The Clarion-Ledger, 6/18/8

In an emotionally charged atmosphere Tuesday night, Mayor Frank Melton accused City Council members of callous indifference to the plight of young people, and council members bickered over the financial strength of the city.

But after more than an hour of debate and political grandstanding, the mayor’s plan to spend up to nearly $1 million of the city’s financial reserves to hire as many as 900 young people in a summer jobs program fell in a 3-3 tie.

Hundreds of parents and young people turned out for the meeting. Volunteers working for Melton were on the phones much of Monday encouraging people interested in the program to come to the meeting to fill out applications for the job program.

Council members Frank Bluntson, Charles Tillman and Kenneth Stokes voted in favor the proposal, while Marshand Crisler, Jeff Weill and Leslie Burl McLemore voted against it. Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon was absent.