[Kamikaze] Relax, And Hire Young | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Kamikaze] Relax, And Hire Young

Without thrusting myself into the political fray, I must say that Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson and Ward 5 Councilman Charles Tillman were dead-on last week in response to Mayor Frank Melton's appointment of Marcus Ward as city lobbyist. There certainly does need to be a place in government for the next generation, my generation.

A few City Council members took issue with the 28-year-old, a former congressional aide, citing a lack of experience. Let me first say that I understand the pure intensity of this job. Lobbying Capitol Hill is a big deal. Ward's predecessor, John Waits, was instrumental in raising millions for Jackson that subsequently found its way into things like road work and flood control. So I understand a little concern, but any controversy beyond that seems unfair to me.

I applaud Mayor Melton for having the foresight to appoint someone to his executive staff with a "fresh" perspective. In the famous words of Jack Nicholson's Joker character in the first "Batman" movie, "This town needs an enema!" That's right, Jackson needs a serious youth injection, and hopefully, Ward's appointment will be the start of that.

One of the reasons why young folk haven't felt a part of the political process is because ... duh ... they're not made a part of the political process! Sure, you need us when election time rolls around. It's great to canvas all the college campuses and enlist the aid of that school's Young Democrats or Young Republicans. It's even better to look "cool" and say you're "concerned" about the needs of young people on the campaign trail. Yet, once you get into office, you have people 45 years or older attempting to make decisions for my demographic. It's time for a change.

Politics and government, as I've seen it, are the only game in town where its players continue to stick around well past their 60s or 70s. There's one thing to be said for experience, but there's another thing to be said about having the intelligence to get the hell out of the way. Members of the under-30 set are perfectly capable of doing an "executive" job when given the chance. Unfortunately, most of the powers-that-be think you have to be well past that to be qualified. Everyone is "inexperienced" when they begin a new job. It takes time to got your bearings. Hell, it's not like Melton chose a 16-year-old to do the job. Relax!

Ward seems more than capable. I'm ecstatic that we've got a 28-year-old making $70,000 a year in city government. Not only that, he'll be a key cog in the wheel that makes Jackson go. If he does well, then that will open the door for more of the under-30 set to get their shot at running the city. To put it bluntly, age has nothuing to do with being effective.

And that's the truth ... sho-nuff.

Previous Comments

ID
71318
Comment

Maybe it's because I'm 31, but I'm still a little concerned. I want to see young folks in the ranks too, but not at the expense of causing us to have more ulcers than we should have at our age. I would hate to see him get blamed for not being able to handle it all when they knew the job was too much for one person to handle. Plus, the pacifier comment kinda got under my skin. I would feel better if there were a team of young people with lobbying experience. The combined years of experience and varying thought processes would make a good checks-and-balances way of making sure that nothing is overlooked. At the same time, I still would like to know more about what the city was doing before they hired the firm that was replaced by Ward. Do past expenditures justify this move?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-01-19T11:35:14-06:00
ID
71319
Comment

He's unqualified-- serving as a low-key staffer in a congressional office is NOT lobbying experience. He can't do it from an office in Jackson-- ain't gonna happen, you got to be ON THE HILL. The city won't get the return on its $70,000 in comparison to what we got from a professional firm (let me reiterate, Waits was the primary lobbyist but was support by an entire firm). If you want young people to be hired and gain experience, Ward should have kept his previous job (firing employees by use of arms) and assigned to be a liaison for the city with the lobbying firm. After gaining some experience, then we can talk about adding responsibilities.

Author
Rex
Date
2006-01-19T11:48:09-06:00
ID
71320
Comment

I agree Rex. As a 34 year old with a few years experience working with legislators both in MS and on Capitol Hill, I'm scared for him- this young man is being held responsible for lobbying for Jackson. I think young people should get jobs with their creative ideas making up for some of their lack of experience. But LOBBYING on CAPITOL HILL??? Forget the great salary, can a brotha get some help??

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-01-19T12:19:45-06:00
ID
71321
Comment

I don't have a problem with his age, salary or enthusiasm, but I think its naive and shortsighted to believe that he can fully replace a qualified Washington-based firm with an established record of "bringing home the bacon" from day 1 without having previously worked as a Washington lobbyist. Mixing it up with the Washington culture is different from dealing with the state legislature or working for an individual congressman. I agree with Rex that he should have been assigned as a liason with the previous firm to gain experience and establish the added credibility that will be critical to lobbying efforts. Most successful lobbyists that I'm aware of are former congressmen or politicians who have cultivated and established relationships with key political players over many, many years. Just being on a first name basis with Trent Lott as a former employee doesn't necessarily mean that he's guaranteed results. I could be wrong and I hope that I am, but count me as skeptical.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-01-19T14:06:17-06:00
ID
71322
Comment

Yes, I disagree with Kamikaze on this one, too. I'm all for giving young people a lot of responsibility, and training and mentoring, but throwing them in over their heads is counter-intuitive. In the journalism industry, for instance, one problem with *retention* is with publications that diversity-hire (and that isn't just about race; can be about age, gender, geographic and economic background as well) without providing the needed training and mentoring. There is no indication that Mr. Ward is qualified for this position, and I fear that he is being set up for failure. If that happens, it is more likely to ruin his career, and his spirit, than if he had been put into a good position to be be mentored and trained to take this job at some point. So far, I'm not impressed at all with what Mr. Melton seems to think of as "mentoring." Handing somebody a pile of money, or a high-powered job they're not qualified to do successfully, is NOT a way to mentor success.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-01-19T15:47:53-06:00
ID
71323
Comment

Also, it's one thing if you want to try such an experiment on the private dime, but is a whole other level of unconsionable when you're spending $70,000 on someone because you think that might have potential. And that doesn't include all the big money we might lose. Of course, if you don't want Jackson to get all that funding due to ideology or some other issue, perhaps this is exactly the thing to do.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-01-19T15:49:22-06:00
ID
71324
Comment

K-- To put it bluntly, age has nothuing to do with being effective. No but it is about experience and skill. That would be like putting a recent graduate in as starting quaterback for the NYGiants. O... wait...

Author
Rex
Date
2006-01-19T16:02:14-06:00
ID
71325
Comment

I don't have a problem with his age, salary or enthusiasm, but I think its naive and shortsighted to believe that he can fully replace a qualified Washington-based firm with an established record of "bringing home the bacon" from day 1 without having previously worked as a Washington lobbyist. I have a huge problem with his salary... Why? Well, we're going to be paying far more if this young man has to fly to and from Jackson to DC, stay overnight for days/weeks, eat while traveling and so forth. His salary is only a portion of the cost the city will have to cover if this many expects to lobby and rub elbows with the movers and shakers of D.C. while trying to establish funds and grants. I seriously hope this position is audited on a yearly (at least) basis to verify if this route [chosen by Melton] is actually worth it and beneficial to the city [not just Melton's choices].

Author
kaust
Date
2006-01-19T16:37:22-06:00
ID
71326
Comment

I'm still trying to get past the fact he needed an armed guard to fire someone. I wonder if Lott and Cochran would be hip to that? So, I already see a huge problem with his judgement. He may have worked in Washington; but, I doubt he has any "street cred." with the law makers up there. And bringing an armed guard to the meeting certainly won't help... ;-)

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-01-19T17:06:18-06:00
ID
71327
Comment

My gut tells me that he was ordered to bring the armed guard. I'm amazed at Kamikaze's article here, and I hope he takes a hard second look at the implications of what he's saying. I am all for bringing in youth as an affirmative action thing, but I don't like the whole young adult identity movement, which I've seen a lot of in churches, in particular, where the (completely false) perception is that if you bring in older congregants rather than young adults, your church is a "dying congregation." I don't believe that's true at all. I think you need some young adult representation, but it is not necessarily a good thing, always and everywhere, to replace older professionals with younger professionals. For my part, I have never--on principle--used my youth to get writing gigs. I don't even generally tell editors how old I am until I'm already contracted to do a project (that comes from doing one's first book at 21), at which point I invariably hear how surprised they are that I'm so young. Mentoring is all well and good, but it isn't all about the old teaching the young; it's about experience. I routinely mentor writers twice my age, help them get their first book gigs, and so forth simply because I've been doing this full-time for six years and I've learned some things from that. But then I also have my own mentors, especially in other areas. I reckon I always will, as long as I keep learning. I'm not sure Ward won't do as well or better than the experienced lobbying firm he's been hired to replace, but if I were in charge of a city budget, I'd want to go for a sure thing. The lobbying firm is a sure thing. This strikes me as a bad decision on Melton's part. I don't see any other way to spin it. Look, let's say you have a 300,000-word reference project that has to be done in a year. Supporting young people is handing it to a 27-year-old full-time reference writer who has done a half dozen smaller titles and feels ready for the big time. What Melton is doing looks more like handing it to an English major who's been working at Books-a-Million for five years, and saying go have fun. Now, it's quite possible said Books-a-Million employee will kick butt and produce a better product. But it really makes more sense to hire an experienced professional, regardless of age. As for "starving the beast": I'm skeptical that this is Melton's motive. I admit that I have a hard time explaining why he turned down the University Medical Center funds, why he's risking $11M/year in federal funding, and so forth, but I really don't think that's it. I'm not sure what his motives are, but I don't think that's it. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-01-19T18:34:07-06:00
ID
71328
Comment

Giving an opportunity to someone who is "young" is commendable. Trusting (and gambling with) someone who is inexperienced and young with an intregal part of a city's future and face it, income, is stupid (sorry, I know that is harsh). I am glad Mr. Ward is a "fine, young , black Republican" (God knows we need more of them). I am curious if the author of this blog has ever even been on Capitol Hill and knows the game that is involved and of what he speaks. Had Marcus been hired as a "Political Liason" and worked WITH Mr. Waits (at a reduced fee....which he would have agreed to...I know for a fact) for a year or so, he would have gotten UNANIMOUS approval and acceptance from the Council. That wasn't the case or the option. Save this blog. This time NEXT year, let's "weigh the bacon". I hope I am wrong and if I am, I will fall all over myself with "uh oh's -boy am I embarrassed". We will be "On the Hill" in 7 weeks meeting with our delegation (as will almost every city in the country) at the "National League of Cities" meeting.. I look forward to seeing this young man's prologue in our meetings and how it goes in them.

Author
Ben Allen
Date
2006-01-19T18:56:26-06:00
ID
71329
Comment

He's unqualified-- serving as a low-key staffer in a congressional office is NOT lobbying experience. He can't do it from an office in Jackson-- ain't gonna happen, you got to be ON THE HILL. The city won't get the return on its $70,000 in comparison to what we got from a professional firm (let me reiterate, Waits was the primary lobbyist but was support by an entire firm). If you want young people to be hired and gain experience, Ward should have kept his previous job (firing employees by use of arms) and assigned to be a liaison for the city with the lobbying firm. After gaining some experience, then we can talk about adding responsibilities. Took the words right out of my mouth. To hire people into powerful key positions just because they are young is just plain absent minded. the only thing he can do at this point is bring "youth" to the table. Bad move Mr. Melton.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-01-20T08:55:12-06:00
ID
71330
Comment

Rex-- Ward should have kept his previous job ... and assigned to be a liaison for the city with the lobbying firm. After gaining some experience, then we can talk about adding responsibilities. Ben Allen-- Had Marcus been hired as a "Political Liason" and worked WITH Mr. Waits ... for a year or so, he would have gotten UNANIMOUS approval and acceptance... Never thought I would see it. This is almost scarey.

Author
Rex
Date
2006-01-20T11:41:15-06:00
ID
71331
Comment

Ben Allen: "Had Marcus been hired as a "Political Liaison" and worked WITH Mr. Waits ... for a year or so, he would have gotten UNANIMOUS approval and acceptance..." Rex: "Never thought I would see it. This is almost scarey." Rex, Let me "back-up , restate, and clarify." What I was referring to was Mr.Ward's position as "Political Affairs Liaison". Many cities have these and they are not "new". Rick Whitlow is now serving as "Governmental Affairs Liason" or something to that affect. If he were successful, I believe he would have had a "favorable" view for this "new" postion, if other positions were "collapsed" into ONE department, and he would have a favorable , fair opportunity for this role. I DO NOT believe that we CAN EVER handle this "ON THE HILL" position from Jackson, but with a year under his belt we, as a City could have "made money" on an effective line of communication between our representatives in D.C. and our contact in Jackson...and at a reduced contract charge from "Winston and Strawn" (and with a position "absorbed" into the present budget).

Author
Ben Allen
Date
2006-01-20T13:50:52-06:00
ID
71332
Comment

No, I meant it’s almost scary that we seem to be agreeing…

Author
Rex
Date
2006-01-20T14:27:21-06:00
ID
71333
Comment

Let me clarify...I think in everyone's haste here to attack the Mayor, you're missing the point of the piece....My point is simply that it is wrong to villify someone BEFORE they have had a chance to even do the job. WHOEVER the person is or WHATEVER job it is, whether its lobbyist or street sweeper, councilman or rocket scientist. I don't know Mr. Ward personally and I'm not familar with ALL his credentials. What I did say is that he SEEMS capable and let's see if he can do the job. Just give him a chance for pete's sake!!! Dont condemn him before he's had an opportunity to prove himself. And as I said...if he does well then maybe that will open the door for other young folk to take a hand at running the city. Yes, I undertand the complexity of the job and I'm sure both Melton and Ward do too. I see that its not easy. Lobbying Washington is no piece of cake.. ok..I agree, but what book says that a 28 year-old cant do it??? none. give the guy a fair shot. that's all I'm saying....Take it easy!!! sheesh!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-01-24T12:15:22-06:00
ID
71334
Comment

Who is being villified, Kamikaze? No one is turning Mr. Ward into a villian by questioning whether or not he is qualified for a very high-powered position and can do at least as good of a job as the man who was already in the position. Would you agree that it is up to citizens to question the background and experience of people whose paychecks we provide? And your opening sentence is a logical fallacy -- you're trying to attack the messingers by accusing them/us of a nefarious motive (in this case: only talking about this to "attack the Mayor," which is patently absurd; there are smart people talking here about real issues). And I will adamantly disagree with this statement: What I did say is that he SEEMS capable and let's see if he can do the job. Just give him a chance for pete's sake!!! Seeming capable is simply not good enough when there are millions of dollars at risk. This is not an on-the-job training type of position. There is too much at stake. No one above is attacking Mr. Ward; they are saying that Mr. Melton is putting someone in a big job without showing evidence that they are qualified. This can hurt the city, and it can hurt Mr. Ward, and it can hurt the reputation of young leaders in city government. If Mr. Melton truly cares about young people's futures, he ought to know that potentially setting them up for failure is not the way to go about helping them. And no one said that a 28-year-old cannot do this job. (Don't put words in our mouths.) What is said, and rightfully, is that Mr. Melton has not shown the taxpayers evidence that he can. And that's a humongous problem.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-01-24T12:39:20-06:00
ID
71335
Comment

And all I said, with all due respect, is give the gentleman a chance to prove himself. the same chance that any individual would get on a new job....Just like the horse-trainer fella over at FEMA. He had his chance, he screwed up, he's gone...When a public official is elected he's given a chance, if he fails, we boot him....most jobs you get a 90 probation period. If your work is up to par then we bring ya on...if not, then you're gone. simple as that. GIVE THE GUY A CHANCE!!!!! if he's in over his head, we're gonna find out REAL soon. These things work themselves out. And I'm not taking anyone's side here, I'm just saying what is fair and just, give him a chance to succeed or fail on his own merits. thats all.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-01-24T12:49:29-06:00
ID
71336
Comment

And all I said, with all due respect, is give the gentleman a chance to prove himself. I respect that that is your opinion, Kamikaze, but I adamantly disagree that you "give someone a chance" to prove themselves in a position such as this when he is the whole enchilada with so much at stake that affects the future of this city. And you're bringing up Brownie is an interesting point. He proves exactly why you don't put someone in as a patronage hire of some sort. The mistakes that may well result are too costly to do that in the first place. Melton et. al should have learned a lesson from the FEMA/Brownie episode. And, no, if it were up to me to "give the guy a chance," I absolutely not -- not in this position or without more evidence that he is qualified to take over this vital function. I hope we get lucky and he pulls it off -- but the Bush administration did not get lucky with Brownie. It turned out to be a risky hire with dire consequences. We should heed that warning. Now, I must work ....

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-01-24T12:54:28-06:00
ID
71337
Comment

Kamikaze-- ...but what book says that a 28 year-old cant do it??? ...GIVE THE GUY A CHANCE!!!!! if he's in over his head, we're gonna find out REAL soon. Until there is evidence that someone is the best-qualified candidate for a job, I don't want him hired or spend $70,000+ of my tax dollars on his salary. When I was 28, should I have been hired as Director of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, just because nothing in the job description said you had to be older than 28? I.don't.think.so. AND if you will look back you will find a number of statements saying, in essence, give the guy some experience, skills development, and seasoning BEFORE you through him into Gucci Gulch to sing or swim. No one argued against Ward or his age. The argument is against his experience and abilities compared to those he'll be competing against on MY (i.e., Mr. Taxpayer's) behalf.

Author
Rex
Date
2006-01-24T14:18:27-06:00
ID
71338
Comment

uh... ...sink or swim...

Author
Rex
Date
2006-01-24T14:19:38-06:00
ID
71339
Comment

Once again friends...calm down and listen to my point. It's not as if the mayor randomly picked this guy off the street. It's not as if he won some radio contest either. It's not like me, with no cooking skills whatsoever, being hired as master chef at a five star restaurant...It's not like a guy who has a bachelors in business finance being hired to run NASA either. Cmon!!! You guys are going waaaaaaaaay out there. It may not be years and years of experience on his end but there IS some experience there. And if the fella is intelligent, sharp, ambitious, and not too proud, he stands to do a good job. Transition and change more often than not is painful. Mr. Ward has been chosen to do the job and no amount of griping at this point is gonna change that. Let's see what he does. Because he could surprise us all. At 24 with a broadcast journalism degeree 3 years of journalism experience under my belt and a job at the AP could I have run a daily...HELL YES!!!! But by today's standards, I would not have had enough "experience". If you thought at 28 rex that you weren't ready for that position then that's you. (I'm assuming that is the field you are currently in). But I'm sure if given the opportunity you could have done it...hands down...you never found out because you defeated yourself before hand and those pwers-that-be wouldnt dare give you the chance. ...Once again relaaaaaaaaax! you guys are gonna bust a vessel LOL!!!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-01-25T14:42:13-06:00
ID
71340
Comment

Kamikaze-- It may not be years and years of experience on his end but there IS some experience there. No, there isn't. As stated before, working as a low level staffer in a congressional office is NOT lobbying experience. It is exactly like hiring someone with a business degree to run a tech office. Sure he's mart and intelligent, but he has never gained lobbying experience. Sure, he may be ambitious. If ambition were a legitimate job skill I COULD be the head of NASA, regardless of experience. While an oft-valued (and sometimes decried as opportunistic) trait, ambition isn't a job determinant and certainly does not qualify anyone for any position. At 28 I may have had the education and the technical know-how, but not the managerial skills or the regulatory knowledge to head the State Finance Department. Without that I could have been 45 and still not been qualified. Likewise, anyone without the lobbying experience and the support staff really shouldn't be doing the job REGARDLESS OF AGE. This is an experience and skills issue to me, not age. Give h9im the opportunity to gain EXPERIENCE working WITH lobbyists and THEN let him go for it. Then through in the cost that will be incurred and I really think not going with a professional lobbying FIRM is going to be a bad move.

Author
Rex
Date
2006-01-25T16:22:27-06:00
ID
71341
Comment

BTW, how does it feel to be the newest N-JAM darling as a result of calling us liberals to task?

Author
Rex
Date
2006-01-25T16:23:40-06:00
ID
71342
Comment

wow... My typing sux. Guess at 46 I'm not qualified for clerical work...

Author
Rex
Date
2006-01-25T16:29:07-06:00
ID
71343
Comment

Kamikaze, everyone is calm here. Just because we disagree with you doesn't mean we're screaming hysterically. So don't condescend to us; just try to make your point. For my part, hearing the same point over and over isn't going to change my mind. Nothing I have seen indicates that Mr. Ward is ready for this particular job. I could believe otherwise were I to be shown something that indicates otherwise. Now, I'm repeating myself so I will bow out.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-01-25T16:54:22-06:00
ID
71344
Comment

No, Donna, and with all due respect again...EVERYONE is not "calm" here. You may be, but EVERYONE here is not. maybe they are as "passionate" as I am or maybe "calm" is not the operative word, perhaps "open-minded" or "optimistic" is a better word...Since I seem to be the one dissenting opinion here. Pessimism will get us nowhere...Just as you said that your mind is made up...Ward has the job now and nothing can change that so give him his chance. You may not have seen anything that you think qualifies him for the job, but I havent seen anything that doesnt..Those are our opinions and we are entitiled to them. There are two-sides to every issue and I just happen to offer the counter-point to this one. I never write a column to be popular or follow the status-quo. I write to express how I feel about a topic and can stand ground in support of everything I've ever written. ....In the end, all I want folks to do is say hey, you got the job buddy, nothing we can do about that, we'll give you a chance. Dont screw it up!!!! Thats it. You can be skeptical, thats your right, but since he DOES have the job give the dude his freakkin chance!!!!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-01-27T11:06:41-06:00
ID
71345
Comment

No, Kamikaze, I did not say that my mind is made up about the job Mr. Ward will do in the future. Don't put words in my mouth, no matter what they are. What I said is that I would not have supported him for this position, based on the information provided and replacing someone and a firm who has done such a great job without evidence (a) that the old firm is doing a bad job and (b) that Mr. Ward can do a better job for the city. I believe it was a very dangerous decision for the city of Jackson, just as I believe that Mr. Melton now deferring decisions on our emergency communications to the county is very dangerous. Kamikaze, I ask you to look at the bigger picture here. Many of Mr. Ward's supporters are banking on him decreasing the "pork" (as they call it) that is brought to the city -- which to you and me mean federal grants that will help pay to level the playing ground for the city (I'm all about reducing the corporate welfare for bad ideas like the beef plant, but that's a different discussion). Many people worry that Mr. Melton (who has shown much evidence that he is more devoted to conservative ideals than many that you espouse) is putting Mr. Ward there just for that reason. It's not about age. When you get someone so unqualified to replace someone so qualified, and doing a good job at what he is contracted to do, the smart thing is to start asking questions about why this is happening, not to blindly trust and "give the guy a chance." The truth is, I don't think it's up to any of us not to "give the guy a chance"; it's not like we're going to stop this one, it seems. But it is to us all to talk about these issues and watchdog what is happening on this front. And we will continue to do that whether that bothers you, and your conservative North Jackson backers on this issue, or not. I'm told that you're the current darling of conservative North Jackson because you're doing their dirty work and blasting the people -- conservative or not -- who are questioning this decision due to its possible impact on the city of Jackson. And a lot of those people do not want to see federal dollars coming into Jackson. You can hold whatever opinion you want on this, but at least know who/what you're making yourself the poster boy for. This issue is much bigger than the fact that a young black man has been put into a position of power. The point about "calm" is that is it not your place to tell other people how strongly to feel about issues. Ben Allen used to come on this forum and do that, and it was offensive from him, too. After I pointed out to him a few times that it was condescending to others trying to have a conversation to tell everybody to "calm down" and "relax and be happy" when they're trying to have the kind of conversation that is vital to our democracy, he stopped doing it. After that, it got much more interesting to have conversations with him, whether we agreed on particular issues or not. I'm hoping the same happens with you here.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-01-27T12:27:47-06:00
ID
71346
Comment

Interesting discussion with everybody possibly being correct. The late Richard Pryor once said in one of his rare sober and clean moments - "we will see."

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-01-27T13:10:45-06:00
ID
71347
Comment

Agreed, Ray. Don't get me wrong: I *want* Mr. Ward to succeed, just as I hoped that we were wrong about Mr. Melton during the campaign and that he was going to be an open, accountable mayor dedicated to the idea of civil liberties and supportive of efforts to help redevelopment of the city. I *love* the idea of the city having a young, black lobbyist helping pile up federal grants. It's the reality I'm worried about, just as it was during Mr. Melton's campaign. And I don't want to see Mr. Ward hurt, or discouraged, because he was placed in a position he wasn't ready for. But I've said all this already above. I think I've made my position very clear on this. The point here is whether the mayor was making a wise decision in the first place, and how it works out. And if it doesn't work out within a reasonable amount of time, then we can't afford to let Mr. Ward train on the job for a year or two and not bring in needed federal grants that Mr. Waits would likely have secured. So let's not turn our heads away from this issue anytime soon.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-01-27T13:53:41-06:00
ID
71348
Comment

Donna, I do understand. Frank's recent history and job performance as Da Mayor give us all plenty to worry about.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-01-27T14:02:38-06:00
ID
71349
Comment

Honestly, I don't know who these "folks" are that Im supposed to be the darling of. However, if they have supposedly made me their "poster boy" I'm not aware of it and consequently it doesnt matter. I don't know any N-JAM folks or anyoone else of their ilk. I don't speak for any faction, conservative or liberal. I've always said I'm not for conservative or liberal. (Although many of my ideas may be looked at as liberal). I represent the streets, always have and always will. The good AND the bad. My concern is that the less fortunate folks in these hoods have a voice, someone who can translate their anguish into a language that corportate America can understand. Most of those men/women are never given a "chance". In this business of music, I myself was not given a fair "chance" to succeed. the deck was stacked and it "appeared" I wasnt qualified either, but I proved all those folks wrong. And that's what I preach EVERYDAY, prove those naysayers wrong! If I see someone being questioned before they have even had a chance to begin their work, I will always defend their right to a chance. Frankly, I dont care what goes on in Washington D.C. as much as I care about what happens on the streets of Georgetown or Virden Addition or Valley North. During the campaign, I said then that my main concern was not lofts in downtown, or a telecom center, but these kids!!!!! As shortsighted as that may seem, that's where my focus lies because that's where the strength of my music lies..with the youth! Cut and paste this...tell the N-Jammers or whoever else is using my name as a talking point that...I'm no one's "poster boy" and dont take my words an my opinions and twist em for your gain...period. Now I hope we can move on to other topics that we as independent thinkers need to address.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-01-30T10:43:27-06:00
ID
71350
Comment

oh and RAY....FINALLY...my sentiments exactly...We will see!!!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-01-30T10:45:00-06:00
ID
71351
Comment

Give him a chance to prove himself? That's like asking William Hung to be the Mayor of Jackson when he can barely function in society as it is. we can't JUST be giving out "chances" and taking "chances" with our state's future. Your guy is not ready. Melton threw him into the fray of AN already Jumbled mess of our city's government. and now our guy in Washington is a inexperienced youngster? wait...Maybe Melton did this to get the heat off him and on to the new guy he hired. ?????

Author
JSU
Date
2006-01-30T11:02:54-06:00
ID
71352
Comment

also, couldn't there have been someone with more experience to have the same "fresh" perspective? kamikaze, you confuse fresh with skill. they don't mix. oil and water.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-01-30T11:14:40-06:00
ID
71353
Comment

again...stop acting as if the mayor just snatched this guy off the street selling sno-cones. Its condescending. really. Regardless of what you think. Had they hired a guy 50 years old with little experience or even with a lot of experience, I still would have said "give him his shot". Or a woman or an openly gay person doesnt matter. Lets see if you can do the job. We do it every four years with a president. We elect him, see if he can run a country, and then decide if we keep him or dump him the second time around. Experience or very little experience notwithstanding...as I just said, WE WILL SEE!!! You, me, we'll all see what becomes of this. I hope he does well.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-01-30T11:35:52-06:00
ID
71354
Comment

With the political climate in Washington the way it has been for decades, the new young lobbyist better grow some sharp fangs quickly or get spit out right behind Melton in the next Mayor election. His "chance" to get things done starts yesterday.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-01-30T12:33:19-06:00
ID
71355
Comment

again...stop acting as if the mayor just snatched this guy off the street selling sno-cones. Its condescending. really. Regardless of what you think. Kamikaze, nobody's said that. You're repeating yourself by admonishing people for disagreeing with you, and it's not helping your case. Please add something new here, or move on to another topic. It is a perfectly legitimate, and necessary, question to raise of whether someone is qualified to hold a high-powered, taxpayer-funded job that is repsonsible for millions of dollars in revenue to the city. There is nothing "condesending" about questioning someone's credentials for such a position, and would be irresponsible not to. Now, I'm repeating myself.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-01-30T13:13:36-06:00
ID
71356
Comment

And at risk of repeating MYSELF. I don't have a problem with people disagreeing with me. Hell, I actually welcome it!! And AGAIN, I dont have a problem with raising questions about someone's credentials. We have that right. I have no Problem with questioning anything anyone in government does as long as its a valid question on a valid issue. Im all for that...question away about Ward. What I dont like is the comments implying that Ward is just some guy off the street. JSU posted just 2 posts back that hiring Ward was like "asking William Hung to be mayor "and its NOT the same thing. That IS condescending. BUT no comment from you on that. Don't have posters here thinking I'm not open to an exchange of ideas.'Cause I am. but dont let them come off like this guy is completely incompetent or a complete idiot who lucked up onto a job. Even if someone does think that.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-01-30T15:18:50-06:00
ID
71357
Comment

And at risk of repeating MYSELF. I don't have a problem with people disagreeing with me. Hell, I actually welcome it!! And AGAIN, I dont have a problem with raising questions about someone's credentials. We have that right. I have no Problem with questioning anything anyone in government does as long as its a valid question on a valid issue. Im all for that...question away about Ward. What I dont like is the comments implying that Ward is just some guy off the street. JSU posted just 2 posts back that hiring Ward was like "asking William Hung to be mayor "and its NOT the same thing. That IS condescending. BUT no comment from you on that. Don't have posters here thinking I'm not open to an exchange of ideas.'Cause I am. but dont let them come off like this guy is completely incompetent or a complete idiot who lucked up onto a job. Even if someone does think that.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-01-30T15:19:12-06:00
ID
71358
Comment

And at risk of repeating MYSELF. I don't have a problem with people disagreeing with me. Hell, I actually welcome it!! And AGAIN, I dont have a problem with raising questions about someone's credentials. We have that right. I have no Problem with questioning anything anyone in government does as long as its a valid question on a valid issue. Im all for that...question away about Ward. What I dont like is the comments implying that Ward is just some guy off the street. JSU posted just 2 posts back that hiring Ward was like "asking William Hung to be mayor "and its NOT the same thing. That IS condescending. BUT no comment from you on that. Don't have posters here thinking I'm not open to an exchange of ideas.'Cause I am. but dont let them come off like this guy is completely incompetent or a complete idiot who lucked up onto a job. Even if someone does think that.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-01-30T15:19:50-06:00
ID
71359
Comment

LORD!!!!! Please excuse the multiple posts. MY bad. these computers in the Northside library are darn near archaic!!!!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2006-01-30T15:21:58-06:00
ID
71360
Comment

Don't worry. We'll clean it all this up. Right now, we're having some site difficulties anyway at the moment. The tech gods are working on it. Kamikaze, Mr. Ward rather made his bed ready for criticism with his own condescending "pacifier" quotes. And the mayor helped by not providing any substantive evidence that he is qualified. If you want to challenge the Hung reference directly, challenge it. But you might skip over the hyperbole ("sno-cones") and logical fallacies if you want to challenge it in a convincing way. So far, you sound like you're defending Mr. Ward ONLY because he's young. That's as bad as people criticizing him ONLY because he's young. What most people here are saying is very reasonable: Put him in a challenging position that his experience makes sense for and then catapult him to the top if he does a good job. But do not expect the citizens of Jackson to approve of this particular decision and "GIVE HIM A CHANCE" as you keep screaming at us today without bothering to provide any evidence whatsoever that he is a good fit for this position. And your putting words in other people's mouths is not helping you build your case.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-01-30T15:30:29-06:00

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