Sunday, September 11, 2022

Wall Street Journal Blasts JXN Leaders for Water Woes

The Wall Street Journal editorial page blasted Jackson government for screwing up the water system but unlike the rest of the national media, did so after looking under the hood.  The editorial said: 
It’s inevitable these days that any urban calamity immediately becomes a progressive parable of systemic racism and “anti-government ideology,” as one columnist put it. That’s been the media spin after last week’s failure of a water treatment plant in Jackson, Miss., but the truth isn’t that simple. This is another local government failure of the kind that is becoming all too common in America’s cities....

Jackson’s water woes aren’t new. In 2014, 90% of city voters approved a one percentage-point increase in the sales tax in part to fund water and sewer repairs. In the past nine years, the city has allocated nearly $490 million from its capital budget to water and sewers—about $3,200 per resident. But much of the money hasn’t been well spent, and the city’s water problems have worsened. (KF note: The Commission doesn't use the tax to fund water/sewer repairs unless tied to a road project since water/sewer has a revenue stream while roads lack one.)

In the month before the flood, Jackson residents were under a boil-water notice—a frequent occurrence in the city—due to failed pumps at the Curtis plant. In April 2021, an electrical fire caused the plant to temporarily shut down, and a winter storm that year also interrupted the water supply for many residents for weeks. The city’s progressive mayor, Democrat Chokwe Lumumba, blames white state Republicans for not providing sufficient funding. 

Yet the state made available nearly $170 million in loans and grants from 2016 to 2021 for Jackson’s water and sewer infrastructure. Earlier this year, Mr. Lumumba grumbled when the state offered another $25 million from federal American Rescue Plan Act funds because lawmakers insisted on exercising oversight on how the money was spent. The state had good reason.

In March 2020, the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued an Emergency Administrative Order to Jackson citing conditions “that present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the persons served” by the water system. The city had “failed to perform filter maintenance” at both of its water treatment plants, EPA noted. Jackson residents say the city doesn’t respond to calls when pipes burst or sewage backs up in their homes.

The progressive media narrative is that Jackson’s problems are the inevitable result of whites fleeing the predominantly black city, resulting in a shrinking of the local tax base. But many blacks have been escaping too. Blame lousy schools and infrastructure and a homicide rate that is among the highest in the U.S. In any case, city revenue increased to $264 million from $242 million between 2018 and 2020. Yet the city’s water and sewage disposal system ran $27 million in operating deficits during that time.

Uncollected bills are one problem. Faulty meters installed under a $90 million contract with Siemens in 2013 have resulted in the city losing as much as $1.8 million a month, according to the Jackson Water Sewer Business Administration. In March 2020 as Covid hit, the state imposed a two-month moratorium on water shutoffs owing to unpaid bills. But the city maintained a moratorium until September 2021, which meant the city collected less money to fund repairs.

Jackson’s competence problems read like those in Detroit and Flint, Mich. State receiverships helped fix their chronic fiscal and management problems, and this is an idea worth considering for Jackson. Gov. Reeves has promised to cover half the costs of the repairs for the current crisis, but Jackson needs more help than money alone can provide.

 It appears someone actually took a peek at Jackson finances and the EPA order.  Some reporters could take lessons in how to cover such a story from this editorial. 


Anonymous said...

Amen WSJ, and their primary source of information was probably that provided by Kingfish in his recent posts

Anonymous said...

Amen and Amen! Just did not got far enough with the truth.

Anonymous said...

All the author(s) had to do was include citations and this could have appeared in the national news section, rather than on the editorial page.

I hope they do a followup on the environmental issues of massive, continuous releases of untreated wastewater into the city's neighborhoods and interstate waterways.

It's a relief to see that somebody is listening, instead of just repeating lies and BS.

Anonymous said...

Well done reporting. Perhaps others could actually investigate the FACTS before reporting False and Yes Fake News!

Anonymous said...

At last!

Anonymous said...

But…but…but racism!

Anonymous said...

Finally, the truth has been reported correctly instead of the garbage the fake news puts out. Thank you for the post Kingfish.

Anonymous said...

Gumflapper will, of course, counter that the White Street Journal is biased and racist and carrying Tate’s water.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Chowke: "The WSJ is a tool for the MAGA right wing gun carrying extremists who were responsible for January 6 and racist white flight."

Anonymous said...

About damn time. You don’t need scuba gear for this dive. Just scratch the surface.

Anonymous said...

Until people in northeast Jackson get their heads out of the sand, and speak up without the fear of being considered racist, this situation (plus property values) is going to continue to plummet.

Anonymous said...

Lost in this mess is the clear fact that you can give a big middle finger to the EPA without anyone being held accountable. They are the epitome of an empty suit federal agency.

Anonymous said...

Oh hell @5:33
I live in NE Jackson and these people are so afraid to speak up for fear of being seen as racists. It’s sad how they sit on there hands and apply
Constructive criticism and thoughts rather than tell it
Like it is.

Anonymous said...

But white Republicans…. It’s their fault!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, need a federal judge to do what Reeves did with the jail....dodo water has to violate some kinda right somewhere.

Anonymous said...

@5:33, precisely how are the “people from Northeast Jackson” supposed to fix this mess? A minority cannot elect a mayor.

Anonymous said...

“Jackson needs more help than money alone can provide.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

Anonymous said...

Exactly why you need to move out of there immediately.
You have no representation and never will.

Mrs. Eastover said...

Exactly why you need to move out of there immediately.
You have no representation and never will.

September 11, 2022 at 10:06 PM

Yup... I probably need to drag my old ass to St. Catherines... I just hate to see those tacky burglar bars adorn the face of my once very fashionable Eastover home. At least the Catholics up there will let us have wine. Episcopalians and Catholics are very similar in that regard.

Anonymous said...

No 10:06 Never say Never. The truth is apparent and so many people can see it, even people living in Jackson. The lies and deception is very costly and eventually enough people will tire of paying for liars and deceivers and change will come. It's slow but it's coming.

Mattie Ross said...

10:38 " Always figured you for some kind of a kneeler"....

Anonymous said...

You are dreaming. It will never improve. property values will ( continue) to further tank while you wait on it to “slowly” get better.
Are you from The Fondren?

Anonymous said...

Like Detroit, Jackson will have to hit bottom before it can rise again to its former greatness.

But not to fear, as it is just about there.

Anonymous said...

Great editorial. I only wish our local news stations had the gonads to challenge the one-dimensional narrative being put out by the woke MSM and our "alternative" local media to shield the Mayor from any criticism.

Krusatyr said...

@9:37 "How does NE Jxn fix this mess?"
Donate to a reasonable candidate for mayor. A possible candidate acting responsibly right now is, incredibly, Councilman Stokes. Maybe another will step up.

Strategically, a candidate should be calling out Lumumba for each of his lies and many failures, every day. Stokes is not hoodwinked by the mayor's worthless words and last week proposed and passed a spending rule to put all remaining 25M to 35M fed grant $ toward water/sewer infrastructure, deleting the mayor's pet projects like buying the old Batte Furniture Building.

Anonymous said...

Every day that passes Jackson get worse. A new record is set of the most poorly managed city in America. I thought a couple of years ago that things had hit bottom but still going down. I just the burning and looting will be next when all things of value are gone.

Anonymous said...

At least the WSJ isn't afraid to do the job KF and the rest of the local refuse to do.

Anonymous said...

I was in Detroit last week for work… that place has rebuilt completely. Of course the state took over and Dan Gilbert the billionaire poured millions and millions into it. None the less
Looks great and former parks where homeless people and drug addicts hung out
Called cass park not look like the district at Eastover. So yes that’s true about hitting
Rock bottom. I hope Chokwe ends up behind bars

Anonymous said...

The WJS editorial ( different from a news story) is accurate. But, only in one sentence does it hint at two factors which influenced the disasterous outcome.

The first is that politically, it was all about "potholes" in the not too distant past. And, there is no "fund" for that other than linking it to "water".

The second is the " conditions" attached. "Conditions" can be reasonable accounting controls or political power plays certain to result in refusal.

The State, County and City all have had their dirty hands in the water and a role in making it undrinkable. As do those of you who look at the dirty hands of one party and ignore the filth in your own.

And, as for the doomsayers, far worse things have happened to cities, including fires and earthquakes and bombs. They rebuild in time. It's the way of things. That you rejoice in the crisis and loss of fellow citizens tells me all I need to know about your have none.

Anonymous said...

9:28, I don't see anyone rejoicing. I really don't see anyone who cares much what NE Jxn does, to be fair.

I used to see friends react with great anger and dismay in the past, because they were sad that their voices were stifled, their property values plummeted, and the safe neighborhoods they loved growing up in and raising a family were handed over to the dope boys.

I don't know who you pal around with that is rejoicing, but everyone I know is simply somber and grateful to have left when Chuck or any one of the mayors of the last 20 years made it clear they should shut up and pay insane tax rates.

Anonymous said...

How many robberies and murders have taken place while we've focused on water?

Anonymous said...

September 12, 2022 at 9:28 AM, you sound as frustrated as a one legged man at an ass kicking contest.

You're striking out at everything, and everybody, like a wounded rattlesnake.

It seems to me you're angry that the job of mayor was just too big for the people that had the position. Your anger is misplaced. You should blame the responsible party.

What we do know for sure is that the mayor is no Harry Truman, the buck doesn't stop with him. He's too busy passing the blame for the buck to stop with him.

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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.

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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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