Sunday, April 3, 2016

The suicide of Jackson

Zero, zero, zero.  Jackson literally spent zero dollars on repaving its roads in 2010 and 2011.  The Northside Sun recently provided a public service in publishing an article on Jackson's road repaving program that is available in the current issue.  The story included a table that stated how many miles of Jackson roads were repaved for each year since 1998  JJ took the liberty of using the newspaper's data to create a chart that will show exactly how dismal the true picture is. 

Click on image to enlarge



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

It will come as no surprise that the year that saw the most mileage repaved just happened to be an election year.  However, it seems the wheels came off of the road repaving program during  Mayor Johnson's last term as literally no roads were repaved for two years. None. Nada. Zero. Zilch.  Zip.  Mayor Johnson's team repaved all of 14.8 miles of Jackson roads during his last term.  Keep that in mind as Ridgewood Road and Capitol Street crumble before your very eyes on a daily basis.   Mayor Johnson repeatedly said during his 2013 re-election campaign that he had balanced the budget without laying off employees and raising taxes.  Jacksonians can now see exactly how he did so: the Mayor gutted such programs as road repaving and engaged in crazy front-loaded bond refinancing schemes to generate the cash Mayor Johnson needed to hide the bleeding. 

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's what's underneath the roads that is going to sink Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Looks like they never spent very much on paving roads. Is it any wonder the roads look like goat trails?

Anonymous said...

The 68.3 miles in 2009 was 20 year bond money. Thin skinned all over the city and roads back to crap again.

Anonymous said...

Free Water!!
About 6 months ago we saw the firing of 3 employees who had taken money for "free hookups" to their patrons.
Are those who have received this "free" water ever been issued meters? Or had their meter-less hookups discontinued?
Inquiring minds, and those of us who pay water bills, want to know....

Anonymous said...

For many years repaving was not allowed for Federal funding but a few years ago that was changed and some can not be spent for this. I bet much of this repaving is now Federal money.

Anonymous said...

This example should be a lesson to the entire State about ignoring spending on infrastructure. Every year road go unfixed it becomes more expensive to fix them.

Anonymous said...

For the most part the whole state does the same thing. The big difference is that in the burbs the money held back for not maintaining streets can be used later in election years so that politicians can look good and people can be convinced that the local government is "responsive". Jackson could do the same years ago.. but not anymore. After paying all the salaries and handling it's other long-term obligations, there's not enough money generated for Jackson's coffers to fix the crumbling streets in a city that has annexed more than it's shrinking tax base can handle. Since maintenance was never a real priority for the city back in the 70's and 80's, now in most cases it's too late for maintenance. These streets don't need maintenance, they need FIXING. Where's the money? Not in Jackson.

Don't Make No Difference No Way said...

"It's what's underneath the roads that is going to sink Jackson."

So, if I'm to understand comments like that, there's no point in maintaining or fixing anything since it's a lost cause and maybe the feds will eventually come to the rescue. Or do I have it wrong?

Anonymous said...

Didn't know the feds had the ability to wave a magic wand and make Yazoo Clay disappear. But, I'd bet that if The Donald said he was going to do it, there would be plenty of his followers that would believe it could be done! Just like a wall. Or shipping out the illegals. It would happen because he said for it to.

But short of The Donald taking it on, there is little the feds could do either. What would help, though, is for continued maintenance so that water could be prevented from getting thru the pavement and causing the swelling/shrinking.

Guess we had better put our hopes in The Donald. At least there we can laugh when it doesn't work!

Anonymous said...

How bad is it going to have to get before the feds rescue Jackson?

Anonymous said...

Why did we start in 1998?

Anonymous said...

Chapter 9 cometh.

Anonymous said...

um, does anyone have any idea where the road tax $$ collected was spent? Who stole it?

Anonymous said...

No one in Jackson would vote for the Don (Donald Trump) They be all Democrats.

Anonymous said...

@9:41 - ah, the 50 million dollar question. It's actually worse than that when you consider all the public works employees that are employed to work on the roads. What are they doing/what have they been doing for the past 25 years? Guarantee you that the number of public works employees has not gone DOWN in the last 25 years.

Anonymous said...

Little FYI: Jackson has left around 100m on the table because of poor revenue collection practices. Democrats running anything is a receipt for disaster.

Anonymous said...

The road money had to be spent to pay for the free water that Jacktown provides its citizens. Last year, the City failed to collect $9.3 million in water bills. The mayor raided the road money.

Pothell said...

Not sure what any of this has to do with Trump. Some fools go off on bizarre rabbit trails no matter what.

If you want to take an educational ride, try riding north from Fondren all the way to the rear of Target. Buckle up and hold on tight! And don't stare at the drivers in Gold Pontiacs with forty inch rims. They can see YOU clearly through those black windows.

Anonymous said...

One of the largest problems is the politics of Jackson I work in project management for one of Four Asphalt contractors in the tri-county area. For any of us to get any work and do it at a price that the city can afford as well as contractor make money you have to meet almost 40% minority participation. I have no problem with the EOB policies they problem is there are no contractors in the tri-county area that can meet those requirements. And the ones that are in the the area specialize in paving a driveway here or there not in the repair and repaving of roads. There was a City wide bid out on paving streets several months back and If my memory serves me right No one bid on the work due to the EOB requirements you had to meet in the contract. Wave the EOB requrements for a time and you will see a lot happen in the city.

Anonymous said...

7:09 - You totally have it wrong since nobody in this thread suggested the feds come in.

Anonymous said...

Harvey Johnson will undoubtedly go down as the worst mayor in Jackson history. From failing completely at economic development to this garbage, his stupidity is unmatched. No one has done more to set the city back.

Anonymous said...

Other than an Explanation of Benefits, what's an EOB?

Anonymous said...

8:14. Without a doubt. Under his watch downtown became ghosttown, the roads became suitable for only a 4x4, the fumbling on Farish and the convention center, and many many more. It's as if he enjoyed the status of mayor but hated the work OF mayor.

Obama Skreet (fmr. Flag Chapel Road) said...

I defy anyone to drive Riverside Drive from Bailey Jr. High to LeFleur's Bluff at the posted speed limit. Unless you have a military issue Humvee, you'll destroy your suspension and possibly the undercarriage of your vehicle. It has been this way for years and is an artery for three schools (Bailey, Murrah, and Power). Why hasn't the city fixed this road?

Oh, yeah. Harvey Johnson was mayor. That answers it.

Even the high points on this chart are embarrassingly low. It tops out at a measly 68.2 miles under Melton and in only three years of the last 17 does it crack 20 miles. Pathetic.

And where are our august city council members on this? Why have they not been championing road reconditioning?

Anonymous said...

8:36 - from the context of the rest of that post I suspect the "E" and the "O" stand for "Equal Opportunity", i.e., based-based redistribution of funds regardless of actual qualifications.

Anonymous said...

10:27pm and 7:19am are spot on.

Anonymous said...

Money that use to be spent on infrastructure is not being spent on social programs, attorneys and political cronies. That is why both Jackson and the State of Mississippi have no money for infrastructure.

Anonymous said...

The cost of car tags in the city limits of Jackson are some of the highest in the state. Where does all of that money go?
Maybe if the people in Jackson and the elected officials didn't spend so much money and time collecting rocks, bricks, and bottles the roads would be a little smoother. How about storing some of those things in the pot holes?

Anonymous said...

It is the current culture of leaders in Jackson to depend on a handout. In 2010 the legislature allocated dollars for Jackson to spend on infrastructure as it pertains to water pipes. Harvey missed the deadline for the money and screwed up the budget thinking he was a shoe in for the money. He did zero work to get the funds and was denied. He missed the deadline and did not file paperwork. Seems like this will continue to be the culture. Run the city into the dirt until a federal tax payer picks up the bill. Sad. Read all of Jambalaya's wonderful work about Johnson here.

http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/search?q=Harvey+Johnson+water

Anonymous said...

Question. Could we just start a para-government organization that could fix these streets and potholes? Pay out in tax credits, and other creative soft income vehicles? Recruit volunteers of Jacksonians willing to want to make their own city better?


At some point, we all are going to have to realize that, if we want to fix our Capital City (which we should all be invested in, it's embarrassing and almost symbolic of our State the status of our Capital City), we are going to have to come together as Mississippians and just do it. If we wait around for us to finally "fix all our problems" and have all the money in hand, it probably wont happen for the next 40 years.

Anonymous said...

2009 Stimulus Funds
http://www.jacksonms.gov/index.aspx?nid=254
$3,355,477: U.S. Department of Transportation
Transportation Metropolitan Planning Organization Entitlement Program
Funds available in the Department of Public Works to resurface 2.5 miles of Northside Drive from Jackson city limits to Medgar Evers Boulevard and 2 miles of Maddox Road from Highway 18 to John R. Lynch Street.

Anonymous said...


http://sp.mdot.ms.gov/programs/recovery/ARRA%20Documents/ARRA%20Highway%20Distribution.pdf

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Highway and Bridge funds can be used on defined system of roadways which generally include interstates, US routes, state routes, some rural roads and some city streets. These funds can also be used for some transportation Enhancement Projects. Mississippi received $354,564,343 to be used for transportation projects.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:31 PM - Many potholes in Belhaven have been "citizen fixed" with nothing more than a bag of quickcrete and a bucket. I doubt the Greater Belhaven Assoc is capable of comprehensively repairing Eastover Dr, though.

Anonymous said...

You can't use the Yazoo clay comments as the sole reason the roads are garbage in Jackson. That soil is prevalent all over Rankin County and Madison County especially around the Reservoir. Their roads seem to be in much better shape.

Anonymous said...

So, the small bit of repaving has come from Federal funds that had to be spent on roads.12:31, that is what has been to the public educational system; create a another private one. Problem is the city owns the ROW the road sit on and you would be charged to use their property. Just call it a day and move on.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, as to the State of MS: http://mississippitoday.org/2016/04/04/busby-roads-bill-likely-dead/. While you're tossing stones at Jackson, your state-wide elected officials (I can't say "leaders" with a straight face) are making the same mistakes. Maybe if they weren't too busy drafting unconstitutional bills, they would have enough time to fix our state infrastructure.

Anonymous said...

12:31, if there were any people like the ones you speak about in Jackson the city would not be in the shape it is in. Those people do not elect others that pocket all of the money.
Jackson has run all of those people out of the city.

Anonymous said...

State officials should take over the roads rather than the airport.

Anonymous said...

The 2009 jump was from Stimulus Money. The Obama Administration was more interested to spending the money fast on projects with little to no long term value so they could use the "look at we did" speech for the mid-term elections. The money had such short time constraints that overlay projects were the only projects that Jackson, or any other municipality in the State for that matter, could do and meet the strict obligation requirements.

Lissen Up Class said...

Harvey Johnson's only gainful employment prior to being elected mayor was as a 'grant writer'. Trained, educated, certified, expert grant writer. Let's discuss.....

Anonymous said...

2:38

Then the state will start bearing the costs to repair their automobiles? Guess you're gonna tell me that the next thing they're gonna do is start feeding their children two meals every day?

Anonymous said...

2:08

12:31 here. What would those costs be?

I'm thinking for this organization, it could be road workers, volunteering to do these fixes off duty-- wages would be tax incentives for company, for the individual workers, based on number of hours volunteered, it could be credits at McDades or restaurants or whatever partnering Jackson organizations wanted to "donate".

Just trying to think way left field here.

Anonymous said...

Ethnic Owned Business, maybe?

Kingfish said...

Accidentally deleted this comment by anonymous :

City budgets have been sacrificed to keep the (primarily black) Democrat City Hall employment machine running. You can study all the sub-metrics about Jackson's decline you want but the only metric that does not decline is city employment and the costs to maintain mayoral spoils employment at levels higher than when Jackson's population peaked way back in 1976.. Yarber, and all those before him back to Big Daddy Kane, could have shown courage and right-sized but each and every one of them punted. Yarber's furloughs only kicked the can down the road. Jackson, on a smaller scale but with the exact same disasterous effects, is doing everything that was done to drive Detroit into the ground. We can only hope the State of Mississippi jumps in to take over sooner than Michigan did in Detroit.

Anonymous said...

5:57, the state does not want Jackson. Just not worth the cost of rebuilding it to what it was. The people chose the leaders. The people saw what the leaders were doing to the city and kept re electing them. What good would it do to rebuild Jackson then let the same people destroy it again?

Anonymous said...

Nothing matters other than getting a job with a smooth road to a cush retirement system. Period. Take over the schools, the state agencies, the municipal governments and the county governments and keep reelecting yourselves and your job providers and you've got an inside-the-park home run. How difficult is that to understand?

We watched it happen beginning with the public schools, then the 'Welfare Department', then followed by the Department of Employment Security and the county health departments, a majority of the municipalities in the state and over half the county governments in the state. It's all about the jobs. The jobs for themselves. Nothing else matters, least of all infrastructure.

Anonymous said...

Kane will have to be known and the worst mayor ever since he started the major downfall of Jackson. He made Jackson a real Democrat city with tending to everything but running a sound city. Yep, Kane started the killing of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

The 2009 stimulus money did have to be spent in a short time because the main purpose was to create jobs during the recession, not five years later. The reason so much of the money went into repaving streets and parking lots and rest areas was because no big infrastructure projects in MS were "shovel ready." That was not the federal government's fault. State and local governments will not pay for engineering, design, environmental, permitting, etc. with their own money. We have a crony system where the engineering firms expect to be able to draw out those preliminary phases and bill two to five years before construction, and the state and locals are fine with that as long as it is 75% or more federal funds. Everyone blames the project delays on federal regulations, but we saw after Katrina that they can design and build a major bridge in less than two years without waiving the regulations. The state DOT and MS engineering firms who milk the system were the ones trying to slow that process down on the Coast, not the feds.

Anonymous said...

The Kenyan crowed on ad infinitum about "shovel ready". See your $2500 per family health insurance reduction yet? Please go blow smoke up someone else's behind.

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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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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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