From the Clarion Ledger Article, it’s obvious Melton has begun shooting from the hip once again.
Still visibly angry from Tuesday’s City Council vote that killed his proposed summer jobs program, Jackson Mayor Frank Melton announced this afternoon he plans to ask the council for a 1- to 1.5-mill tax decrease for the next budget year.
“Since we can’t manage it, we’ll give it back to the taxpayers,” he said in a news conference at City Hall.
Melton said he has not talked to the council about the plan and repeatedly expressed his anger at Tuesday’s vote. The council voted 3-3 on Melton’s plan to employ up to 900 young people for the balance of the summer at a cost of nearly $1 million funded from the city’s financial reserves.
Council members Leslie McLemore, Jeff Weill and Marshand Crisler, who voted against the plan, criticized it has poorly conceived and financially disastrous. Supporters Frank Bluntson, Charles Tillman and Kenneth Stokes said it would provide needed work and agreed with the mayor that the $7.3 million reserve fund was large enough to fund it.
“Every time I’ve tried to take a plan to the council, they immediately begin to find every way they can to destroy it,” he said. “Nobody has cared about Farish Street. Nobody has cared about kids getting shot at (local nightclub) the Upper Level. I put these issues on the table.”
On WAPT’s website they have him saying:
“The council is not prepared to make what I consider the right decisions to help our citizens,” Melton said. “It is my very strong position that we should return the money back to the taxpayers. We don’t need to keep it here in the city coffers; we need to return it to the taxpayers.”
“Of all the things I’ve dealt with, the one thing I’ve always hoped for is that we would never get children involved in politics, and last night, the kids were involved in some pretty heavy politics,” Melton said. “I’m embarrassed about that, but I’m going to continue to seek funding to employ them even if I have to employ them during the school year. I want those kids to have jobs.”
Messrs. Weill and Crisler likely summed up the overall idea best from WLBT’s site by saying:
“Why have we only had five days notice?” asked Ward One Councilman Jeff Weill. “And where are the details?”
“Government — and this is just one council member’s perspective — is not really in the business of giving jobs away,” said Councilman Marshand Crisler of Ward Six. “That’s not what we do. That’s what the private industry does.”