Friday, July 21, 2017

Flexing the muscle?

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba nominated himself and newly-minted Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Robert Blaine to the 1% Sales Tax Commission.  He also said he expected the Greater Jackson Chamber of Commerce to give him it's four appointments to the Commission as well.

The City Council approved the two appointments.   Previous Jackson Mayors Tony Yarber and Chokwe Lumumba served as Chairmen of the Board.  Councilman Aaron Banks pointed out that the Mayor's father reached an agreement with the Chamber four years ago to allow the Mayor to appoint the four Commissioners reserved for the Chamber.  This agreement gave him seven appointments on the ten-member Commission.  However, no such agreement was made in writing.  Mayor Lumumba said the agreement was "the sweetener" for his father to promote the tax increase.

Mayor Lumumba said "we want to revive that (agreement)." (4:20 in video).   He said the previous administration did not "carry out" the agreement.

Kingfish note: Councilman DeKeither Stamps repeatedly attacked the Commission during the discussion.  He accused the Commission of overreaching, getting into "the weeds", and overstepping its authority. He wanted to know why this board was treated differently than other boards where city officials serve such as the Central Mississippi Planning & Development District (CMPDD).

Well, Mr. Stamps, why don't you try doing something basic such as..... reading.  The Commission was established by the legislature.  Try actually reading the bill.  It spells out the responsibilities and duties.  CMPDD is comprised of multiple cities and counties.  Jackson has a seat at the table but there are many seats at the CMPDD table.  Such entities are defined by their enabling legislation. 

Mr. Stamps wasn't done but then clawed into the Commission.  He  barked that the Commission has been  "allowed to overreach (6:40). That does not include picking  a street or picking a ditch..... We need to push back all the way.... Choosing contractors? That is not what they are supposed to be doing."

Strong stuff. However, Mr. Stamps is simply not telling the truth.  The Commission has never picked a contractor.  Period.  All contractors for 1% projects were chosen by the Administration and Public Works Department.  The contract for a project manager was submitted to the Commission in 2015 by Mayor Tony Yarber.  He chose IMS to be the project manager.  The Commission approved it since it spent 1% funds and then the City Council approved it.  The contract (IMS Engineers) was not renewed for 2017.   This is yet again another example of a disturbing pattern of comments by Mr. Stamps.  He constantly makes wild claims or bogus charges from his seat at the Council that have no basis in fact.  One must wonder if he is a serial liar or perpetually ignorant.

What would such a discussion be without the Ward 3 City Councilman? The esteemed Kenneth Stokes said (5:00) it was "my understanding they are trying to hoodwink and place someone else as Chairman."  That is simply not true.  The Mayor or his appointee is the Chairman.  No one has tried to replace him.  The previous Mayor did not show up for meetings and did not call any meetings after he lost on election day.  The Vice-Chairman, Duane O'Neil of the GJCC, simply called a work session so the Commission could continue its duties when a defeated Mayor took his ball and went home.  In other words, he stepped up to the plate when there was a dereliction of duty, nothing more or less.  This statement by Stokes is simply more of the misinformation that has been spread on the street about the Commission.  Don't take my word for it.  The videos for the meeting for the last year or so are on this website.  Watch for yourself.  Mr. Stokes should read the legislation before he shoots off at the  mouth yet again.  He should also learn the roles of Chairman and Vice-Chairman. 

 However, what is interesting is Mayor Lumumba wants the Chamber's seats on the Commission.  It is rather interesting.  These politicians all say Jackson needs jobs.  Jackson needs businesses.  Jackson needs more tax revenue.  Jackson needs to grow its economy.  However, this is just one more example of how the politicians tell the business community to sit down and shut up whenever it things really matter.  They aren't interested in what the business community thinks or has to say.  It simply wants their money and the right to tell it what to do. 

It is also rather unfortunate that no one else on the City Council challenged these remarks and simply let them pass as unvarnished truth into the record.  Keep in mind that Mr. Stamps nor any of his colleagues have attended any Commission meetings until last month.   However, Jackson is too often served by loudmouths instead of leaders.  

Jackson's best days took place when the business community and political leaders worked together.  A shame no one sitting in the City Council chambers learned that lesson.  


Burke said...

The Chamber made a one-time deal in order to secure the Mayor's vote. It was not a deal intended to bind the Chamber once the vote had been taken.

Regardless, I am dismayed by the current Mayor's attempted power grab. As for Stamps and Stokes, their ignorance is so obvious that they will never have any dangerous amount of credibility.

Anonymous said...

10:14 -- How could you be "dismayed" by the power grab? Just wait, you ain't seen nutin' yet. Hang on this is going to be a rough ride.

Kingfish said...

Supposedly some of them are freaked out and saying Jonathan Lee is trying to make himself the Chairman. Can't happen. First of all, Mr. O'Neill is the Vice-Chairman. Second of all, the LAW states that the Mayor's appointee is the Chairman and the legislature isn't going to go pass a law over something so minute. § 27-65-241 of the Mississippi Code states:

8(e) The mayor of the municipality shall designate a chairman of the commission from among the membership of the commission. The vice chairman and secretary shall be elected by the commission from among the membership of the commission for a term of two (2) years. The vice chairman and secretary may be reelected, and the chairman may be reappointed.

Anonymous said...

Lets give Antar the benefit of the doubt until he screws up. The chamber isnt going to turn over their appointments to the mayor so everyone can fuss all they want. This is Antars first test to see if he can lead or not. The 1% commission will spell out what to do and if the mayor cant get it implemented by the city then we can complain.

Kingfish said...

Fair point. Every candidate says stuff during a campaign. Now he is in office, is seeing the books for the first time, and has to make decisions. He is putting his administration together right now so I suspect much of this is part of the learning curve.

Now Stamps on the other hand, he has no excuse.

Anonymous said...

Stamps is an arrogant windbag convinced every thought or idea that comes out of his mouth, no matter how ridiculous or inaccurate, is the gospel. He and Stokes are cut from the same cloth, but while Stamps at least tries to conduct himself with a modicum of decency, Stokes is just a vulgar, low-class demagogue who fuels racism and hate. Both of them are hurting the City more than they care to know. It will be interesting to see how Second Coming deals with these two.

Anonymous said...

Someone wake Ashby up for God sakes. Is he still picking up the 4000 signs he put out for Wicker's fundraiser?

Anonymous said...

DeKeither = perpetually ignorant... no need to wonder fish.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, the City Council, particularly Mr Stamps, has no idea how the commission works. Or once again Stamps is just race baiting and spreading what he knows to be false. It is impossible for the commission to determine who the president of the commission is; the statute is clear that's the mayor's decision period. Geees, these guys continue to show their ignorance. Even worse, their constituents don't know any better and continue to believe their ignorant comments. This is exactly why the legislature required the commission to begin with; they knew that most of the council is ignorant and doesn't know what they're doing or talking about.

Anonymous said...

The people of Jackson should not have reelected Stamps. Or Stokes. As long as the people of Jackson keep supporting and reelecting those idiots, then they should not complain.

Keith DeStamper said...

I guess this would be at least minimally interesting if I were (a) an employee at city hall who shuffles paperwork related to this commission, (b) someone who would like for some insane reason to be appointed, (c) A contractor or someone who has already served as a project manager more than five times, (d) Ben Allen, (e) Dwayne O'Neil or (f) somebody in the business of providing luncheon sandwiches and refreshments in the downtown area.'s real hard to imagine taking up this amount of blog space with this worthless, meaningless minutia.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile the sewer and water lines are rupturing daily.

The only way Jackson can afford to repeal and replace all sewer/water lines is with state or federal assistance.

This 1% isn't enough to pay for the gravel to cover the asphalt sinking in the holes

Anonymous said...

Thank you, 2:27. He doesn't initiate anything. He won't respond to anything. And those signs were embarrassing! Ward 1 needs representation, please! At least Stamps is passionate.

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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).

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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.

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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