Walker will balance mayor’s office

Incoming Jackson Mayor Frank Melton made an astute observation while filling the key post of chief administrative officer with former Vicksburg Mayor Robert Walker.

Noting his own weaknesses, Melton said: “He’s a methodical, day-to-day manager. I’m a leader and a visionary.”

So, Melton is freed to be the strategist and cheerleader for change – what brought him success in defeating, first, incumbent Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. in the May 3 Democratic Primary, and then Republican Rick Whitlow on June 7.
It has been said that the perfect Jackson mayor would have Johnson’s methodical approach and Melton’s vision. Johnson declined an offer to join Melton’s team, but Walker is an even better pick, with his own signal achievements.

A former field director for the state NAACP, former Warren County supervisor, and elected Vicksburg’s first black mayor in 1988, Walker was widely considered a possible successor to Mike Espy when the 2nd District congressman was tapped to be secretary of agriculture under President Clinton.

Otha Burton, the person Walker will succeed, did a good job, and is retiring after more than 20 years with the city.

With Walker, Melton goes into office with a new dynamic.

Clarion Ledger Editorial
6/17/5