JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It was an interesting week in the Jackson water saga.
Mayor Lumumba finally reached out to state leaders for help, only to throw the Lieutenant Governor under the bus making accusations of extortion related to the airport stand-off between the city and state.
As we investigated that claim, we discovered the meeting happened long before the ice storm, in fact it happened last year, and was most likely a conversation about settlement options that would keep both parties from paying millions of dollars in legal fees… not a quid-pro-quo for money to fix the cities decrepit water system.
As the city is requesting tens of millions of dollars, state leaders rightfully want to see a plan of action. A basic 101 leadership motto is, “Fail to plan… plan to fail.”
The city needs a strategy, timeline, goals and objectives to move forward with a redevelopment initiative so all parties can have confidence the money will be managed appropriately and there will be accountability.
Congressman Bennie Thompson also offered his support to tap into various federal programs that could aid the city.
Now that the 1.9 trillion-dollar COVID relief bill has passed, maybe some of those billions in funds can be directed to Jackson to help pay for the repairs.
Even Governor Reeves, who obviously was critical of the massive federal spending bill, said he would work to secure funds for Jackson if that were an option in the COVID legislation.
If the mayor, state leaders and our representatives in Washington can work together to capture additional resources, the city could be headed in the right direction to stabilize this basic government responsibility… clean, safe water.
We can’t let Jackson become the next Flint, Michigan.
It all starts with a plan and the city needs to put that plan together immediately. Implementing a long-term fix would be great news for the people of Jackson and the businesses that invest in the capital city.