Saturday, October 5, 2019

Priester Speaks!

Jackson Ward 2 City Councilman Melvin Priester, Jr. provided more information on Jackson's water/sewer billing fiasco:

There's been some confusion about the two transactions approved by the council yesterday and so I'm going to take a stab at trying to clear some of it up.

With regards to borrowing $41million to do infrastructure work. We're borrowing against the income we receive from the 1% sales tax revenue to front load work now. We get approx. 14million/year in income from the 1%. The loan will be paid off from the stream of money from the 1% sales tax. Hypothetically, we could borrow three to four times more but that would mean that down the road, every dollar that came in on the 1% would have to be spent on paying off what was borrowed now, therefore tying hands of future officials. Instead, we're borrowing a lump sum now to kickstart some work and spread it around the City. Then, going forward, some of the future 1% revenue will be used to pay back the loan we'll be taking out now and the rest will be available to do future projects identified at that time. This is a very low risk transaction because we've got a clear and committed revenue stream to repay it.

In terms of selecting the projects, the mayor and the council will be having meetings to collaboratively select projects.

Using the 1% funds to proceed in this manner is something that has been envisioned and included in the legislation allowing this sales tax in the first place. The fight has been over how much or how little to borrow. I'm glad we've come to a consensus.

With regards to borrowing $7 million to work on water/sewer billing issues. The hold up there (and the source of compromise) was over making sure there is transparency and oversight in spending the money. What we will be doing is having a special, water-sewer ad-hoc committee meeting before any contract is let using these funds. One thing people seem to gloss over is that this transaction we're approving is more like taking out a line of credit. We're not borrowing $7 million today, we're opening a line of credit that we can draw on as necessary. If there is no need to take out all $7 million, great, we take out less and pay less back. If revenue is better in water-sewer, that will decrease the need to borrow. Interest only accrues on what is actually drawn out (just like a home equity line of credit). All that was done yesterday is setting the process in motion. I'm not particularly pleased with having to be in this position, but I definitely know that specific tasks need to be done, these tasks require money, and the water-sewer department is not generating enough money to pay for the repairs needed to resuscitate itself.


Anonymous said...

If it’s a line of credit and there is no need then don’t borrow it

Anonymous said...

If larger than expected sums roll in and smaller than expected sums roll out, and if there are no surpises then instead of drawing down that home equity line of credit Jackson could be in the position of actually putting money into the bank instead of taking it out!

Instead of paying interest Jackson could be earning interest!

Strange and unexpected things have happened in the past.

As the great Bill O Reilly once said:

"I'll tell you why it's not a scam. In my opinion, all right? Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can't explain that."

Anonymous said...

Realizing I have $73 available credik on my VISA, Ima head straight to the drive thru at Wendy's for burgers and then swing through Popeyes too.

Anonymous said...

Someone could make some money here: 1. Loan the city money for the water system. 2. Take said water system and the legal ability to operate it separate from the city as security for the loan. 3. They WILL default. 4. Obtain judgment and take water system from the city and start operating it. 5. Bill people for their water and make them start paying. 6. Make profit and deliver water to citizens.

Anonymous said...

Priester used to be refreshingly honest but over the last year plus he's turned into an outright apologist. A very smart and well spoken apologist but an apologist nonetheless. He now spends most of his time trying to convince us that the brown stuff on our shoes is mud, not shit.

Anonymous said...

All of the above comments from 11:45 pm to 10:17 am prove why reading comprehension is a problem in Mississippi.

The "examples" above, in particular, are just ridiculous...they are called " false equivalencies".

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Seems to me that $7 million should be be added to the damages sought in the Siemens,, lawsuit. I would also think the contractors who work to straighten out this boondoggle could offer expert testimony, much like a treating physician is often the best expert witness to a plaintiff's injuries (if they're willing to actually offer an opinion on causation). If I were on the city's legal team, I'd definitely want to talk to anyone who works Jackson's water/sewer billing system.

Anonymous said...

If the City needs money, perhaps you should consider sending out water bills. I haven't seen a bill in five months.

Anonymous said...

7:39 A.M., I applaud your planning ability. Passing by Wendy's, first, will provide you with something to eat-on, while waiting to access Popeye's drive-thru facilities, as the latter activity could require several hours to complete.

A couple of weeks back, on one of those 100-degree days, Heading South on I-55, through 'The FFNEJ' (Formerly Fashionable Northeast Jackson), on my way to the gym formerly known as 'The Courthouse', we happened to look down onto West Frontage Road. There was a long line of cars - blocks long - maybe a quarter-mile long... The kind of line you just don't see in Jackson, anymore. "Must be some big event", my companion mused. And it WAS! The line led to the drive-thru window at Popeye's. I assume Popeye's had issued some hella coupons, for something delicious. And nothing exemplifies Mississippi values more, than sitting in an idling car for two solid hours, with the AC on blast, in order to receive a half-price bucket of Cajun Rice. Economic principles like that, are why Mississippi will always be Number One.

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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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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.

Note: Security provided by INS