Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Vetoing the Mayor's Veto

 The legislature continues to tighten the handcuffs on Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba as the Senate passed a bill that will abolish vetoes of no votes.  

State Senator Angela Hill (R-Paul's Pastries) authored SB #2735.  The bill clarifies the ability of a Mayor to veto actions of the legislative branch.  The bill states: 

In carrying out his duties or exercising his powers, the mayor shall in no case expend municipal funds in excess of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) in any one instance without the prior approval of the council. No mayor shall implement any ordinance nor enter into any public contract which has not previously been adopted by the council.

The Senate passed the bill 35-13.  State Senators John Horhn, David Blount, Hillman Frazier, and Sollie Norwood - all of the Jackson delegation but for Walter Michel - voted against the bill as they supported Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba.  History and text of bill.

How We Got Here

The State Senator sponsored the legislation after Dickinson the Dummy said a Mayor might have the authority to veto a City Council's rejection of a contract.  Jackson Mayor Lumumba awarded an emergency one-year garbage collection contract to Richard's Disposal when the Waste Management contract expired on April 1.  The Council rejected awarding contracts to the New Orleans company several times.   

The two branches of government squared off in Hinds County Chancery Court.  Special Guest Star, er  make that Chancellor Jess Dickinson ruled on March 31 the Mayor could not award a contract unless it was approved by the Council. He also ruled the Council could not award contracts or pick vendors on its own.  However, the Special Guest Star in this garbage drama placed a hand grenade in the form of a footnote into the order: 

For clarity, there does exist a possible exception not presented in this case thus far, where the Council rejects an emergency contract presented by the Mayor, the Mayor exercises his veto of the rejection, and the Council overrides the veto. The Mayor then would have the option of engaging the judicial system, claiming the Council was arbitrary and capricious in overriding the veto.

A lawyer himself, the Mayor  pulled the pin, and threw the hand grenade at the Council during an emergency meeting on April 1.  Council President Virgi Lindsey called a special meeting that day to approve an emergency one-year no-bid contract with Richard's Disposal for garbage collection services.  The City Council voted twice 4-3 to reject the contract.  

The Mayor took that footnote and ran wild with it as he vetoed the Council's rejection of the contract in accordance with the footnote as Councilmen Ashby Foote, Vernon Hartley, Kenneth Stokes, and Aaron Banks watched in disbelief. 

Judge Dickinson tried to put the pin back in the hand grenade as he vacated the order, erased the footnote, and issued a new judgment that night.  

Judge Dickinson said "ordinance" includes "ordinances, resolutions, orders, and any other official actions of the council.."  He backed up a little bit from including contract rejections as an action that could be vetoed by the Mayor: 

While the court is persuaded that a council vote to reject a contract is “an official action of the council” and, therefore, an “ordinance” as defined in Section 21-8-47, the question remains whether a vote to reject a contract submitted by a mayor is an ordinance that has been “adopted” by the council.

The Chancellor realized no one asked him whether contract rejections were subject to a Mayor's veto and decreed "Upon review of the pleadings, the court recognizes that this precise question was not presented to the court and the court should not have addressed it in dicta."  

Judge Dickinson vacated the March 31 order and issued a new one that removed the infamous footnote.  However, it was too little too late.  Mayor Lumumba doubled down on his veto at a press conference April 4.  He said the applicable law the judge cited in his footnote was still valid and thus supported his veto of a contract rejection.  

Mayor Lumumba sued the City Council for a declaratory judgment in Hinds County Circuit Court.  The Mississippi Supreme Court appointed Special Circuit Judge Larry Roberts to hear the case.  Judge Roberts held a hearing before promptly throwing out the Mayor's case as he called Hizzoner's position "nonsensical."  

Mayor Lumumba appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court where it is pending.   


Anonymous said...

“ The legislature continues to tighten the handcuffs on Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumb”

If only Phil and Tater could get the same treatment, we might be able to drag this state out of last place.

Anonymous said...

So, the 13 no votes were against Democracy. Right.

Anonymous said...

Chowke will try to veto this bill. Right?

Anonymous said...

5:48 PM
The cope posting after Tate secures a second term is going to be glorious.

Anonymous said...

The Mississippi Supreme Court has had ample time to decide this issue. Why hasn't it done so? It isn't about the law, but it is all about politics. You know, that thing that the chief justice and his crew don't do. Like the marijuana referendum case, for example.

Anonymous said...

9:11 makes a proper claim against the sloth of MS Supremes. An intro Law class could get this in 5 minutes, especially if race were omitted.

Anonymous said...

It would have been nice if the legislators would have waited until after the state Supreme Court issues it opinion, which should be forthcoming and will surely slam-dunk the mayor, but then they might lose a grandstanding opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Mayor about to get a Masters in Finding Out!

Anonymous said...

(R-Paul's Pastries) --That's a clever one KF

Anonymous said...

11:49 - Nice? What's the amount you're willing to wager on a pending (assuming it's forthcoming) opinion of The Court? By the way, on specific matters before them, courts issue rulings, not opinions.

'should be', 'surely', 'might'. Gotta love those words you include in your opinion.

Anonymous said...

@5:48 pm,who posted “If only Phil and Tater could get the same treatment, we might be able to drag this state out of last place.”

Well, that may be so. But could you-all do that without re-education camps and forced hard labor?

Anonymous said...

@8:38 - what the hell are you talking about. Where are there re-education camps and forced labor taking place?

Anonymous said...

8:32, Your ignorance is showing. The written orders of the appellate courts are, in fact, called “opinions.”

Anonymous said...

Every mayor in Mississippi and all residents should be worried about State takeover.

Anonymous said...

I do there is such a legal thing a veto of a no vote. A no vote did not happen so how do you veto something that does not exist.

Anonymous said...

11:08, can you name another capital city in Mississippi that the State would be interested in taking over? I'll wait.

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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.

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