over, continue. Are you going to cite the 'real facts' that 'can be evidenced'? What 'plan' was Johnson 'working' when he was turned out of office?

Anonymous said...

Anybody with even bat-shit for sense knows Johnson did two things during his years in office:

1) He ran an employment office.

2) He helped write and submit a few grant applications.

The results are these:

1) Every city office was filled with black female friends, black female relatives of black friends and miscellaneous black that order.

2) A grant for a bus/train station in an unprotected war zone.

I've got to run. The bearded, bow-tied boy-wonder is having a listening tour.

Anonymous said...

If Harvey had worked as hard to improve or at least fix the city as he did on his rebuttal, the city would no doubt be in better shape.

Anonymous said...

when was obama's reinvestment act? when was bush's? that might shed some light on the federal dollars that went to waste in jackson for asshat consultants instead of actual projects.

Anonymous said...

Our morning lawn package has arrived!

Isn't that what mature grown ups are supposed to do?

The JJ Troll deposits another gem!

Kingfish said...


You're attitude is why Harvey got beat. He only got 1,500 votes in his last run. He was beaten by Antar, Tony, and Melvin. I went to the debate at the Medical Mall when he ran for re-election. He was very thin-skinned at that event. His attitude was there was no problems in Jackson and everyone saying there were was a complainer. That is fine for opponents but frankly, most of the citizens in Jackson saw problems with crime, infrastructure, and schools. Look at the schools adjacent to Jackson. The black people are voting with their feet. Are they racist for moving away? What Harvey did was insult the voters and tell them their concerns were not valid.

The Mayor has his good points. He is a decent man. Contrary to what some honkies think, he is not afraid to hire white folks and did so quite frequently. Ramey Ford? Dan Gaillet? There are others. He also wasn't afraid to appoint whites to boards and commissions. He was Mayor for three terms, of course he has some achievements he can tout.

However, the refusal to communicate and accept any criticism at all is one reason he lost. He appeared to be out of touch and it hurt him on election day.

By the way JustJess, he also wouldn't allow the minutes to be posted on the city website. Not a good thing.

Anonymous said...

When you know little about the subject, yell racism.
When you have no excuse for your short comings, yell racism.
When you are caught doing something wrong, yell racism.
When you give a job to a person just because they are the right color and they fail, yell racism.
When you take a job just because you are the right color and you cannot do the job, yell racism.

It works today. Please give a thought about tomorrow. Your child may have to pay for your failings and yelling racism may be ignored.

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for the know it all's and Wyatt to produce a real rebuttal to the zero streets paved. Harvey says one thing they say another. Harvey actually was the mayor, Wyatt is just a reporter who even admitted, "Regardless what the dashes mean..." Is anyone going to actually report on this? After everyone gets their panties out of their a$$, Harvey says roads were paved, Wyatt says they weren't - but won't back it up. Can we get an answer? If Harvey has more details he should send another letter and Wyatt should drop the opinion piece rebuttal and produce some facts otherwise. Bash, bash bash when there is an actually story here.

Anonymous said...

Harvey now is putting his best friend & college roommate up to run for mayor,
Leroy Walker Jr., please beware..
Harvey candidate

Leroy Would Be A Breath of Fresh Air said...

At least Leroy Walker has decades of experience creating and running businesses, meeting payrolls, solving private industry problems and insisting that customers pay for what they receive.

Anonymous said...

Wow...Justjess crawled from whatever rock she's been hiding under since being booted off JFP and braved these JJ waters to defend her hero Harvey Johnson Jr. What devotion!!!! Ain't blind love wonderful?

Anonymous said...

"Jackson's Roads Suck" Facebook page is a classic!!!!!

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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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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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