Sunday, September 4, 2016

Updates from the Crypt

Jackson Ward 2 Councilman Melvin Priester, Jr. posted this update on Friday's meeting of the Jackson City Council on his Facebook page:

Yesterday we had two critical city council meetings.

At 4pm, we met to discuss our response to the ongoing wave of civil litigation. We received proposals from several law firms to help defend the city. Our goal right now is to have a steady hand. We took the presentations under consideration and will meet again on Tuesday. While we are laying off workers and cutting key services, it is a bitter pill to swallow that we need to hire outside lawyers but that's the reality of the situation. Step one is to get some impartial eyes in and then when we get the real facts decide the just legal strategy.

During the second meeting, we had to vote on the tax rate for the coming fiscal year. As I discussed previously, the option presented by the mayor was to raise taxes by a certain amount (3 mils). The council could then accept that amount, raise taxes more, raise taxes less, or raise taxes not at all.

We opted to go with the 3 mils proposed by the mayor but it looks like we're going to reject other parts of his proposed budget when the remainder of the budget comes up for a vote on September 13.

The meeting began with public comments from workers who are being laid off. They were rightfully devastating in their reflections on how city leadership is handling their livelihoods. I'm disappointed that the mayor chose not to attend to hear the people in this part of the process.

We then moved into a discussion about the proper tax rate. As I've said before, we have reached a point where we had to raise the tax rate in order for the city not to hit junk bond status. There was some consideration of raising the tax rate above the 3 mils proposed by the mayor but we didn't for two reasons: 1.) The negative effects and burden on the people of Jackson and on our ability to attract new businesses/residents outweigh the positives of having more to spend in the short run; and 2.) a majority of council members believe that if you give the current administration one dollar more than the minimum they need for operations right now, they will squander it. That's just where we are.

Frankly, over the last week, a curtain has been pulled back into how things are really working at city hall. Two weeks ago, I was arguing for 4 mils. Last night, I argued for 3 mils and more cuts. For the next 10 days we need to get rid of more fluff and put in place some objective oversight and benchmarks or we'll be in the same place next year needing to cut millions and with no savings.

Kingfish note: Bad news.  Anna Wolfe is gone on vacation this week.   Here are some excerpts of her report on the meeting:

Three law firms and one sole practitioner hoping to be hired to defend Jackson against a sexual harassment lawsuit involving Mayor Tony Yarber made presentations to the City Council on Friday.

Firms Adams and Reece; Phelps Dunbar; Bradley Arant Boult Cummings; and lawyer Sam Begley appeared before the council.  Rest of the article.

 Tuesday should be fun as the council will make a decision on retaining outside counsel.


Hand Me The Remote.. said...

Who, among the storied residents of Jackson, The City, does Priester think reads his Facebook posts? Or, for that matter, who does he think watches council meetings or the news unless its on BET?

Been There said...

"Tuesday should be fun as the council will make a decision on retaining outside counsel."

Are any of them minority owned firms? Usually black attorneys represent black plaintiffs in civil litigation against white employers and others. This will indeed be interesting.

Anonymous said...

I read and enjoy Councilman Priester's Facebook posts. They are well thought out and give a good explaination. Seems to me the Council could hire a well experienced attorney in city business and in defending sexual harassment cases for less than the other firms would cost. What the devil does race have to do with answering. Why would "black" most likely defend "black" and "white" defend "white"? Talk about segregation! Go with experience balanced with cost. I have utilized the solo practitioner and his dogged research saved us several hundred thousand. I believe he just defended a high-profile Jacksonian in a case that received a great deal of press and got the case dismissed. He works faster than any attorney we have ever dealt with. Yes, I am a citizen of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:11 PM, please share the name of the solo practitioner who does such a great job and is apparently reasonable as well. I am pleased that you have received such great service. This is a serious question and a serious answer would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Kenny said...

Looks like the minority mayor hasent did such a good job ???

Anonymous said...

Um, why don't we just fired Dirk Diggler and let him bankroll his own attorney(s)? After all, Wells Fargo zapped his mortgage therefor he should have some extra cash to burn.

Anonymous said...

@12:31 Do you even know who is representing the Plaintiff in the sexual harassment suit? She is represented by Louis Watson and Nick Norris, not minority attorneys. The City is hiring experience, not based upon race.

Yo Honuh, My Client Jess Horny.. said...

Replying to 1:11....

A 'well experienced attorney in city matters' will not be worth a dime in a sexual harassment lawsuit. Poking the help is not a 'city matter'. Apparently you've never been near the EEOC or a federal employment law charge, hearing or lawsuit. But, thanks for reading Priester's Facebook page.

I've already answered your question regarding what race has to do with the matter. Black attorneys, several on every street corner, are always chomping at the bit to take up an EEOC 'right to sue' case and sue a white owned business for imaginary sexual or racial harassment. It will be tough indeed to find a black attorney (Priester's focus) to defend the city in this case. But, the city has a choice to make: Either hire a black attorney or hire an attorney capable of saving the city a little money in this sordid tale of obvious guilt.

Anonymous said...

For 2:32
Exerpted from the Clarion-Ledger:
"Firms Adams and Reece; Phelps Dunbar; Bradley Arant Boult Cummings; and lawyer Sam Begley appeared before the council.
"If he did something wrong, if he did something that's harassing, that's outside the scope of his job, you would think the city, through its governing authorities, would want to separate itself from any wrongdoing," Begley said.
Begley said it's typical for law firms to charge $300 an hour in cases of this type. Considering the client is the city, Begley said, he likely would lower his fee to around $200 per hour from $250."

You Will Never Win The Street Sign Test said...

4:11 - Nobody claimed all attorneys who represent black plaintiffs are black lawyers. The suggestion made is that all black lawyers who are involved in EEO type (usually bogus) lawsuits are generally on the side of plaintiffs. These cases that start in the EEOC arena are always cases where the defendant has to prove his innocence.

Try to keep up with the convo.

Anonymous said...

Priester does all of Jackson a service with his updates. We in Ward 1 hear nothing from Ashby Foote.

Anonymous said...

So if I, an Anglo, need to hire an attorney for EEOC, I should seek out a black attorney? This seems strange to me. What if they were Asian or Native American or from Australia. Do you honestly think only black attornies should represent people in EEOC cases? I would hire the one recommended to me. Don't think their race would even occur to me when I checked them out.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure this was covered somewhere before but can someone help my ignorance out here. Preister is a city councilman and a judge? How is he allowed to hold positions in two govt branches - legislative and judicial. Just cause one is with the county and one is with the city it seems since the city is in the county there would be too much overlap. Can the constitutional law experts throw me a bone?

Anonymous said...

8:14 Melvin V. Priester Sr. is a judge and Melvin V. Priester Jr. is a councilman. They are two different people.

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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.

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