Saturday, July 21, 2018

Zoo Cuts Paychecks

The Jackson Zoo's woes continued this week as it struggles to stay afloat.  WAPT reported yesterday that employees paychecks and hours were cut:

Meanwhile, JJ obtained through a public records request a copy of the correspondence between the Jackson Zoo and the Mayor's office.  Page 6 is particularly interesting to read. 

There is no way to spin this spout of bad news. People simply are not going to the Zoo. Attendance was 76,597 at the end of June 2017. However, it fell to 60,539 visitors at the end of June 2018.  The June attendance alone was 2,492 visitors fewer than it was a year ago.  

Simply put, no one is stepping up to help the Zoo.   Jackson city officials protest loudly over moving the zoo yet are silent about actually helping the zoo.  The county attempted to help the zoo but the funds sit in lala land even though the City Council approved the interlocal agreement between the city and the county.  No Jackson community leaders have come forward to help the zoo although quite a few of them have beat their chests and shrieked over a possible move.  As usual, they are great at complaining but not so great at fixing problems.   The people are voting with their feet as well.  Perhaps people should stop asking if the Zoo will move and instead ask if there will even be a zoo to move and that my friends, is the bottom line. 


Anonymous said...

Free the animals, bulldoze the site, fire the staff, and burn the files. Adios.

Anonymous said...

Jackson has no real need for a zoo. They simply cannot afford one.
From reading the news it looks like there is enough animals roaming the streets.

Paul Mitchell said...

I'm pretty sure that the zoo could survive if it were moved to Rankin or Madison County. I'm also pretty sure that the powers that be in Jackson would rather see the zoo fail.

I've some great memories of going to the zoo, but that was almost thirty years ago. Oddly enough, I feel the same way about the Mississippi State Fair or concerts at the coliseum.


Anonymous said...

Seems like the city would rather the Zoo close than be moved.

Anonymous said...

Lots of talk, no action. Typical of most politicians, but especially the losers elected in Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Deliver a truckload of animals to city hall.

Starting at 10AM Monday morning, and repeat every two hours.

Repeat until an emergency meeting is called.

Wait for the results of the special meeting.

If no resolution, resume deliver of the animals to city hall.

Anonymous said...

City legal department: where things go to die. Shameful that the zoo has been waiting since 2016 on a county contribution because of legal department bureaucracy. Who's in charge of the people working for the city? THE MAYOR. DO YOUR JOB MR MAYOR.

Antard said...

Jackson admin is so incompetent. They are ignorant jackasses.
Jackson is in a deep state of lost.

Anonymous said...

Please, someone put the zoo out of it's misery!

Anonymous said...

Didn't the City Council give a 90 day notice to the zoological society back a couple of months ago? I expect the zoo to fold when the time is up. It's a shame how low Jackson has sunk that the administration would rather kill the zoo than let it move locations.

Anonymous said...

Just shut the zoo down and get those poor animals out of there and to a better place. Just about anyplace would have to be better.

Anonymous said...

Cities that ARE zoos don’t NEED zoos.

Anonymous said...

Paul Mitchell, if you are so sure then why aren't either Madison or Rankin writing a check for $100 plus million to build a zoo? Probably more, but $100M would start a small one.

No, Rankin nor Madison could support a new, built from scratch, zoo. Cities that have had a nice zoo for years are still spending those kind of dollars to just keep them up to participate with the competition.

Rankin has the Yogi Park - and Madison has the great lake up north. A new zoo in either county would be just as much a waste as the current Jackson zoo.

Anonymous said...

No, Jackson is the most radical city on the Planet!!
Just ask LaDumba, he'll tell you that it is.
And, and, and, it's the damn white man's fault, not his, or his Daddy's, possibly Yarber's or Johnson's, but, definitely the White Man.
He is less than an empty suit, or empty chair. He's not even a decent imitation of Al Sharpton.
All you white people that voted for this moron have only yourselves to blame.

Anonymous said...

The time has come to show some real leadership, be responsible and quit flushing money down the toilet, a zoo is an extravagance for a city like Jackson that can’t even provide basic services.

Anonymous said...

Poff has to resign at this point. She was brought in years ago for her fundraising prowess. It's obvious she hasn't been able to produce results... for the last ten years. I would have more wiggle room if she was just brought in, but the truth of the matter is, she's been here for a long time, had a chance, and failed. A few years ago, she authorized 6 digits of marketing that, to my knowledge, didn't really do anything. She effectively threw good money after bad. Poff, resign.

Next, to all my neighbors here calling for the zoo to be closed, I ask you to think about the employees here. Go down there at talk to the keepers. 80% of them are from out of state, are highly educated and experienced, and, for the most part, live within the city limits, pay rent and taxes, and are proactive members of the community. If we close the zoo, that's 20 college educated, tax, rent, and bill paying families we've let move to another state.

Finally, Major Choke needs to get his office in order. I'm absolutely tired of hearing about these agreements that are just sitting on that jackass's table. Hinds Co. gives the city $40,000 for employee pay, and it sits on that jackass's desk for months, now they're cutting people's pay. It's just unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

If a movie theatre can't survive in Jackson, a zoo probably won't either. It's a safety thing, not a racial issue. So put a fork in the zoo; it's done.

Anonymous said...

Nobody wants to take their family to the zoo anymore. Travel through the “combat zone” puts them in too much danger. The city might as well go ahead and shut it down so that the animals can be sent somewhere they can be properly cared for.

Anonymous said...

9:52 - DAMN IT< get over it. The zoo is not a JOBS program, designed to provide jobs for you, your friends, or those "professionals" you are so worried about. The reason that the City of Jackson puts a Million dollars a year into it; the state generally puts one or two million a year; and evidently the county has been trying to pour our tax dollars from there into it as well IS NOT TO TAKE CARE OF THOSE KEEPERS - highly educated and experienced as they (may or may not) be. If they are good, they can get a job elsewhere but the purpose of the zoo is not to make sure they keep their job.

Hell, it appears that you must be planning on running for the Jackson City Council - or the MS legislature - with this kind of thinking.

No, the zoo was created to provide an educational/entertainment venue for a paying public to enjoy. The jobs - from these highly educated and experienced keepers you are concerned about - are a result and a creation of the zoo, but not the purpose. Take your Democratic mindset back to the council chambers and get out of this, and future, discussions. If you want to make an argument for taxpayer support of the zoo, at least come to the table with an argument that focuses on the program, not worried about those sucking the tits created by it.

In the meantime - I hope that the ILA that has been languishing in the Mayor's offices, or those of his staff - stays there. Damn, he should be getting the dozens of ILAs off his desk that deal with spending county money on the needed infrastructure throughout the city, but this particular one should die on the vine - no need to pour more money into this dry well.

If the county money were transferred, it would only help cover the overdrafts, the past dues, and the multiple debts that Poff and crew have allowed to develop. With a $300k overdraft, along with the misspent bond money of close to the same amount, these county dollars would not make a dent and the impending closure of the zoo would not be postponed by as much as a day. Save those tax dollars and use them for other needed projects - in the meantime, stick a fork in this one; its done.

Anonymous said...


"If they are good, they can get a job elsewhere"

Which is out of state. The last time I checked, Mississippi was trying to *avoid* the brain drain, not encourage it.

"The jobs - from these highly educated and experienced keepers you are concerned about - are a result and a creation of the zoo, but not the purpose"

You do know that those keepers are the educators in the zoo, right? They take care of the animals and educate the guests and students that go to the zoo.

If you're okay with the brain drain, want to encourage it by forcing the professionals to get jobs out of state, and continue it by cutting off educational opportunities for Mississippi's students, just say so.

Grab a knife and cut the attitude; you haven't thought this through.

Anonymous said...

No 759, I have thought thru this. The brain drain you refer to is not solved by the pouring 9f millions of dollars in tax money in order for a few 'professionals' - be they efucators, keepers, cage cleaners, or whatever employed. By your tgeory, the city and state should just go hire people at any cost if they have a skill - be tgat keeping caged animals or making buggy whips to beat the snimals. Just as buggy whip makers may have a unique talent, we don't need them anymore. And while they may be good people who at one time in the past decided to live here, keeping them here by subsidizing their jobs is not the purpose - and certainly not the priority of government.

There are plenty of trained lifeguards in the area and having public pools would be nice. But we can't afford to keep up and maintain the pools, so we don't need to keep the lifeguards on salary just because they are good people and trained in their field.

Yes, I will say it again - the public zoo is not a jobs program - for you or for the keepers. I'm sorry if you and your friends are going to have to find employment elsewhere. But using the jobs as the reason for keeping open the zoo makes no more sense than Jackson keeping open the Grove Park Golf Course that has so few people playing to pay that it can't afford to pay the professional thar cuts the fairways, much less the staff that manages the 'pro' shop.

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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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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.

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