Saturday, November 4, 2023

Will Jackson Pay its Bills?

Can anything work in Jackson government? Interim Parks & Recreation Director Steve Hutton provided a "state of the parks" report to the City Council.  There is no way to sugar coat it as Jackson's parks are "hemorrhaging" money while bills go unpaid and parks fall apart.  Highlights of the report are: 

* There were 167 unpaid water and electric bills when Mr. Hutton assumed the position.  Some bills had no name or address.  One water bill was for a property "W of Magnolia Speech Sch."  The report states the address is probably a site west of the old Magnolia Speech School on Flag Chapel Road.  The water bill for that account "exceeded $13,000."  The account "might be Presidential Hills", half a mile north but the city is not quite sure and is working with JXN Water to clear up the mystery. 

* The city paid for several Entergy meters servicing "inoperable irrigation" systems. 

* Many water bills are subject to sewer fees.  Many water bills for tasks such as watering animals at the zoo, irrigation, watering the golf course, do not have a sewer component.  However, the city has been paying for sewer service on "this water forever."  Erasing these sewer taxes could save possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

* Mr. Hutton is obtaining quotes for air conditioning upgrades as at the zoo.  The remaining $86,000 of a state bond will fund the improvements. 

 * The Interim Director plans to travel to Tupelo with the Zoo Director to meet with Sheila Franklin about acquiring a giraffe.  Ms. Franklin is the co-owner of the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo. 

The Zoo has lacked internet service for months because, surprise, the city did not pay the internet bill. 

* Mr. Hutton stopped work on the disc golf project at Livingston Park in order as he re-evaluated its funding. 

* The city leased the North Jackson ballfields from the Mississippi Departmetn of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks in 1986 for 25 years.  The lease expired in 2011 yet operations continued as before even though the city never renewed the lease.  The state is asking Jackson to surrender any cleam to the lease.  North Jackson Youth Baseball would negotiate with the state for future leases. The city would no longer pay for the utility bills at the ballfields. 

* The city appropriated $300,000 to replace the pool at Battlefield Park with a splash pad.  The Deputy Director is seeking bids on the project.  

* The Director and a lighting contractor are evaluating the lighting needs at Battlefield Park.  Security cameras are moved to improve coverage and the parking lights are being repaired. 

 * The Pete Brown golf course avoided a shut down when the carts and equipment ran out of fuel in September.  The Yamaha gold cart lease was "in limbo for months."  The existing golf carts were going to be removed from golf course.  

More inefficiency.  The city employed no one who knew how to work on golf carts.  Instead of hiring a local mechanic, the city shipped the equipment off to Memphis or Mobile "at a huge cost."  The golf carts would be gone for weeks at a time.  Mr. Hutton said a local mechanic would be cheaper and quicker.  Ya think? 

* The LeFleur East Foundation and Heritage Properties are going to fund pickleball courts at Parham Bridges Courts.  

* Getting quotes for GPS trackers for all parks & rec trucks.  No more naps. 

* Last but not least is the problem child of Jackson's park system, Grove Park.  All electrical wiring is stolen.  Golf clubhouse was vandalized yet again and severely damaged.  There is no equipment to maintain the golf course.  It would "take a full year of chemical application and mowing" to get it within 75% of Pete Brown.  

There are NO EMPLOYEES AVAILABLE to work the golf course.  Full time security would run $175,000 per year.  Tens of thousands of dollars more are needed for equipment leases, repairs, and salaries.  Four employees would be needed for an additional cost of $195,000. The irrigation system has not worked in ten years.  It would thus cost $500,000 a year to operate the course with security.  


Kingfish note: Needless to say, the report paints a rather dismal picture of Jackson's parks.  Thanks to the interim Director for performing what is undoubtedly a thankless task as no one likes getting bad news.  However, you have to know where the wounds are before you can bayonet the wounded .



Anonymous said...

You know they pay the bills on the mayor’s steered contracts.

Anonymous said...

Let the gentrification begin. We will have that city running right in no time.

Anonymous said...

@11:48 AM

Never going to happen.
The AA middle class who have escaped won’t go back.
The schools are atrocious.
And no whites can legally use deadly force to defend themselves.
Whites moving in an fixing up a house is like painting a target asking for violent armed robbery and rape.

Anonymous said...

Keep dreaming @11:48. Nobody is moving back to Jackson. Rate of people leaving the crapital city only exceeded by the invasion of illegal aliens along our southern border.

Anonymous said...

Interim Parks & Recreation Director Steve Hutton deserves a standing ovation for compiling this. I can't even imagine the loopholes he found and the trashcan status of all records. Incredible he could glean this much info. Good job. Can you imagine if all department heads provided information like this?

Anonymous said...

When the politicians, and a lot of the populace, adapt a "perpetual victim" culture and mindset, it becomes counter-intuitive for any of them to do a damn thing.

Anonymous said...

...shattered, shattered...shadoobie...

Anonymous said...

So much winning that the people are getting tired of winning.

Anonymous said...

They are going to kill another helpless giraffe?

Anonymous said...

I’ll admit I was skeptical about this guy given his past, but at least he is shining a light on the issues at each park and appears to be working to problem-solve and get things moving. And he’d been there for under a month at the time he wrote that? Looks like progress to me, although it’s going to take more than just one person or group to turn things around.

As for gentrification, it’s never too late. But will require continued progress with JPD, Capitol Police and the judicial system to get crime under control. Plenty of people who can more than afford to leave Jackson choose not to every day, and UMMC brings a constant influx of med students and professionals who can choose to stay in Jackson should things continue to improve. We have a really long way to go, but ever since Henifin took over, you can’t drive through Jackson without seeing trucks working to make improvements to the water (and now sewer) infrastructure. This is HUGE progress.

Frank Griffin said...

I ride with 1:05. Gloom, despair and agony on 12:03.

Anonymous said...

I had not been downtown in a long time. Went to the Federal Building on Thursday around noon. It was like a ghost town. No one on Capitol St all the way back to State. Maybe the Mayflower was open but that was it. I kept replaying the scene from the 60’s and 70’s when Capitol was a beehive of activity. Lunch lines at the Mayflower, Lamar, Elite and others. The lobbies at both downtown banks were busy. I know things change but this is a disaster not a change and isn’t in the best interest of any of our citizens Blacl, White or in between.

Anonymous said...

Steve has had issues in the past and may still have them. But he is a good operator. And probably a top 2 or 3 city of Jackson employee in terms of competence and getting results.

I'm sure Chokey will dismiss him for this scathing report on Chokeys absolute lack of ability to lead an organization or accept responsibility for anything.

Anonymous said...

1:05, it's not progress. It's a validation that Jackson is a model of a third world city.

Anonymous said...

It's no longer just a perception of not paying. Right?

Anonymous said...

Yes Wingate and Hennifin are making repairs happen, but crime knows no fix in Jackson and no big important businesses have opened. Downtown is a danger zone and South/West Jackson are gulags of misery. The Tupelo giraffe, with its hooves, will tap out "f.u." and stay put, rather than breathe its last at the mayor's zoological extermination camp.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of people who can more than afford to leave Jackson choose not to every day ...

Very small group numerically getting smaller every day.

Anonymous said...

Put Hutton in charge of collections. He knows how to get that money. Pimpin Ain’t Easy.
“You know it's hard out here for a pimp
When he tryin to get this money for the rent
For the Cadillacs and gas money spent
Because a whole lot of bitches talkin shit”

Anonymous said...

I hope the zoo isn't successful in bringing that poor giraffe from Tupelo to Jackson. That would be animal cruelty & abuse. Hopefully the USDA - which issues a license to zoos for their operations - is on top of this.

Anonymous said...

Living in Jackson is akin to playing in a game of Hunger Games!

Anonymous said...

Please keep that giraffe in Tupelo.

Anonymous said...

I heard the Tupelo giraffe has a carry permit and he will work security as well... that high eye won't cost a lot...
What really is needed is for consolidation of the park system... and shut down the money drain called the Zoo!!

Anonymous said...

Stop paying everyone except the Mayor. Sounds absurd, but it seems to me that everything goes to hell, but the mayor seems to be financially well off.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you have management by paralysis. Assuming there might be one or two competent people working for the city, those two are afraid to make a decision or perform their jobs for fear of retribution and retaliation.

You saw how the mayor tried to bully Pete Perry in a meeting. That's the level of control he exercises over the entire administration and all employees of the city.

Anonymous said...

12:03 am You are clueless or nuts or both.

The homes in my Jackson neighborhood have not only sold quickly, but been beautifully updated by young professionals with children. They love being near their work and the very good private schools their children attend.

It's a long commute in heavy traffic to JA or Prep or St Andrews elementary/middle schools and a long drive to the office for doctors and lawyers and bankers.

It's a long ride, even in an ambulance to an emergency room in a health crisis as well.

It's a long ride to class at the college classes including those at the R&D Center. It's a long ride for those who work in State Agencies.

Try to understand how the real world operates. For most of us, time is money and valuable to us who want to find time with our families as well. And, all over the world, humans like the convenience of proximity to their activities.

Anonymous said...

9:17 - climb out of your bunker. Quite a few state agencies are headquartered outside Jackson-Proper today. And nobody in his/her right mind would establish residence in Jackson-Proper in order to avoid a commute to school or work.

And although there are probably some, I've never known anybody who lives in the burbs and attends college classes in Jackson. But, then, I've never known young professionals with young children who live in beautifully-updated Jackson-Proper homes either (and I doubt you do.)

Next you'll suggest most of the Mistletoe crowd is domiciled in Jackson-Proper.

Anonymous said...

Lil choke is gon pimp slap him for disclosing this info

Bob Boteler said...

My appreciation to the hardworking understaffed poorly funded employees & supervisors of Jackson Parks & Recreation. Jaycee Park located on Bailey Avenue in midcity lacks picnic tables & garbage cans that were removed some time ago. The brick & stone gazebo dating back to the 1930’s is being used as a toilet- its not unusual to find the “dope boys” operating in the park. With the streets in midcity being in huge disrepair & too many houses owned by “slum lords” & Jackson Community Development lack of funding & support to address the properties, the residents of midcity feel that the city administration overlooks them. Even Habitat of Humanity has abandoned the vacant lots that they own in midcity. Such a shame as the tax paying residents of midcity deserve better.

Anonymous said...

Mr Hutton will be looking for another interim job soon. The Mayor with three names wont put up with this.

Anonymous said...

Although our local society didn't like the biz that SH offered for consenting adults, he really seems to be having an 'Andy Murphy' moment to overly makeup for it.

Slow clap.

Anonymous said...

Bob Boteler.... there are no tax paying citizens in Midcity.

Anonymous said...

Correction. That'd be "Audie" Murphy. Dang spellcheck.

Anonymous said...

November 6, 2023 at 8:28 AM, I recon you better tell the "still wet behind the ears" gang who ole Audie Murphy is.

Anonymous said...

Comment @ November 5, 2023 at 9:17 AM is fictitious spin.

map maker said...

9:17, must not have a car.

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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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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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