Saturday, October 1, 2022

Flashback: The Disappearing Revenue

Once upon a time, Jackson had a Mayor who was rather far-sighted.  Mayor Dale Danks began the O.B. Curtis plant construction project.  However, Mayor Danks did something else that is forgotten today. 

The Mayor instituted a $5 fee added to water bills to fund the construction of the plant.  Mayor Danks intended for the fee to remain in place so it could fund repairs and improvements to the Jackson water system. The surcharge generated approximately $2.6 million per year.   However, Kane Ditto assumed the purple and had other ideas.  He kept the fee for five years, using it to fund a pipe replacement program.  However, Ditto saw a chance to score political points and discontinued the fee.   

How much has that little reduction cost Jackson?


Anonymous said...

Danks was one of the best Mayors this city ever had. Lord knows that what we have now is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. But, there was a time when you said you were from Jackson and people smiled and were nice….if you say it now they laugh at you. It’s so embarrassing. We HAD a great city but race came into play and all of that went away like a dead leaf on a vine.

Anonymous said...

Jackson had a great mayor in Dale Danks and promptly kicked him to the curb. Now Jackson re-elects a doofus like Lumumba with 75% of the vote.

It is had to feel sorry for a people with a passion to be sorry.

Anonymous said...

Dale Danks was indeed one of the best mayors that city ever had.

Anonymous said...

Hands down Danks was the best mayor the city of Jackson ever elected!!! The downfall of Jackson began with Ditto

Anonymous said...

KF, you make this sound like it was a bad thing. Yes, we all know your love affair with Danks, and that everything he did was great and can't be questioned.

BUT, and I am not saying this in defense of Ditto (who, by the way at the same time or thereabouts, increased the garbage collection fee - which supported the water/sewer fund) - IF, as the article you post as support for your love affair with Danks, they refinanced the bonds issued for OB Curtis and therefore the city NO LONGER NEEDED the additional $5/bi-monthly fee to retire the bonds, THAT WAS GOOD CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT. Something that we hardly ever see in government.

The additional $5/bi-monthly addition put on by Danks was good management. They floated a bond issue and provided a way to pay for the bond retirement.

When rates went down and the city could refinance the bonds - which meant that the city did not need the $5 any longer FOR THE PURPOSE THAT THE SUM WAS ADDED TO THE RESIDENT'S COSTS - you get rid of it.

Yes, you want to say that it should have stayed in place because it was good government when they used the increase to pay for the new plant. I agree.

But, when there was w financially appropriate way to continue paying for the plant without this additional cost - the proper thing for a CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT SUPporter TO DO IS ELIMINATE THE ADDITIONAL FEE.

We all know you come from Louisiana and follow the tracks of your former governor who never thought giving back to the taxpayers (or ratepayers, as in this case) was appropriate. But you lose on this post.

Ditto was correct to eliminate this added fee when the retirement of the bonds no longer required it. And - if you want to tell the whole story, look at the added fee to pay for the construction of the Subtitle D landfill required during this same period.

It was more than anything a tax swap. And for some people, they consider that a tax reduction while ignoring the new fee. Guess that's your math.

I'll wait to see if this actually gets posted. My bet is that it will not

Anonymous said...

6:28 - that is a very shortsighted view you express. I'll bet you historical knowledge of the city (as an adult) does not precede Dale Danks' administration - kinda like KF's.

He might have been one of the better of the last 7 or 8 Mayors of this once great city, but Danks had plenty of faults. He had plenty of successes - true. Because the city was growing while the rest of the state wasn't. The state's leadership during those years wasn't stellar, and the results matched. And Danks was the leader of the only metropolitian area.

He had the advantage of being Mayor when the Mayor was not the "chief executive" but rather the prime of a triocracy - Mayor and two commissioners all elected at large. The city ran better because the three elected leaders all had their own lanes and weren't fighting over their own wards but were working for the common good of the state. But, it was also under his leadership that the system was cast aside, and he spent his last term as the Mayor over a seven person Council.

His run for AG during his last days as Mayor spoke to how his 'outstanding record' as Mayor spoke - he got beat by the first person from the MS Gulf Coast to ever be elected to a statewide office.

Yes - he was a good Mayor. But best? It will take something more than just a claim made without basis. BTW, how many Mayors did you witness - as an adult - of Jackson, prior to 1977 - if you want us to take your proclamation as havig a basis?

Anonymous said...

Every public water/sewer system is supposed to have a surcharge or whatever you want to call it included in their bill a bit over the actual operating cost to cover repairs, upgrades and replacement.

AFAIK it's not a legal requirement, but numerous funding agencies require that such a charge for future needs be included in the user charge system as a condition of funding current improvements and repairs.

Anonymous said...

KF, Dale Danks, who was born in Florida, became mayor of Jackson only two years after graduating from The Jackson School of Law. He had no law firm on his resume. His biography states he " dropped out of Millsaps to marry but doesn't mention where he got an undergraduate degree (was it not required back then?).
I always wondered how he afforded a very nice house in Eastover with a pool and a condo in Destin. Given a mayor's salary, what was his income source to even maintain his life style which included a very expensive wardrobe,style haircut and perpetual tan? His father was a supervisor at Nehi Bottling and died in a Veteran's home so no family money. There's no record of a huge sole practitioner contingency fee (the firm with his name came after). Nor any indication his wife has/had family money.
I do know Jimmy Fowler was his major supporter and a wealthy Mississippi political powerbroker.
In all Danks years as mayor, I never once saw his wife or children at a political or social gathering. And, it was Moore's focus on his family that defeated Danks for AG and that Danks had NO legal resume of value.
Diverting water plant funds to pipes was a good idea ( it's the major source of lead!).
I also would point out that the amount of the surcharge cost increased rather dramatically on the posted chart to the point of making water too expensive for the poor. I don't know if the State laws prohibitive sliding scales based on property value. But, preventing an essential life requirement from being available to those unable to afford it and the roof over their heads seems cruel and not Christian to me.
I say again, the governmental systems and laws in Mississippi allow inefficiency, corruption and inflexibility to deal with modernity. They exist to protect and empower the Delta as did the State Constitution which also favored the railroads when it was written.
If you don't do your homework well enough to put facts in context, then you don't get A's from tough teachers and professors who expect more than regurgitation of memorized facts that will later be forgotten by other than the eidetic. And, even the eidectic lack comprehension skills without context. It doesn't help to know the date of The Battle of Hastings without knowing why it was fought or how it continued to change the future. Might as well stick to the fantasies of the battles that could have won a Southern victory if only, the Confederacy had been able to create a united functional government that could co-ordinate operations and supply a battlefield instead of having Prima Donnas vie for attention and power at every level.
But, all believe a government of competitive States with competitive leaders will have a different historical outcome.
You cannot fathom that the weakest links in a chain or organization have to be strong enough or the chain will break.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes people are hard to understand, no really they are. For example, there are 2 novellas above. The first is disputing, in the poster's opinion, what they consider a statement by the article's author.

I will be the first to admit, I'm not the brightest knife in the drawer. I read, then reread the article a couple of more times, and all I see is a few facts laid out, then a question.

The facts, well, they don't belong to the Kingfish, they belong to history. So the article can't be wrong there. That only leaves the question. How was he wrong for asking, and where's the statement?

The second novella is a poster expressing an opinion that another poster's opinion is wrong. Yeah, I know, hard to believe, right.

The second novella, in my opinion, didn't come close to accomplishing its intended purpose. He all but admitted that Danks was a great mayor, but was a chump for running for AG and losing to someone from the coast.

That's all well and good, they are entitled to their opinion. Unlike them, I won't say they are wrong.

What I don't understand is, in all that keyboard clacking about Danks, they didn't name one mayor, in their opinion, that was better. No, seriously, not one.

Now, I will say this. If the surcharge had remained in effect these 45 years, that would have been even more money, for the politicians elected to the mayor's office, to waste. Yes, wasted.

In my opinion, Jackson hasn't had a leader in 45 years. It has had nothing but political charlatans, in both the mayor's office, and city council.

A true leader would have their priorities right, not sitting in the seat of authority and working their own agenda. A true leader would have devoted themselves to caring for the citizens and economic growth.

The neglect of all these politicians has caught up to Jackson. The posturing of strutting peacocks, the willful waste of city resources, all in the name of gaining fame.

Then there's the latest and the greatest. The one that's more devoted to marxist ideology, and self-promotion. This one is the least qualified of any over the past 45 years. He is more interested in speaking in other locations than to lifting his people from poverty.

That's my opinion, but I'm not a rocket surgeon.

Anonymous said...

When Dale Danks was mayor he lived on Plantation Blvd off Ridgewood. No where near Eastover.

burton39110 said...

Danks did a good job because he was given a city on a solid foundation which was put in place by Allen Thompson. He took a city in bankruptcy to one of the fastest growing in the United States. No one can dispute the progress Jackson made during Thompson’s tenure as Mayor and no other Mayor in the history of Jackson can compare.

Anonymous said...

October 2, 2022 at 9:03 AM, thank you, I didn't know the Jackson water problems started at the time of the civil war. You surely have opened a lot of eyes.

How old are you that you were around when the state constitution was written? I know that's a personal question, but inquiring minds want to know.

I'm in full agreement, professor, that we should keep facts in context. One of the facts you listed that I'm having trouble with is the Battle of Hastings.

I'm sitting in the peanut gallery, and I'm having trouble connecting that historic battle from 1066 with the Jackson water difficulties of 2022. I just can't understand it. Do you think Danks had something to do with it?

Here's a suggestion, buy you a cat to talk to when you feel like posting. I would say a dog, but it wouldn't listen to your bullshit. The dog would soon leave, but the cat would ignore your ass. What a loon.

Anonymous said...

At 8:48 Wtf are you talking about? No record of large settlements for Danks? There typically isn't a record of those. But, if you ever went into Danks' office, he had plenty of copies of several multi million dollar settlement checks.

Anonymous said...

@10:29am - Thank you, I needed a good chuckle.

Anonymous said...

"KF, Dale Danks, who was born in Florida, became mayor of Jackson only two years after graduating from The Jackson School of Law....."


There was like, 20 years, between Danks graduating and then becoming Mayor.

And guess what? He drove a garbage truck for the City of Jackson for a while during that time.

Anonymous said...

Why was Dale Danks ousted in favor of Kane Ditto?

Anonymous said...

10:15 Allen Thompson was a short-sighted bigot who only served the interests of one-half of the city. At that time the city council was at-large and needed only to satisfy the majority population, which they sometimes did. It was the dark ages for many, maybe not you.

Bill Dees said...

@10:21 PM: I believe the first Coast resident elected to statewide office was Bidwell Adam, in 1928, 60 years before Mike Moore.

Anonymous said...

8:48 AM needs to get few basic facts correct.

1. Danks never lived in Eastover.

2. One did not need to be a millionaire to own a
condo in Destin back then.

3. "I never once saw his wife or children at a political or social
gathering, political or social gathering".

Now that's funny! You must have never attend such gatherings.
His Wife & Daughter were front and center everywhere Dale was campaigning.

Moving on ...

In all fairness, Dale's run for AG was a joke.

But from what I remember about his last Mayoral race, he lost to Ditto because of two factors. He had been in office for three terms and folks wanted a change ... and Dale had pissed off a lot of "community pastors" for refusing their shakedown scams. The Capitol City's demographics were changing.

A few more responses to 8:48

4. "perpetual tan?"

Dale Danks' mother was Italian.
(Of course he had darker skin than most in Mississippi).

Geez !
That sounds racist.

5. " The Battle of Hastings without knowing why it was fought or how
it continued to change the future. Might as well stick to the
fantasies of the battles that could have won a Southern victory
if only, the Confederacy had been able to create "


Danks had nothing to do with the Confederacy or the Battle of Hastings ... way ... way ...way back in the year 1066.

That comment is proof why one should not start drinking before noon.

Anonymous said...

Putin; That's YOU at 8:48, isn't it? Dissolve the states, weakest link, central government...I knew it was you, you communist scoundrel.

Anonymous said...

12:53, Ditto was a modern Democrat who fits right in the Bidens . He just used the liberal giveaway system to get voters .Ditto started the down fall of Jackson.

Wow said...

The only thing I will say to support 8:48 is- why does Mississippi who claims to be one of the most conservative states have such an insane amount of government bureaucracy and regulation? Including in comparison to some blue states?

Everyone here wants to get greased up before any kind of government functions as it should.

Kingfish said...

They knew the pipes were wearing out when the surcharge was retired. Didn't matter. Scoring political points was more important. That was a revenue stream that could have funded pipe replacement after the second five year term expired.

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