Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Is Jackson broke?

The Jackson City Council and Mayor's office sparred Monday over whether the city is operating at a deficit with little reserves.  Anna Wolfe reported in the Clarion-Ledger yesterday (in a story that was buried on page three) :

Jackson officials believe the city’s budget could be in a state of crisis, but the mayor’s office has declined to produce current numbers.

Councilman Melvin Priester opened up a special meeting Monday morning with a direct question: Is it true that the city has spent all of its unencumbered general fund balance and $4 million of its emergency fund?

The city has yet to answer...

Mayor Tony Yarber initially asked the meeting be held so the administration could prep the council on various public works contracts, including the half-billion dollar consent decree program management contract the administration has recommended be awarded to AECOM.

“I don’t see how we move forward with even discussing the contract if we don’t know where we are in terms of our revenue and expenses and in particular, where we are in terms of our fund balance and our reserve balance,” said Councilman Tyrone Hendrix. “Maybe we can’t afford to pay for it if we don’t know where we are.”

When Priester called the meeting Thursday, he added a budget discussion onto the agenda and asked the city to produce numbers for the current fund balance and reserves. “Those are the terms on which this meeting was agreed to,” Priester said after Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Marshand Crisler told the council that he was advised by the mayor not to discuss questions regarding the budget...

It’s my understanding that the mayor has known for at least several weeks at this point that we have used up all of our fund balance. We have zero fund balance left, and we have a reserve deficit of approximately $4,187,367,” Priester said. “If the mayor wants to continue to ostrich, that’s on him. We need to know how much money we have in our reserve. We need to be able to have good information that the council has been requesting for months at this point.”

In a statement, Yarber said he requested a separate meeting to address the budget issue at length. The meeting the council set Monday, Yarber said, conflicted with the Rankin-Hinds Flood Control meeting he had to attend.

“While it would appear some council members are in campaign mode, the administration is focused on the numerous paving projects that have begun in the city of Jackson. We wanted to update the council on those projects and the impact the work will have on citizens and the community. We will not allow our road work progress to be overshadowed by political ploys attempting to shift the conversation. Of course, the administration will provide the requested budget information to council. We have been forecasting the city’s budget concerns for the past two years,” Yarber said in his statement....
Ms. Wolfe obtained a copy of the memo and published it in an additional story published yesterday as well.   Ms. Wolfe reported:

The memo, dated May 2, indicates that in closing out FY 2015, the city used all $6,990,031 of its fund balance, which the city may spend freely, plus $4,187,367 of its emergency reserve fund. That leaves the city with about half of what it should have in reserves....

 By law, the city is required to keep 7.5 percent of its general fund in a reserve, but the memo from Michelle Battee-Day, the Director of Administration, recommends that the fund balance requirement be lowered to 3 percent.

Council members say the administration did not provide them this memo....

Meanwhile, the media went into a sudden frenzy last night when word got around that Representative Mark Baker (R-Green Acres) was drafting a bill that would um, give the state the power to appoint a conservator if one is ever needed.  WLBT reported: 
Representative Mark Baker is currently drafting legislation that would grant Governor Phil Bryant direct control over Jackson's city government.

This would be similar to what Michigan Governor Rick Snyder had over the city governments of Detroit and Flint through the appointment of Emergency Managers.

When we spoke to Baker he said the legislation had not yet been drafted but, “I’m working on it.This is something I’m looking at.”

Governor Bryant said that he was unaware of the legislation.

"I don't see any universe in which I would takeover responsibility for the City of Jackson," he told us.

Kingfish note: Sigh.  I will simply repost what I wrote last year when the city council adopted a budget:

 The problem is except for Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote, no one on the city council has owned or operated a business.  They are thinking not like liberals or conservatives but people who have been in government their whole lives and do not know what to do.  Well, the Kingfish is going to offer some suggestions in order to help them see things in a different way. 
There are basic functions a city government must provide: police, fire protection, water and sewer service, trash removal, and road maintenance.  Everything else is gravy.  It makes no sense to cut personnel in public works when everyone knows Jackson's infrastructure is falling apart while Jackson carries museums, gardens, and golf courses on its books.

 The City Council has been committing financial suicide for quite some time but the finances have gotten much worse ever since Chowke Lumumba became Mayor. Here are some reminders:

*Mayor Lumumba hiked the budget by 40%.  Part of the increase was to begin infrastructure projects BUT he managed to pour the government honey in other areas- such as his office.  Yup. Mayor Lumumba gave his office a $1 million budget increase so he could stuff the payroll with his cronies. 

*The city council instituted an increase in minimum wage for city employees even though revenues were flat.  If you pay them, the money will come.  Great slogan for the city council's mindset.

*The loss of businesses such as Puckett Machinery.  All Puckett wanted was some curb cutouts for its facilities on Highway 80.  Mayor Harvey Johnson couldn't even return the phone calls for help.  Sources say the city lost sales tax revenue that was over a million dollars. That is just one business.

 *The city council budget.  The city council operates the city clerk's office.  The city council made sure all council members had a full-time assistant and made them employees under the city clerk.  The clerk's office has not one but TWO policy analysts.  The city council has steadily increased the number of employees and the budget of the city clerk with no regard for paying for this honeypot.
*Then there are the collections in public works.  Mr. Foote said the city was collecting water/sewer fees that were $20 million short of what they should be.  The Raftelis report focuses on Jackson's mismanagement of this basic service.  This little fact ties into....

*The city council abolished the reconnect fees for water and sewer service.  If your cable, cellphone, or electric services are stopped, you have to pay a reconnect-fee in order to re-establish service.  It acts as an additional incentive to pay the bill on time.  Jackson removed that fee after Ms. Stokes threw a tantrum over it so Jackson residents have one less incentive to pay their water bills on time. 

The city council should not look at furloughs nor layoffs but instead look at cutting whole departments.  Is each department one that the city should continue to operate and fund?  Want some suggestions? Here is a short list: 

*The Planetarium.  Give it to the Mississippi Museum of Art.  Its nice, its cute, its fun for the kids, but it is not making money for the city and it is an expense Jackson can not afford.  It is already part of the same building as the Museum.  Just give it to them and get it off of the books.
*Mynelle Gardens.  Its a beautiful place and has provided wonderful memories for many a bride.  However, the city can't really afford to operate or promote Mynelle Gardens. Give it to a non-profit organization or the state.   Get it off the books.

*The municipal golf course.  Jackson  makes little, if any money on the golf courses.  Parks and recreation are a proper function of government.  However, it is completely misguided when Jackson wastes money on a golf course used by few while it does not even have a dog park- something that is popular in most major cities.   The city actually has two public golf courses. The state operates another one at Lefluer's Bluff.  Jackson does not need three public golf courses. Period.

*The Municipal Art Gallery.  There are several museums in Jackson.  The city can not afford to operate the Municipal Art Gallery.  It doesn't have the resources to invest in it nor promote it. I love art.  I am a member of two museums.  Art has a very valuable place in society.  It should be used to enlighten and educate.  However, Jackson does not have the money to carry the gallery.  It is time to either shut it down or give the assets to the state and sell the building.  Get it off the books.

*The Jackson Zoo.  The burbs benefit from the Jackson Zoo and make no mistake, they put it on their list of amenities when they are recruiting businesses.  Its time to move the zoo from a city-operated zoo to one that is regional.  That means a regional board.  Jackson foots the bill for the zoo and makes up the shortfalls when the zoo needs the money.   The burbs should chip in for its operation.  However, the burbs will expect to play if they are paying.  That means a regional board of trustees overseeing the operation of the zoo although it should be weighted for population.  Jackson needs to take a long look at what it wants and what it can afford. 

*Capital Complex. The state wants it.  Give it to them.  Let the state maintain its own infrastructure for the capital complex.  The state can provide primary law enforcement while Jackson.  Charge the state a fee for the fire protection.  JPD will have a reduced area to cover.  Jackson can focus on providing services to other areas.  Get it off the books.  (Note: Well, the legislature killed that idea.)

The city council needs to get some spine and swing an axe at departments and programs that are not a part of a city government's core functions.  Mayor Yarber said the city was spending at a level for a population of 200,000 when getting revenue for a population of only 154,000.  Something has to change and it needs to change now. Layoffs and furloughs are a mild tonic compared to what really needs to be done.  The city council can either start some serious cutting or face a reckoning as Detroit faced. 

 However, this is a city council that hikes its own budget, raises the minimum wage for employees, raises the overall budget by 40%, abolishes the reconnect fees for water and sewer services, and keeps going down the path of financial suicide while it avoids accepting any responsibility.   They won't fix anything unless they are forced to look down the barrel of the deficit gun they loaded.  

 Pour into this gumbo of government gluttony the contract fiascos, the hendless bickering, and rookie mistakes made by the Mayor and City Council, and voila, here we are.  


Anonymous said...

What, we broke? But we are smart and we run things so well. And we do not waste money one grease up our friends! Why are we broke?

Hurry and get the airport before it is to late.

Jackson is done!!!! There is NO coming back from this crap hole situation they are in because no one in the 80% black community has the guts or nuts to do what is right and stop the insanity.

it is sad day for the city.

Anonymous said...

In a perfect world, those ideas would be very good. However, this metro area (and State as a whole) has a huge problem, which is that absolutely no one can get along here. The result: instead of the City and the suburbs being able to work together on anything at all, Rankin County Republicans introduce unconstitutional bills to take over the airport, and Tate Reeves (also from Rankin County) defends the poison pill provision in the Capital Complex.

Now, Rep. Baker, also from Rankin County, wants the State to take over Jackson while the State languishes behind the rest of the Nation economically and can't even provide an accurate account of general fund revenues for the following year (off more than $58 million!). While the State is suffering from budget shortfalls, the Republican legislature aggravates the problem with tax cuts, and instead of tackling pertinent issues like infrastructure, they pass unconstitutional bills they know will be struck down by the Courts on constitutional grounds. Jackson may be a mess, but really, our State's leaders (many from neighboring Rankin County) have not proven themselves more well-equipped to tackle any of this City's problems.

I would love to see regional cooperation as far as the Zoo, the Planetarium, and the Capital Complex. In an environment where neighbors could grow up and get along, I would like to see a much greater level of cooperation than that. However, the suburbs have proven over and over again that is not something they are interested in.

My final point is this: I don't know what the solution to Jackson's immense problems are, but don't act like extending an olive branch to our neighbors to the north and east (or the State) is the solution. They have made it clear they do not give a damn about our city.

Anonymous said...

The people of Jackson elect the people they want. They just happen to want crooked politicians. That should not come as a surprise. Crooked politicians have crooked friends. These friends need to be given gifts. Those gifts have to come from somewhere. The few tax payers left in Jackson will have to cough up more cash if they want to keep electing what they have decided they need.
It is very simple. Jackson will not change until it is forced to. The only choice there is to make is how far do the people of Ms. let them destroy the city before taking over.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting how you all think that a regional board for the Zoo is perfectly reasonable, but one for the airport is not.

Kingfish said...

My position is pretty consistent: Pay to play.

I support a regional wastewater authority as the "customers" as Willie Bell calls them have been paying millions of dollars into the system for years. They paid for it.

I said let the airport board change but each seat not appointed by the city of Jackson should carry a price tag.

As for a regional zoo, pay to play. If a regional board, then that means regional support, weighted for population or contributions.

Head In The Sand Spotted said...

9:59 throws a bucketful of red herrings, irrelevant issues and wet towels at the wall hoping one will stick. Meanwhile, he totally ignores the problem. It's become an acceptable practice to diffuse/ignore problems and deflect from serious discussions of doom by bringing up peripheral issues and screaming, "Wait, over there, LOOK, it's a zebra!"

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, you hit the nail on the head. Government has become about creating and giving jobs to cronies. Infrastructure is not maintained while money is spent on new stuff, that will also not be maintained.

People who get hired in these created jobs have families and friends that vote. Many of the elected do not have the ability or education to make a living in the private sector and cannot hold a job.

Notice how cities run by Democrats pay higher salaries to elected officials than cities run by Republicans?

Anonymous said...

As a 17-year resident of Jackson, this is the first I've heard of a municipal art gallery. Where is it?

Anonymous said...

Nobody is asking for no regional zoo and Jackson can't afford the zoo. Close it. Period. Don't spend another damn city dollar on the zoo.

Anonymous said...

There is only going to be ONE solution to the continued financial and socio-economic decline in the City of Jackson: The State Legislature through legislation will have to empower the Governor, or an appointed Board that answers to the Governor or Legislature, to dismiss/remove the Mayor and City Council, much like in Michigan with Detroit, and begin to fix/clean-up the financial debacle that is there.

It is simply a matter of time before this will become necessary. If not done, the firemen, police officers, public works employees, etc. will one Friday take their paychecks to the bank only to be told they can not cash them or give them any cash-back from them because of lack of sufficient funds. Direct-deposit employees will quickly receive notices from their banks that their direct deposit did not occur, or when attempted was rejected. Chaos will ensue.

Nothing short of a complete financial takeover by non-Jackson City elected officeholders can fix it. A complete top to bottom audit, review, and restructuring of all Jackson City finances, contracts, human resources, assets, liabilities, properties, equipment, etc. must occur and be properly allocated in order to ever even begin to think of restoring fiscal solvency and sanity to the municipality of Jackson, MS.

Anonymous said...

Anna Wolfe is hawt.

Anonymous said...

Dear 9:59 a.m.:

You said and I quote:

My final point is this: I don't know what the solution to Jackson's immense problems are, but don't act like extending an olive branch to our neighbors to the north and east (or the State) is the solution. They have made it clear they do not give a damn about our city.

I'd like to respond to this paragraph.

I lived in the City of Jackson for almost 43 years. I "gave a damn about the city". I HAD a large, lovely, affordable home in south Jackson. I didn't move out to the suburbs because I necessarily wanted to. Quite honestly, I was the wrong color to remain where I was. A state-of-the-art burglar alarm system couldn't keep crime out. My shotgun helped. I didn't have anywhere to shop. I had to go to Byram.

Pretty much like New Orleans, Kenneth Stokes and others wanted a primarily black city. They have one now; so pay for it. I suggest you call Kenneth, Mr. Stamps, Mr. Crisler, etc. and ask them how. No answer on those calls - imagine that.

Anonymous said...


It's like you want help but you stay with the wife beater.

Anonymous said...

Yarber is a crooked letter. JJ, just dig around a little.

Anonymous said...

Regional cooperation is great, I agree the metro area is missing a golden opportunity to develop a destination stop with a great zoo. How in the world does that work? It would have to be in a central location between Hinds, Rankin & Madison County's, do you see that happening? More over who has the money Madison has issues with the Parkway debt and Jackson has no money.

The Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia is a top 10 zoo. It took South Carolina Electric and Gas to provide the property on the Broad River, the city of Columbia, Lexington, Lexington County and Richland County. Along with hundreds of corporate sponsors. Today they are finishing a new expansion and updates at a cost of $34M. From the beginning total cost on the high side of $100M+.

This could be done in metro Jackson but man would it be on hell of a task.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 11:11. I think Jackson will wind up declaring bankruptcy and the state will have to intervene. This will happen much sooner than later. Jackson has depleted its general fund and its reserves. Without fiscal responsibility and management, Jackson will go under.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really think Feel Bryant has any more administrative skills than Yarber? Does anyone really think that our current state leadership is doing much better?

Anonymous said...

Yes to both questions 4:57 PM.

Anonymous said...

For kicks I went to the JFP site a week ago and found an article about the Water and Sewer debacle. Even a JFP reporter couldn't defend the fact that they cannot find the money! They raised our rates through the roof but now...we can't find the money!

See the similarities with Detroit? If not, you're blind!

Just a matter of time before the Chapter 9 filing. And I welcome it. The only way any sanity will be restored. Bond rating for Jackson if not already will soon be junk category.

When you elect clowns, why are you surprised that you get a clown show.

Yea, I live here and regret hourly I did not leave when I had the chance. Now I am stuck.

Anonymous said...

1:02 PM nailed it. When you run your tax base off what did you think would happen?

Anonymous said...

Yes KF, they are broke. They can't even find their massive fee increase for the water and sewer system:

And this is a story by DL's fellow travelers.

Anonymous said...

Broke? You mean, like Pearl?

Nineteen Store Fronts said...

11:07 - Google Jackson MS Municipal Art Gallery for photos, history and directions. Be careful and drive your oldest vehicle.

Anonymous said...

Bankruptcy and conservatorship are the next milestones for the ol' Capital J.

Anonymous said...

The City of Jackson without question is on the verge of total collapse. There seem to be a conspicuously large number of homes for sale in Northeast Jackson. Mine soon will be as well. Likely I'll lose a bundle on it if I can sell it at all. That's OK. I'm ready to simply abandon it if necessary. I tried to stay with Jackson and maintain hope that things would change. After multiple shootings and burglaries in my Northeast Jackson neighborhood, having to repair a vehicle from just trying to drive around town, and after multiple nonsensical incidents with the water department, I'm done. These fools can have it. Maybe they'll elect Stokes mayor next and at least put everyone out of their misery more quickly. Goodbye, Jackson. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

I completely understand both those who say why would the state want to take over Jackson AND those who say the state government is no better, so how would that help.

But there's really no hope for Jackson at this point without some type of major intervention. When Congress took over the District of Columbia years ago, many members of that oversight committee were from Maryland and Virginia - the DC region.

That's what the Legislature should do. Create a Jackson Oversight Committee made up of legislators from Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties. The state legislators from Jackson, with some obvious exceptions, are for the most part much more competent, thoughtful individuals than the idiots on the Jackson City Council. It sure as hell couldn't make anything worse.

Anonymous said...

Municipal bankruptcy is not a legal option in Mississippi. Quit harping about it.

Anonymous said...

9:59 it's not that we can't get along, the jackson city council, mayor and other city administrators don't want to get along with any groups, that are white that is. They said it years ago, they wanted an all black city. This is the very idea the civil rights movement marched and protested against. The champions of "your" people, MLK, Evers, etc would be ashamed of your deliberate discrimination

Anonymous said...

2:37 AM - actually they can if granted permission by the MS Legislature -see See
H.B. 1616, 2006 Reg. Sess. (Miss. 2006). In the case of Jackson I would think it would be a no-brainer. I doubt seriously legislators from other parts of Mississippi want to have their constituents contribute their tax dollars to fix what is clearly the incompetence of Jackson city leadership. Let them file Chapter 9 and a federal trustee appointed. Not one dime of MS taxpayer money should be spent to fix what is clearly the mismanagement of local elected leaders.

Easy fix - move the Capital. Many states have moved their capital city over the years. Stick it out in a cow pasture and build from scratch. Then the rules and regs can that govern the Capital can be written and enforced without local interference. Also a hell of a building program.

Anonymous said...

All discussions about the efficiencies of regionalization invariably lead back to the inconvenient truth that Jackson's interpretation of the concept assumes from the outset that the goals of Jackson will be of primary importance and those of all other metro municipalities will be secondary. Jackson has absolutely nothing to offer a regional approach to governance.

Anonymous said...

I am reluctant to post comments however setting on the fence is no longer an option. While I am utterly disgusted with City Hall, and I equally disturbed with persons that reside outside of Jackson complaining about issues that plague this city.

For starters, Jackson, Madison, Rankin and every other municipality in the State and Country will face or are facing infrastructure related problems due to aging. We assume pointing a finger doesn't return three in our own direction.

The Mayor of Jackson is a failure but so are individuals in the legislature. The State of Mississippi has failed for years and everyone turns a blind eye. While the issues are not germane to any party affiliation it is not worthy that the lines are always drawn around the party in power.

Let us all stop all the bickering and develop real solutions to advance this Great State. This State of Mississippi will continue falling behind if common sense solutions are not brought into fruition.

Taking the airport will not fix the financial woes of the State of Mississippi nor will it return Southwest Airlines to the City. Who is flying to Mississippi anyway? What would happen if the Federal Government decided it needs to takeover the State of Mississippi? I guess the name calling would cease.

We all need to grow up and push to make a difference. There is problem is all communities throughout the country. Mississippi should not be a poster child for everything bad.

Anonymous said...

Some state has to be in last place. Ms. is so good at it. Could be because of all the practice we get.

Anonymous said...

Yes Jackson is broke. They don't have any money either.

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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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