Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mayor asks city council to fix budget

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber issued the following statement:

Mayor Tony T. Yarber Urges Jackson City Council to Restore Funding for PEG Network, Grove Park; Restructure City Clerk's Office to Restore Arts Council Funding

Mayor Tony T. Yarber on Tuesday, Sept. 20, urged the Jackson City Council to rescind the amendments made to the 2016-2017 proposed budget before it was passed on Sept. 13.

"Rescinding the amendments would, most notably, restore funding for the Public Education Government Network and the Grove Park Golf Course. Those closures were not in my Administration's original proposed budget," the Mayor said.  "I further call on the City Council to restructure the City Clerk's Office to realize enough savings to restore funding to the Greater Jackson Arts Council. The Clerk's Office did not undergo a restructuring this budget year, even though nearly all other City departments were restructured or reorganized."

In 2015, the City Clerk's Office changed seven part-time positions to full-time positions. That, along with salary increases for regular staff, added $275,164 to the 2015 adopted budget. The Mayor said restructuring the Clerk's Office would save enough to restore the $140,000 in funding to GJAC.

Sent from my BlackBerry Passport


Anonymous said...

Embarrassing amateurs, every last one of them.

A Jackson Resident

Anonymous said...

At this point they need to leave the cuts as is and add an additional $140,000 by restructuring the Clerk's office. Jackson needs to save every penny it can. $140,000 is a lot of pennies!

Anonymous said...

Not sure about amateurs but dang, come on. Can't we all just get on the same page?

Anonymous said...

The city needs the same loan company that the Mayor used to finance his house. If they can make a mortgage disappear, certainly they can fix the city's budget problems.

Anonymous said...

Blame shifting and 2017 Mayoral posturing.

It won't work Yarber. You are done.

Anonymous said...

Ben Allen, president of Downtown Jackson Partners, said at the press conference that he has seen figures showing that, with all the residential development downtown in the form of loft apartments and condos, that in 10 years there could be as many as 25,000 people living downtown, tripling traffic on Pearl Street and Pascagoula Street.
-- Mississippi Business Journal
-- March 3, 2008

Wow. These guys better get busy if they're gonna get the city in shape for the influx of new residents, scheduled for about 18 months from now, per Ben.

Anonymous said...

1:38 you are close to right. But missed a decimal point. The restructuring of the City Clerk's office should save some $275,000 not just the $140,000 to restore funding to Arts.

The Council did a good start in making these cuts. Problem is, they need to do more. Plenty more of the "arts council" groups getting funding that is not essential. Plenty more of the Grove Parks that are nice for the neighborhood but not essential.

Mayor is trying to posture for 2017 - glad to see his current posture is upright rather than prone, but it is going to take a lot more than this kind of press release to cure his many ills.

Anonymous said...

If the Mayor and/or the City Council really wanted to fix our city's budget problems, they should start with their own established EBO policy. All city purchases, contracts, etc are subject to an ungodly high requirement of minority participation, business opportunity percentages which do nothing but pass the contracts to their favored subjects and raise the cost to the taxpayers. Most all governments in the state that have a minority participation requirement sets it at 20%; Jackson's is 35%. Helps get the contracts where they want them, but wastes an awful lot of dollars.

Anonymous said...

Not sure I agree with 8:04. The 35% is amount of participation by minority businesses in contracts issued by the City not that they cost 35% more. All minority companies are competitive in pricing and on professional services, they are usually somewhat lower than big business. Some of these companies are probably not worth hiring but most are good diligent businesses. Likewise, some white companies are not worth hiring. Businesses should be selected on their records of performance.

Anonymous said...

I am all for restoring some of the funding to the Arts Council. The City Clerk's Office should not be the only one in the City untouched.

Anonymous said...

This is all so embarrassing. I live here, love living here yada yada yada, but our AA leadership needs to STEP UP or "allow" a capable (which there are MANY) Caucasian to steer this ship.

Anonymous said...

This MF'r! SMMFH! Damn!

8:04 here said...

8:43 - didn't say the 35% EBO was 35% wasted money. But requiring any EBO, MBE, etc keeps the contracting/purchasing entity from buying from the lowest and best price. If the minority firm has the best price - buy it all! But for those contracts where the minority firm provides nothing to the bottom line of the contract, but only takes a part of the payment, it is 100% wasted. We have plenty of the second in our city and county - and yes, I can give specific examples if you want to have that discussion in another forum.

There are several minority firms that bring good services to the project - and that is all good. But requiring it whether or not it is the best price and product is not good.

Problem is - this administration has carried it even further. Requiring in contracts 'mentoring' provisions - up to 30% of the contract. These are nothing but paying individuals to supposedly 'learn' how to do the work. And as has been shown in examples recently, it is absolutely b/s. Providing a one-man company 25% of a $800k project; next giving the same one-man company 25% of a $2.5 million - all the while the one man is a state employee. Please defend this process.

Anonymous said...

The only defense 9:49 pm is when a state or local government hires a national company that has no local or state employees and would not be hiring any for the contract unless there were some requirement to do so. The intent is for at least some of the jobs created to remain.
The other intent was to create skills and knowledge within a community just like is done when aid workers go to a third world country and teach them the skills necessary for the community to better fend for themselves.
The way it is currently done at all levels of government could be improved.to prevent the abuse you describe. But, the original idea had some merit.
You are talking about political abuse of the process. That is reduced or corrected through changes in government procurement policy and law. Another way to reduce corruption is to change the boards and commissions that now are legally advocacy in nature to oversight in nature.You also have to streamline responsibilities so that individuals become more personally and individually responsible for corruption and can't so easily find " fall guys" by insulating themselves in the decision making process.
The corruption for which we are now noted is systemic and structural. Percentage budget cuts, cutting jobs on a last hired, first fired basis, and cutting entire programs without looking at whether or not that program is cost beneficial or has long term value is just stupid.

In an age of oversimplication of complex problems where everyone fancies themselves an expert, we have adopted a wrecking ball approach that isn't working.

Anonymous said...

In an age of oversimplication of complex problems where everyone fancies themselves an expert, ...

Good Lord, we all know how you remind us of your profound expertise nearly every single morning here on JJ.

Anonymous said...

"The other intent was to create skills and knowledge within a community just like is done when aid workers go to a third world country and teach them the skills necessary for the community to better fend for themselves."

Whoops - Freudian slip?!...

Anonymous said...

Maybe some of those aid workers should be diverted to Jackson since they are skilled in educating third world inhabitants.

Anonymous said...

The City of Jackson's political approach is a modern day version of the Amos and Andy show.

Anonymous said...

Why is a project viewed as an 'employment office'? A project should only be valuable as relates to its end result. If a project is intended to 'build something' or 'repair something' or 'design something', THAT alone should be the goal - Not how many of this or that color might be hired in the meantime.

Conversely, if projects are simply opportunities to put people to work, short-term, and have them make a profit, that's sorta backwards. In that case, the project's intended result is nothing more than putting a certain number of people of color to work and funneling city cash to those folks. The accomplishments (assuming there ARE any) are secondary, if that.

That's why shit falls down after the project builders walk away with a sack of money. But then there's another project to fix it.

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