“Jackson Needs a Full-Time Police Chief and Not Taxation Without Representation”

(Jackson, Miss.) – March 23, 2009 – Democratic Jackson Mayoral Candidate Robert L. Johnson called for a full-time police chief for the capital city and made clear to individuals gathered at Monday’s Mayoral Forum that the proposed tax increase referendum legislation for Jackson is clearly taxation without representation. Robert Johnson’s comments came during the event held at the Northside Public Library.

When asked what the candidates would do with the position of police chief, Robert Johnson stated that Jackson needed a full-time law enforcement leader. “I have been police chief in three cities…and have the expert knowledge to know that there is no way a person can be a part-time police chief. Whoever that Chief is, the position is full-time. Not four hours, not eight hours, not even 10 hours a day. It is a job that requires a large commitment in terms of dedication to the men and women in that police department as well as the citizens of the city.”

At one point during the question and answer portion of the forum, a statement was made by one of the other candidates that the recently signed legislation that allows Jackson residents to vote on whether they wanted a tax increase did not include a nine member commission to oversee how the money is spent. Robert Johnson quickly pointed out the error of the candidate’s assertion that Senate Bill 3268 does create a nine member commission.

“This bill provides for the collection of your money through an additional tax. Then the bill creates a nine member commission that decides how your money is spent. There is a name for this, and it is taxation without representation.”

Robert Johnson was asked to explain his qualifications to be Mayor. In a word – leadership.

“There are three things we are all given – time, talent and treasures. Whether it was as a police chief, commissioner of the Department of Corrections in Mississippi, or as federal security director with the TSA [Transportation Security Administration], I provided leadership with proven results, not promises of what I’m going to do. I provided leadership and a record of results in all of the positions I have held, using these three things God has given to us to use.”

The mayoral forum sponsored by the Northside Public Library started with candidate statements on the theme of how libraries shaped each candidate.

“If we are going to be a world class city then a quality library system is vital and something we need and are proud of, just like vibrant arts and entertainment establishments and good streets. I have heard over and over again by the other candidates and it sort of irritates me that we don’t have the money for many things, including enhancing our libraries. The one thing you won’t hear me do is make all sorts of promises. You will hear me say there are ‘no excuses.’ No amount of money can replace leadership. I am a card carrying library member who has recently visited my public library working on some genealogy. I have an enlightened understanding of the role libraries play in creating a world-class, first class city and that takes leadership.”

Robert Johnson Campaign Release