Melton Asks All Board, Commission Members to Resign | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Melton Asks All Board, Commission Members to Resign

Today, Mayor Frank Melton announced that all city board and commission members must "resign their position(s) effectively immediately." According to the press release from Carolyn Redd, this includes all members of 22 listed boards and commissions, including Downtown Jackson Partners, the Airport Authority, the Jackson Public Schools Board, Public Works, the Jackson Zoo, the Jackson Redevelopment Board, the Jackson Hinds/Library Administrative Board and the Arts Alliance.

The press release did not differentiate between paid and volunteer board members (many of whom donate much time and resources), or between those who are appointed by the mayor and those who aren't. Click here for a PDF of the press release.

More details coming.

Previous Comments

ID
120071
Comment

What intrigues me about this is how difficult it is for many boards to find people to volunteer their time, money and resources. It seems interesting to demand that they all re-apply without distinction.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-27T16:43:46-06:00
ID
120072
Comment

WAPT today: Melton said Wednesday that (Fire) Chief Richard McNulty is being replaced by Capt. Todd Chandler, who will act as interim fire chief until a new chief is hired. When asked about the change in leadership, Melton was guarded.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-27T17:10:53-06:00
ID
120073
Comment

I saw the footage. Melton said the same thing he always says: He was a good person, but the department had problems and he felt it was time for a change. It looks like that will be the same response for all the positions.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-27T18:07:34-06:00
ID
120074
Comment

I just got an e-mail that the members of these boards and commissions can "respectfully decline" the mayor's desire for them to resign. My suspicion is that all these boards have their own rules and bylaws, and the mayor may have more control over some than others. But we'll share other info as we have it. Y'all do the same. I am a bit befuddled by the idea of city staff being paid to sift through resumes for several months, and then beat the bushes, trying to find volunteers to take the positions that the current ones vacate. Seems less than efficient somehow.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-27T19:49:39-06:00
ID
120075
Comment

JVCB Historical Preservation Comm. The Zoo had no board members or info. Civil Services Downtown Jackson Partners Central MS Planning and Dev. District Some interesting people on that list if current. I would think he means the "Jackson" group of these members. Can he resign people from other cities and counties? Here is the official list of Boards and Commissions that fall under the City of Jackson Just posting this stuff for FYI. Trying to see what board I wanted to join. ;-)

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-07-27T23:29:43-06:00
ID
120076
Comment

The press release has me wondering what the PEG is. It's the only board whose name was abbreviated rather than spelled out in the press release. And it's not on the list of city boards and commissions that tortoise linked to, as far as I can see. As for Melton's step itself, not good. Not good at all. I can see, to some extent, asking the paid heads of the boards to resign and reapply for their jobs (although what is that supposed to do to their morale and commitment to the job?), but asking volunteers to resign and reapply is an insult.

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-07-28T05:58:34-06:00
ID
120077
Comment

The PEG Board is the Public, Education and Government Access Channel Board. It is a relatively new board.

Author
seanbp
Date
2005-07-28T07:42:30-06:00
ID
120078
Comment

I agree, this is a strange move on the Mayor's part. Board and Commission appointments are traditionally allowed to serve out their terms. At that point the Mayor recommends a new appointment to the City Council for approval. However, there is definitely nothing traditional about the current Mayor! I am also wondering how the individual City Council members will feel about this move on Mayor Melton's part. The Boards and Commissons are usually made up of a representative from each of the seven wards, again I say usually. As a courtesy, the Mayor would confer with each City Council member to see if he/she has a person or persons that he/she would like to submit for consideration. So with that said, I am sure that each City Council member may have concerns over their person being asked to resign with the potential of not receiving that appointment again. Has he even talked this over with them on an individual basis? I doubt it. There will be plenty of opportunities with the four years that Mayor Melton is in office to make his own appointments to boards and commissions. I think this is a snap judgement (as most are) on his part and it should be rethought. Who are his advisors? and What are their motives?

Author
seanbp
Date
2005-07-28T07:51:46-06:00
ID
120079
Comment

Thanks for the info, jwap. How the Council feels about this is an interesting aspect I hadn't thought of before. Of course, if the councilmembers expected to be consulted by this mayor, they may have been deceiving themselves -- which isn't to imply that they don't have a right to expect that. I second your questions about his advisors and their motives. Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-07-28T08:05:29-06:00
ID
120080
Comment

Your right Tim! Mayor Melton is full steam ahead without regard to the City Council and that's unfortunate. I only hope that they "step up" and make use of their legislative authority when necessary.

Author
seanbp
Date
2005-07-28T08:09:51-06:00
ID
120081
Comment

Mayor Melton is full steam ahead without regard to the City Council and that's unfortunate. I only hope that they "step up" and make use of their legislative authority when necessary. Exactly. I'll be there indefinitely starting in October, and so far I do not like the sound of this mayor at all. Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-07-28T08:23:13-06:00
ID
120082
Comment

Isn't the term of office and selection of members of the school board established by state law? How can a mayor expect a board member to resign when the state law says he or she has a specific term of office? What was his slogan mentioned in the press release? How does turf war over boards and commissions with their own authority coincide with "Working Together..."? I also liked the press release's subtle reminder on Frank's mandate, got that devine-right-so-look-out tone to it.

Author
Johann
Date
2005-07-28T08:52:43-06:00
ID
120083
Comment

tortoise: Here is the official list of Boards and Commissions that fall under the City of Jackson. I think I want to be on the Traffic Calming Committee.

Author
Johann
Date
2005-07-28T09:15:02-06:00
ID
120084
Comment

I belive Frank Melton said in his inauguration speach that he was going to reduce the number of city employees. This will save the tax payers of Jackson. I must be the only one here who likes Frank Melton. Reducing the size of government sounds like a republican to me. Why does Jackson need a traffic calming committee? What happened to JPD giving out traffic tickets?

Author
buzzoff
Date
2005-07-28T09:39:27-06:00
ID
120085
Comment

Board and Commission Members are not City Employees and they are not paid. They are volunteers. His move to call for their resignations in no way reduces government. Actually, this move will cause chaos with some of the boards and commissions. He should rethink it! But I guess he would have to think first before being able to rethink!!!! The traffic calming committee reviews neighborhood applications for traffic calming mechanisms that the City can install. This committee was set up under the previous administration to take the politics out deciding which neighborhood receives traffic calming mechanisms based upon available funds. A group of Citizens reviews the applications and makes recommendations to the City's Engineers who support the recommendation the vast majority of the time unless there are technical concerns.

Author
seanbp
Date
2005-07-28T09:47:21-06:00
ID
120086
Comment

This just takes the cake for me. Someone please get Frank Melton some Lithium!!! People who are appointed on these boards and commissions serve voluntarily, without pay, in service to their city. Who is going to want to serve if they may be asked to resign every time Frank Melton gets a wild hair? This move by Melton seems ill-advised and childish, if you ask me.

Author
thabian
Date
2005-07-28T09:48:57-06:00
ID
120087
Comment

Mayor Melton is full steam ahead without regard to the City Council ... . PRAISE GOD!

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-07-28T09:56:14-06:00
ID
120088
Comment

Okay?!?

Author
seanbp
Date
2005-07-28T10:00:49-06:00
ID
120089
Comment

Praise God? My Bible says that everything should be done in decency and in order. Which one is Melton reading??????

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-28T10:13:24-06:00
ID
120090
Comment

I'm puzzled too. What's so great about a mayor who ignores a city council that's as democratically elected as he is?

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-07-28T10:20:44-06:00
ID
120091
Comment

My thoughts exactly Tim!!!

Author
seanbp
Date
2005-07-28T10:26:55-06:00
ID
120092
Comment

My boss (former 30-yr MDOT employee) told me that this move is pretty standard after each new mayor is elected. He says that Johnson did this, too. I was not living in Jackson 8 years ago. Does anyone remember what happened back then? Or any other Jackson mayor's actions upon arriving in office?

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-28T10:31:07-06:00
ID
120093
Comment

It is normal for the new Mayor appointment his/her own Executive Staff, Department Directors, City Attorney and Deputy Directors. However, I am not aware of any Mayor that has asked for the resignations of the City's Board and Commission Members. I have lived in Jackson for 31 years and I do not recall this ever being done. Most of the members of the various Boards and Commissions have staggered terms. The Mayor would have plenty of opportunities to make his own recommendations. Additionally, some of these boards and commissions are highly sophisticated with by-laws and perhaps even city ordinances and/or state statutes that allow them to operate separately. So, they are not will and pleasure like the aforementioned positions which are paid city employees.

Author
seanbp
Date
2005-07-28T10:39:32-06:00
ID
120094
Comment

Not true, Steph. Some Jackson mayors (including Johnson) have asked department heads to re-apply for their positions. Few mayors anywhere in Mississippi have asked board and commission members to resign because of a change in administration. I know of no mayor anywhere that has sought the resignation of ALL memebers of ALL boards and commissions. Melton is truly one-of-a-kind.

Author
Johann
Date
2005-07-28T10:42:39-06:00
ID
120095
Comment

It may be standard for some boards or commisions; but, some of these fall outside the realm of the City's control. My understanding is most of these boards have staggered terms in relation to the elected officials to maintain a continuity between these groups, there missions and the new administration. So, I don't know if this is something the other Mayor's have done - wholesale? Did we even have some of these Boards during Danks and Ditto? Can't really make changes is they didn't exsist at the time. It sure seems hasty to call them out in the media first without informing these members privately.

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-07-28T10:50:09-06:00
ID
120096
Comment

He's for all 187,000 of us. So, he must know what he is doing!

Author
pikersam
Date
2005-07-28T14:02:41-06:00
ID
120097
Comment

you think so?

Author
seanbp
Date
2005-07-28T14:24:50-06:00
ID
120098
Comment

He's for all 187,000 of us. So, he must know what he is doing! Really? How many of you (I don't live in Jackson...yet) voted for him now again?

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-07-28T14:48:17-06:00
ID
120099
Comment

What was the mandate? How many votes were cast? Shouldn't matter since he did say, "He's for all 187,000 of us!" So, these actions by him are tough love for the city - right? A few smacks in the mouth should straighten up the city workers, the citizens, and the criminals. Then we'll be right back on track. That seems to be the philosophy being pushed by his people. But, it doesn't matter what he does, the media is in love with him, white NJax thinks he will restore the city to the white haven it once was, poor jackson thinks he going to buy them all houses, and his cavilier attitude about the laws when it comes to himself is utterly un-mayorial.

Author
pikersam
Date
2005-07-28T15:40:49-06:00
ID
120100
Comment

Thanks for the clarification, pikersam. I took your comment more literally. Now I see it was meant sarcastically. But, it doesn't matter what he does, the media is in love with him, white NJax thinks he will restore the city to the white haven it once was, poor jackson thinks he going to buy them all houses, and his cavilier attitude about the laws when it comes to himself is utterly un-mayorial. Bingo. Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-07-28T23:15:03-06:00
ID
120101
Comment

Oops. Clarion-Ledger today: A day after Jackson Mayor Frank Melton called for the resignation of city board and commission members, the city attorney said he lacks the authority to force any of them out. "It's a request," said Sarah O'Reilly-Evans. "He is very much aware that he could not mandate their resignations or fire them, if you will." ... "It's a slap in the face to those of us who have served over the years," said John Hardy, a board member of the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau and manager of the University Club in Jackson. ... Melton said he knows board and commission members are not required to resign. "They certainly have that right," he said. "But I'll tell you what, they better perform." ... Melton expects to reappoint most of the board and commission members, and current members can continue to serve through the reappointment process. But, "there are some of them I don't want back," he said. ... The Jackson school board is "a great example," Melton said, of boards not performing to his expectations. "There are 32,000 students in the school system and 10,000 are not going to school. That's just unacceptable to me." Jackson School Board Vice President Jonathan Larkin said statistics show the district's average daily attendance is more than 90 percent. Larkin said if 10,000 students out of the nearly 32,000 were absent on any day, the average daily attendance rate would be about 65 percent. "Does the mayor know what the ADA numbers are? Has he asked at the district level? ... He is getting inaccurate information and giving out inaccurate information," Larkin said. ... "State law is designed to separate the school board from the political process and to ensure continuity of the board when there is a transition at the executive level in the municipality," Larkin said. "I intend to follow state law and serve the rest of my term ... because I believe that is in the best interests of the students in the Jackson Public School District." School board attorney David Watkins said state law allows for board members to be removed before the end of their terms only if they move outside the city or commit a felony. "It's been on the books for 50 years," he said.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-29T07:51:35-06:00
ID
120102
Comment

ladd: Oops. Yeah, good ol' Frank. Battin' 0 for 3 now?

Author
Johann
Date
2005-07-29T09:09:21-06:00
ID
120103
Comment

I remember saying when he first got elected that I hope he realizes his limitations. He is, but not before he makes a decision and goes public. If you goof in public, you get reprimanded in public, as you can see. I can't believe he has advisors - he couldn't possibly have anyone telling him to these things. He has to be coming up with these things on his own. I genuinely respect him, but this is getting embarrassing.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-29T10:10:49-06:00

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