Mayor Tony Yarber may have lost the battle with the Jackson City Council over his desire to issue a infrastructure emergency proclamation, but he's not giving up the public-relations fight.
This morning, the mayor's communications office sent out a press release touting a mention of the of the strategy on the website of Next City (formerly Next American City). The story, posted today, looks at quick-fix infrastructure strategies in Jackson and San Diego.
"The article cites the Mayor’s emergency declaration and San Diego’s proposal to prioritize maintenance investment, saying the strategies of both cities 'resonate,'" the press from Yarber's office states.
The story also called Yarber's strategy "more than a little unusual" and agrees with the city council's reluctance to go balls-to-the-wall with a declaration that, according to Yarber, could involve a relaxation of procurement protocols.
"Probably, he’s right to be cautious," writes Next City's Rachel Dovey, referring to Ward 6 Councilman Tyrone Hendrix. "Procurement laws vary state to state, even city to city, and though they tend to be a bureaucratic headache, they often provide some public safeguards in dealing with private industry."
Last week, the city council declined to approve a new declaration, even though Yarber said it didn't matter one way or the other because the city was going to go to work anyway.
Yarber did say then that having the council's imprimatur on his declaration would help the city get into rooms with state and federal influence-makers with whom the city might not otherwise have an audience.
He added that in issuing the declaration his administration had "changed the paradigm" and kicked off a national conversation on what constitutes an emergency. It's apparent that the Yarber believes the Next City article is part of that conversation.
As his news release points out:L "According to its website, 'Next City' provides daily online coverage of the leaders, policies and innovations driving progress in metropolitan regions across the world.”
The world is watching indeed.