Melton to Undergo Bypass Heart Surgery | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Melton to Undergo Bypass Heart Surgery

photo

Photo caption: Mayor Frank Melton and Dr. Robert Smith announcing that Melton will undergo heart surgery.

Scroll to the bottom of this story for updates.

Mayor Frank Melton announced Monday that he will have heart surgery in Tyler, Texas, to treat congestive heart failure. During his surgery, doctors will implant a cardioverter defibrillator, a device that acts as both a pacemaker and a defibrillator.

Melton said he has been "struggling" with heart disease since Hurricane Katrina, though he still seemed reluctant to expose his condition to the public.

"I've been struggling with this decision that I've made to let the public know for about a week now," Melton said, "and it came down to the fact that when I ran for office, I would never keep anything from the public."

Melton noted that both of his parents died of heart attacks.
Congestive heart failure is a disease characterized by the heart pumping weakly or inefficiently, which can cause a buildup of fluid in the patient, especially in the legs or ankles. People with heart failure can't exert themselves because they become short of breath and tired. CHF is the most common cause of hospitalization among those 65 or older, and Americans 40 or older have a one in five chance of developing the disease, according to a 2002 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Melton said he had taken on around 30 pounds of excess fluid in the months following Katrina. Diuretics prescribed by his physician helped Melton clear that fluid, but his heart continues to beat weakly.

At the close of his very brief appearance, Melton vowed to return to work by next Monday. "It will be business as usual," he said, though his local physician Dr. Robert Smith, who Melton described as his family doctor, said that such a prompt return would be possible only if there were no complications.

Smith compared the defibrillator doctors will implant in Melton to one used by Vice President Dick Cheney. He said that the mayor's prospects for a full recovery are "excellent," though he noted that he would have no direct involvement in the surgery. Melton will undergo the surgery at the East Texas Medical Center in Tyler, Texas, where his wife Ellen Melton is a pediatric physician. ETMC has a large cardiology institute, with more than 30 cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons on staff.

Smith said hospitals in Jackson offer the same operation, but Melton preferred to have the operation in Tyler. "His family, Ellen, Matthew and Lauren," Smith explained. "Everybody wants to be near their family."

Chief Administration Officer Robert Walker will run the executive branch during Melton's absence, city spokesman Tyrone Lewis said. Walker routinely stands in for Melton at City Council meetings, which the mayor rarely attends.

Melton supporters Bob Hickingbottom and Stephanie Parker-Weaver attended the press conference, along with City Attorney Sarah O'Reilly-Evans and Chief of Staff Marcus Ward. Jackson Police Department detectives Michael Recio and Marcus Wright, who serve as Melton's bodyguards and face trial with him for the Aug. 26 Ridgeway demolition, also attended. Councilmen Charles Tillman, Ben Allen and Frank Bluntson were also at the press conference.

Bluntson spoke after Melton's departure, claiming that Melton had delayed his own operation until he'd seen through a $250,000 double lung transplant for youth Alton Arnold.

"He told me, 'Now that we've taken care of the boy, I'm ready to do what I need to get done for myself,'" Bluntson said. "Here's a man who put his own health on the backburner because of a child that needed a double lung transplant. You don't hear about these things. I doubt I'll read it in the paper. I doubt I'll see it on television. I think people ought to see the passion this man has got."

Bluntson also said that the mayor has used the police department's mobile command center "only" because his diuretic medication causes frequent urination. The terms of Melton's bond and probation forbid him from using the MCC.

"I hear a lot of folks talk about the command bus that follows Frank around, but the reason is—you heard the doctor talk about the fluid pills he has to take? He has to use the bathroom all the time. On the command bus, they have a bathroom. It's there for him to use, and that's the only reason he had that command bus following him around most the time. That's the reason—because he's been using the bathroom on the command bus," Bluntson said.

* * *

Bypass Update

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, City Spokesman Tyrone Lewis announced that further tests by doctors had revealed blockage in arteries around Mr. Melton's heart. As a consequence, doctors determined that bypass surgery would be necessary. Mr. Melton was transferred to Mother Frances Hospital for the surgery, which requires cutting into the patient's chest in order to bypass clogged arteries with new sources of blood carried by veins from the leg or by rerouting arteries. The recovery time for such surgery is much longer than the procedure Mr. Melton and Dr. Smith described on Jan. 22, requiring several days in the hospital at minimum. Minimum recovery time is four to six weeks. Some patients require many months to recover. Mr. Melton is scheduled for surgery Thursday morning.

This story has been updated many times since it was first posted.

Previous Comments

ID
125062
Comment

the clarion ledger said he was having the procedure done at the east texas medical center in lufkin, where i believe his wife is on staff. the quality of care there for heart surgery is no better than baptist or st dominic, both of which maintain established cardivascular units. i suppose he wants to be close to family and east texas makes sense in that regard. best wishes for a speedy recovery

Author
chimneyville
Date
2007-01-22T13:32:57-06:00
ID
125063
Comment

Not to show any disrespect to melton and his "medical problems" but something ain't right. If melton was carring the Command Unit out to have a bathroom facility, it is not the reason HE gave to the citizens. "I'm keeping it low key but I never stop using it: I need it to fight crime." Frank Bluntson is full of crap and should use the Command Unit's facility to eliminate some of the lies he is always so willing to tell. This man is a joke! He thinks that the citizens of Jackson are just dumb fools and can be told anything. There was no feedback after melton's last pajama party. Did someone pull his chain. Ain't nothing wrong but something ain't right! Just thinking.

Author
justjess
Date
2007-01-22T13:37:00-06:00
ID
125064
Comment

I think they could have come up with a better excuse for Melton's use of the Mobile Command Center. Sounds like an attempt to solicit sympathy for his blatant law breaking.

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2007-01-22T13:37:55-06:00
ID
125065
Comment

Also, melton says he is a resident of Jackson. His insurance is paid through the city. Why would he take money out of MS to carry it to the State of TX for just a "simple procedure?" melton claims "family" in Jackson so what is the real deal here. You can't have it both ways.

Author
justjess
Date
2007-01-22T13:40:41-06:00
ID
125066
Comment

Justjess wrote: Also, melton says he is a resident of Jackson. His insurance is paid through the city. Why would he take money out of MS to carry it to the State of TX for just a "simple procedure?" melton claims "family" in Jackson so what is the real deal here. You can't have it both ways. Frank Melton can have surgery done anyplace he wishes. If he wants to have it done at East Texas near where his wife is on staff, it makes sense to me. My father flew out to California to have surgery done at Stanford where my sister was in training for her specialty.

Author
Ex
Date
2007-01-22T13:53:09-06:00
ID
125067
Comment

I don't believe the part about the MCC, either, for the record. I do, however, wish him the best in his surgery. Maybe this will encourage him to make positive lifestyle changes (like not smoking or drinking).

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-22T13:54:15-06:00
ID
125068
Comment

Ex is right; it does make sense for him to be near his family during a serious surgery such as this. And his family lives in Texas. Therefore ...

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-22T13:55:36-06:00
ID
125069
Comment

Justjess wrote: Also, melton says he is a resident of Jackson. His insurance is paid through the city. Why would he take money out of MS to carry it to the State of TX for just a "simple procedure?" melton claims "family" in Jackson so what is the real deal here. You can't have it both ways. The city of Jackson CAN LIVE WITHOUT money generated from Frank's heart surgery.

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2007-01-22T13:57:28-06:00
ID
125070
Comment

I work in the legal field and from working on various medical malpractice cases know that this is NOT a simple procedure. Doctors advise patients not to return to work for at least 4 weeks (non-manual labor) and at least 6 weeks if your job includes manual labor. I think it's all crap. The trial is around the corner and he's trying to get sympathy. He gets NONE from me, since I never knew he had a heart. The excuse for use of the Mobile Command Unit by Bluntson was bull. No one said FM had to go on raid, etc. If he was having those kind of problems, he should have stayed at home......he does have a bathroom there, doesn't he? Lastly, the statement that this procedure "would not interfere with his ability to run the City" is another load of crap. Hell, we're still waiting on that leaderdship!

Author
honey2me
Date
2007-01-22T13:59:08-06:00
ID
125071
Comment

I dated a girl that recently had a procedure like this done. She was playing basketball after a week and a half...

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-01-22T14:01:21-06:00
ID
125072
Comment

Jess writes: Also, melton says he is a resident of Jackson. His insurance is paid through the city. Why would he take money out of MS to carry it to the State of TX for just a "simple procedure?" I had my neurosurgery done at Ohio State University. You want to beef over that? Donna, this does explain our attorney general's cryptic comment some months back about Melton's health problems, no? You reckon this is what he was talking about? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2007-01-22T14:16:04-06:00
ID
125073
Comment

I dated a girl that recently had a procedure like this done. She was playing basketball after a week and a half... Law Clk So, was this girl 59 years old, smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, and drink too much? Living in a world of made up paranoia is not too good for the heart either! Two words: Bo Schembechler

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-01-22T14:21:40-06:00
ID
125074
Comment

I like the way they trot his condition out as some big "state secret," complete with white coated doctor by his side. Are we going to have to pay for Recio and Wright to accompany him to TX? Will the doctors allow them in during the surgery?

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-01-22T14:27:54-06:00
ID
125075
Comment

I feel sad for anyone having serious health problems. Someone needs to say that, lest visitors to the site think we have no heart. That said, I have to agree about the Mobile Command Unit comments -- in my book, TOTAL BS. Can you say, preparing the jury for defense's argument???

Author
Izzy
Date
2007-01-22T14:29:29-06:00
ID
125076
Comment

I like the way they trot his condition out as some big "state secret," complete with white coated doctor by his side. Are we going to have to pay for Recio and Wright to accompany him to TX? Will the doctors allow them in during the surgery? Exactly! What was the point of the doctor if no questions (medical or otherwise) would be answered? That thang is dumber than a soup sandwich!

Author
honey2me
Date
2007-01-22T14:47:40-06:00
ID
125077
Comment

Laurel, I gotta say that the tenor of some of these posts is bothering me. Not that I'm any great fan of Frank Melton, but nitpicking about where he gets his surgery done and so forth could understandably make folks wonder how fair the JFP has been to Melton in other areas, which isn't really fair since it isn't JFP staff who are making the comments. Re Bluntson's comment, I really don't think it's accurate or helpful to Melton; he's just gone from "rides the MCC to fight crime" to "ride the MCC because his medication requires him to take frequent bathroom breaks." That's not really something that helps him politically, and Bluntson saying it to the media doesn't help him in a court of law, either, so it's kind of a wash all around. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2007-01-22T14:49:46-06:00
ID
125078
Comment

Pike: MY comeback for your Bo comment is Frank Sinatra.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-22T15:06:49-06:00
ID
125079
Comment

TH wrote" "Bluntson's comment, I really don't think it's accurate or helpful to Melton; he's just gone from "rides the MCC to fight crime" to "ride the MCC because his medication requires him to take frequent bathroom breaks." Frank, I think it's time you strapped on a Colostomy bag. The sight of that would get you more sympathy that Bluntson's lame excuse.

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2007-01-22T15:17:48-06:00
ID
125080
Comment

Good points, Tom. Certainly everyone here at the JFP wishes Mr. Melton a speedy recovery. I've said for months that he is in bad shape, and people around him need to get him help and to help himself. As for the Bluntson part, that frankly sounds like they are using Mr. Melton's heart condition in a political way to try to excuse some of his quesitonable actions. He ought to just shut up about the MCC. There is no reason to do that. Explain Mr. Melton's health problems and leave the politics out of it. If you play politics with his condition, you're going to arouse suspicions that you wouldn't otherwise. Yes, I think is likely what General Hood was referring to. I've long heard Melton has serious health problems, although I've heard that it's two or three different things and with no confirmation, wasn't going to report those rumors. You can take one look at him and know he's not in good health. But other than the exercise (swimming), he also seems to do little to help himself. Maybe this will kick him in the butt. Of course, I've known people who kept smoking after learning they had lung cancer, so who knows. At any rate, our prayers are with him through his surgery.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-22T15:21:09-06:00
ID
125081
Comment

Tom, I know what you mean. It's one thing to be cynical about politics, but another thing to completely negate your own humanity by trampling on someone when they are down. That's the trick here, to be compassionate for his problems, yet hold him accountable for his actions.

Author
Izzy
Date
2007-01-22T15:21:48-06:00
ID
125082
Comment

Its his right to have his surgery wherever he wants. I hope he recovers and gets well. He is on blood pressure medication (he has stated so in the past). I seriously doubt he is going to manipulate when he has heart surgery. So what if he has a doctor there? Frank has always had a sense of the dramatic. That is just how he is and I don't see why it is worth commenting on. Its a little silly but nothing worth bashing him over. Playing the card about why he doesn't get his surgery here is stupid. There are a multitude of reasons why he is getting surgery there. Family. His regular doctor and specialists may be in Texas. Past history. Its his business and not really ours. If it was a city employee and Melton was bashing that employee in the media for having surgery in Texas and making the same comments, some posters here would be slamming Melton for invading that employee's privacy. Whatever your thoughts are on Melton as a mayour and person, some of these comments are over the line.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-22T15:21:52-06:00
ID
125083
Comment

If it was a city employee and Melton was bashing that employee in the media for having surgery in Texas and making the same comments, some posters here would be slamming Melton for invading that employee's privacy. Excellent point, King. (Hell just froze over. ) And I agree about that tone. It's fine to discuss the procedure, and how serious it is, whether Mr. Melton will be able to do his job afterward, and any thoughts about this being used politically by the administration. However, I must ask you anonymous posters not to cross the line. I will suspend you and delete your comments if you do. (I will point out those who post under their real names aren't crossing that line. Figures.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-22T15:26:09-06:00
ID
125084
Comment

well damn, the Saints DID make it to the champeenship game.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-22T15:27:03-06:00
ID
125085
Comment

Also, I'll add that raising the "why Texas?" question isn't a problem in and of itself (and I think it's been answered well). He is the mayor of Jackson and is under court supervision here, so any questions about his leaving the state for a period of time is legitimate. However, don't use that in a tasteless way to bash him. That makes no sense, and is bad karma, folks.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-22T15:27:59-06:00
ID
125086
Comment

I appreciate the comments from Ex whose father had surgery in Calif., from Tom Head who had neurosurgery at Ohio State and so on. My question is: Were you or your family member a mayor of the Capitol City or Governor of the State where you/they lived? This was one of the issues involved in wheather melton was a resident of Jackson or in Texas where he homesteads. To address the issue of family, he stood in the courtroom with his heart pounding in his chest when he was on the verge of being sent to jail, where was the family then?? Since the State of the City address, there has been no reference to family other than "my kids at the house" (now removed secondary to felony charges). We can no longer downplay the effects of taking money out of Jackson and giving it to other areas. We are experiencing that now with businesses moving out of Jackson (the many) and relocating to areas of (the few) and expecting (the many) to flock and spend to support those communities. Isn't this familiar? The Mayor of the city is EXPECTED to use the services of HIS CITY. This is the greatest testimony of who we are and what we can provide. In other words, if it is good enough for the citizens one claims to serve and reap financial benefits from, it should be good enough for our public officials. The only exception will be having a procedure done that Jakson can not provide. Ex. A burn center.

Author
justjess
Date
2007-01-22T15:49:36-06:00
ID
125087
Comment

I'm cool with my karma no matter what I said. Bo Schembechler had this surgery, and he died a month or less later. That is the most high profile person to have this surgery done lately that I can think of. I would hope Bo is not an example of the rule, but an exception for this surgery. Last I checked, Frank, smokes, drinks and is paranoid. I hope he can run a marathon after this. It's his health and his karma he has to deal with right now. I'm pretty comfortable with the bed I sleep in...

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-01-22T15:59:16-06:00
ID
125088
Comment

I would hope justjesss, that a man with his money would go where he can get the best care? Staying in Jackson is moot. I'd go to the ends of the earth if the best doctor I could afford was there.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-01-22T16:01:11-06:00
ID
125089
Comment

Justjess asked: I appreciate the comments from Ex whose father had surgery in Calif., from Tom Head who had neurosurgery at Ohio State and so on. My question is: Were you or your family member a mayor of the Capitol City or Governor of the State where you/they lived? At the time of his surgery, my father was an elected official serving the people of Jasper County, Mississippi, as a County Supervisor.

Author
Ex
Date
2007-01-22T16:01:48-06:00
ID
125090
Comment

Let the man be near his family.... Lord knows he need it!

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-01-22T16:02:14-06:00
ID
125091
Comment

Just so people understand, Mr. Melton himself did not answer questions, but his physician, Dr. Robert Smith, did answer questions. So he wasn't just there for show.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-22T16:11:28-06:00
ID
125092
Comment

Thanks Brian. I stand corrected.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-22T16:25:02-06:00
ID
125093
Comment

I made a few updates to the story. We should have more for you soon.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-22T16:31:13-06:00
ID
125094
Comment

I wish Frank a speedy recovery as well.

Author
golden eagle '97
Date
2007-01-22T16:37:25-06:00
ID
125095
Comment

Updated again. Some interesting new stuff in there.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-22T17:38:35-06:00
ID
125096
Comment

I wish Frank well, too. Some people come back very strongly after surgey of various kinds. Hopefully, he won't be away too long.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-01-22T17:53:08-06:00
ID
125097
Comment

as for the comments about bathroom breaks. I have a friend who is on those meds and when he gets that urge, he has about one minute or so to get to a bathroom or else its not a pretty sight.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-22T18:18:13-06:00
ID
125098
Comment

Again, not to be disrespectful to melton and his medical problems at this time; however, I know that the citizens of Jackson should not have to pay $1,000.00/day for the mayor to urinate. This is totally absurd!!!! frank melton has bankrupt this City and now they are trying to draw sympathy, compassion, and an understanding for the reason he has continued to brake the law and disrespect the terms of his probation. I can empathic to melton as he looks for remedy to his medical problems. No one wants to see anyone suffer; but, Can anyone say - D E P E N D S?

Author
justjess
Date
2007-01-23T12:00:17-06:00
ID
125099
Comment

Frank Bluntson's comments following the Mayor's at the press conference yesterday were totally politically motivated, IMHO. Trying the justify the Mayor's use of the Mobile Command Center was a clever but thinly shrouded attempt to exact sympathy for Melton and to send a message to potential jurors. I could be wrong, but this seems to be a violation of the gag order in the case when you consider (1) the press conference was called by Melton about his medical condition; (2) after giving his statement, then Melton left the room, leaving Bluntson behind; (3) Bluntson took the Mayor's seat and the press microphones saying he "loved" Melton and "want him to live", and that had used the MCC because of his medical condition; (4) thus, it appears that Melton got his message out without even being in the room! Somebody tell me: am I reading too much into this?

Author
Kacy
Date
2007-01-23T12:46:08-06:00
ID
125100
Comment

I don't necessarily disagree with your assessment, Kacy, but it's important to remember that Councilman Bluntson is not under a gag order because he is not an officer of the court in Melton's trial. As things stand now, he IS forbidden to refer to the Ridgeway duplex as a "drug house," but otherwise, he can say just about anything he wants, like any of the rest of us. Whether or not the public is convinced is a separate question.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-23T13:12:15-06:00
ID
125101
Comment

As per my comment above, I agree entirely with Kacy's assessment.

Author
Izzy
Date
2007-01-23T13:14:33-06:00
ID
125102
Comment

"Bluntson spoke after Melton's departure, claiming that melton had delayed his own operation until he'd seen through a $250,000 double lung transplant for youth, Alton Arnold." Kacy is on point with the politics of this whole issue. They are using every opportunity to subvert the judge's gag order. They are really getting proficient at this and it is so sad for some folks who are so vulnerable that they can not see through the games being played. Brian Johnson did an excellent job with the news story and his update; however, there should be fact-check for bluntson claim that melton paid for Alton Arnold's surgery. I remember the Medicaid issue involved in this case and I know that melton did not pay $250,000 for this kid's surgery. These are all political games. Sad, but true.

Author
justjess
Date
2007-01-23T13:14:34-06:00
ID
125103
Comment

No doubt justjess! Who is going to give all these poor children $250,000 lung transplants if Melton is in jail? He commandeered the MCC for crime fighting, period! This second reason by Blunston is nothing but a crock!

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-01-23T13:49:07-06:00
ID
125104
Comment

Okay Jackson...do we get it now! Mayor Melton is not really a citizen of the City of Jackson. He’s not registered to vote here. He listed Tyler, TX as his homestead, where his family resides. When he needed an attorney - he went to Texas; when he wanted another developer - he went to Texas, now that he needs medical attention - why wouldn't he leave the medical hub of the state to go back home to good old Texas. Melton has been sending us messages along that the City of Jackson neither the State of Mississippi is good enough for him. It takes more than owning a home to be a citizen!

Author
joiedevie
Date
2007-01-23T16:19:16-06:00
ID
125105
Comment

I've longed wish the man went back to Texas, but not in this form or fashion. I pray that he is blessed with a speedy recovery.

Author
optimisticaboutNewJackCity
Date
2007-01-23T18:15:19-06:00
ID
125106
Comment

Me, too, optimistic. I've said all along that I'm worried about him on many levels. Despite his ineptitude as a mayor, I still like him one-on-one, and I worry that he's hurting himself in many ways. He really, really should resign as mayor and give up the stress of a job he dislikes, go home to his family in Texas, and take care of himself. This sounds like a wake-up call for him personally.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-23T23:28:16-06:00
ID
125107
Comment

The clarion ledger is reporting that Maceo and Bootsy Collins went with him and are by his side. Sorry. I meant Wright and Receo(sp). I must have ben thinking of James Brown's sax and base players.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-01-24T10:59:54-06:00
ID
125108
Comment

No one is going to get a chance to ask those fellows anything outside of Frank's presence.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-01-24T11:01:47-06:00
ID
125109
Comment

In all seriousness, this looks worst than it did the other day. Melton is now having bypass surgery! Hope all goes well. But, I think we may have to consider where to go from here. Melton won't be back in the office next week or anytime soon.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-01-24T17:08:18-06:00
ID
125110
Comment

Yes, Pike. This is certainly not a procedure Mr. Melton will recover from quickly. According to the American Heart Association, patients spend "at least three to five days and sometimes longer. ... Many side effects usually disappear in four to six weeks, but a full recovery may take a few months or more. ... Most people with sedentary office jobs can return to work in four to six weeks." So what does this mean for city administration? Surely, we can't have Robert Walker running things for six full weeks, can we?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-24T17:37:05-06:00
ID
125111
Comment

Bad cut --> "three to five days and sometimes longer in the hospital."

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-24T17:39:07-06:00
ID
125112
Comment

Does anyone have the state laws governing incapacitation of an elected official handy?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-24T17:43:09-06:00
ID
125113
Comment

It does seem that Mother Frances Hospital has excellent cardiac services.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-24T17:54:49-06:00
ID
125114
Comment

Many thanks to the blogger who provided what appears to be the relevant state law: 21-8-19 Acting mayor; filling of vacancy in office of mayor. Whenever the mayor shall be prevented by absence from the municipality, disability or other cause from attending to the duties of his office, the mayor shall appoint a member of the council to assume the duties of the mayor. However, any acting mayor so appointed shall retain his right to vote in the council. Whenever the mayor shall have been unable to attend to the duties of his office for a period of sixty (60) consecutive days for any of the above stated reasons, or whenever the mayor shall be incapable of making such appointment, an acting mayor shall be appointed by the council from among its members and said acting mayor shall succeed to all the rights, powers and duties of the mayor or the then acting mayor. ...

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-24T17:57:01-06:00
ID
125115
Comment

So I guess we'd better get used saying "Mayor Bluntson" for a while, huh?

Author
Kacy
Date
2007-01-24T18:10:57-06:00
ID
125116
Comment

Perish the thought.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-24T18:39:03-06:00
ID
125117
Comment

I'll be keeping him in my prayers and I wish him a speedy and uneventful recovery.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-01-24T18:49:23-06:00
ID
125118
Comment

Will it be Bluntson or Stokes? Once you get Kenny in there, he won't leave short of a fire.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-01-24T19:12:46-06:00
ID
125119
Comment

My money is on Mayor Allen.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-01-24T19:48:48-06:00
ID
125120
Comment

Jackson officials have not decided who will run the city while Melton recovers, city spokesman Cmdr. Tyrone Lewis said. "We're not going to make a decision until we get confirmation from the mayor," Lewis said. Robert Walker is Jackson's chief operating officer and typically signs off on city business. Melton, along with his two police bodyguards, on Tuesday traveled to the Tyler, Texas, where the mayor's family resides. This quote from today's paper is quite alarming. Again, we see that the mayor and his staff have not prepared for this. How hard is it to have a letter drafted saying who on the Council would be mayor - Just.in.case! Also, if Melton is going to be on bed rest for awhile, it is high time those damn bodyguards are put on desk duty where they belong. Why are they still in TX? Why are we paying for them to be in TX? They do not need to stay in TX any longer than necessary - which would be by the end of this weekend! Somebody with this City grow a farking spine, and start demanding some accountability. Stop the madness now! BTW: We will pretty much be in a lame duck holding pattern for awhile. Pretty much any major action that the "temp mayor" takes can be challenged in court. It's a shame we can't pull a Donnie Darko on all this stuff! ;-)

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-01-25T10:02:18-06:00
ID
125121
Comment

Amen Pike!!!!!!!!

Author
Big Tee
Date
2007-01-25T10:26:06-06:00
ID
125122
Comment

Pike-loves-the-saints (and so do I) writes: ....They do not need to stay in TX any longer than necessary-......" These two men are charged with felonies and court cases are pending. They are not to leave the State as a term of their bond. These two men can not carry weapons so how in the SAM HELL can they be "BODYGUARDS?" The only job for them in TX ,as it relates to frank, would be a supportive therapeutic role. I doubt that either has the capacity or understanding to give that since their style is "kick butt and take names." Jackson deserves better than what is being given by this administration. It has turned into some type of Amos and Andy sit-com. There is nothing funny about any of this. In honest, I do wish frank a total and uneventful recovery. Once he is well enough to make decisions for himself, I sincerely hope and pray that he will resign and let this City begin its healing process.

Author
justjess
Date
2007-01-25T11:38:42-06:00
ID
125123
Comment

I wish Mr. Melton a good recovery. Maybe this will prompt a change in his methods of governance.

Author
tombarnes
Date
2007-01-25T11:54:03-06:00
ID
125124
Comment

Tombarnes, I feel your sincerity in wishing "Mr. Melton" a good revcovery; however, expecting "a change in his methods of governance" is akin to the Tin Man in the Wizard of OZ asking for a heart. Frank needs to get off of that Yellow Brick Wall with all of the meltonites standing on the sidelines cheering him own. He admits to hating his job as mayor and has done and said everthing to prove just that. So again I humbly ask, "please frank, give us a chance to heal."

Author
justjess
Date
2007-01-25T12:21:38-06:00
ID
125125
Comment

One must have a method before they can change that method.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-01-25T12:22:40-06:00
ID
125126
Comment

Good point. I stand corrected.

Author
tombarnes
Date
2007-01-25T13:10:36-06:00
ID
125127
Comment

OK, here we go.... Melton has made it through surgery. And, of all things , I am so happy Bluntson can now get some rest. “I didn’t sleep two hours last night,” Bluntson said. “It’s such a relief to know everything went well.” BTW: We may need a new drinking rule, for everytime the Clarion LEdger says that Bluntson is Melton's friend! However, it is clear that Melton's administration has no intentions of following state law: Chief Administrative Officer Robert Walker and City Attorney Sarah O’Reilly-Evans will oversee day-to-day operations of the city, while Melton recovers. Wrong! Here is another Code to go along with the one listed above: § 21-9-37. Function of the mayor. The mayor shall be the titular head of the city for all ceremonial purposes and for all processes of law. He shall be the president of the council and shall have a voice and vote in its proceedings, but no power of veto. He shall have no administrative powers. In case of his absence or disability, the council may appoint another of its members to fulfill his duties temporarily. Sources: Codes, 1942, § 3825.5-14; Laws, 1948, ch. 385, § 14; Laws, 1952, ch. 372, § 10. So... what is the hold up councilmen?

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-01-25T14:27:28-06:00
ID
125128
Comment

Yes. The Clarion-Ledger piece is essentially the city's press release with a comment from Bluntson thrown in. I think the big news here is that Mr. Melton survived the surgery and that he had a triple bypass. By the way, Carolyn Redd is listed as the contact person on the press release: [verbatim from press release] Contact: Carolyn Redd, Asst. CAO, Marketing, Public Relations & Special Events Coordinator (601) 960- 2423 Statement on Mayor Melton’s Medical Procedure This morning, at Trinity Mother Francis Hospital in Tyler, Texas, Mayor Frank Melton underwent successful by-pass surgery. Small blockages were identified while undergoing catheterization test during the Mayor’s preparation for an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD). In bypass surgery, doctors remove one or more blood vessels from elsewhere in the body—in Mayor Melton’s case, two arteries from the chest and a vein from the leg—and attach them to arteries serving the heart, detouring around blockages. The surgery is considered fairly routine -- more than 300,000 such procedures are conducted each year -- and has a survival rate of 99 percent. The procedure lasted six hours and there were no complications. Presently, the Mayor is resting comfortably under the careful eye of his medical team. He will remain in the hospital to monitor his recovery and is expected to resume his regular schedule when released. City business will continue as if the Mayor were on vacation. Chief Administrative Officer Robert Walker will oversee day to day operations with assistance from City Attorney, Sarah O’Reilly-Evans. Further updates will be released as provided by the medical team at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, Texas. # # #

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-01-25T14:36:12-06:00
ID
125129
Comment

Well, I'm pretty sure that Melton is still the "tit-ular head" of the city no matter what hospital bed he's occupying. Sorry, I couldn't help it.

Author
Lori G
Date
2007-01-25T15:28:40-06:00
ID
125130
Comment

Folks, it's worth bearing in mind that arterial blockage (like any other major interruption of critical body function) can have serious psychological effects, most notably depression, anxiety, and fatigue. Melton has boasted, at various times, of not sleeping much; this, rather than a sign of strong constitution, could have been a symptom. So could any number of other things. I don't mean to play devil's advocate, but we all know Melton had more sense when he was president of WLBT. Maybe this will fix some of what ails him. Glad he made it through the surgery, in any case. Cheers TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2007-01-25T15:33:45-06:00
ID
125131
Comment

I respect your optimism Tom--along with your valid points about the psychological and emotional effects of heart disease--but I double dare you to go back and watch a dozen "Bottom Lines" from the WLBT days and still maintain that Mr. Melton had more sense then.

Author
Brian Johnson
Date
2007-01-25T17:36:05-06:00
ID
125132
Comment

Fire up the lawsuits! Way to go council! Your silence is deafening! Redd says, "We are going to continue to operate as if he is on vacation or away on city business. Robert Walker, our C.A.O., will handle the day to day, but anything that binds or obligates the city will have to run through the city attorney's office." WLBT So, who decides this?

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-01-25T19:36:40-06:00
ID
125133
Comment

I'm tired of all this fussing back and forth. Can't we have some love power? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDxBNbn-Qg4

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-26T00:44:10-06:00
ID
125134
Comment

Brian, I'm not sure whether it's that he had more sense or I had more naivete, but in 1991-1992, I had a positive opinion of the guy. Course, I was 13. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2007-01-26T01:23:30-06:00
ID
125135
Comment

That is because he was marketing himself to you because of your age.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-26T09:50:46-06:00
ID
125136
Comment

Kingfish! Okay, that was brilliant, I have to admit... Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2007-01-26T14:00:55-06:00
ID
125137
Comment

I'm still on first base. Who gave the two "BODYGUARDS" who we know are charged with felonies and are out on bond, premission to follow frank to Texas? Taxpayers are paying 24/7. What are they guarding him with, a water gun? Who is after this man anyway? If he is so frightened about who knows what, why does he have the camera folks following him around? The City Council is definitely being dis'ed. Carolyn Redd has made it crystal clear that she and Robert Walker are in charge and da#n what any of you smart butts think. These folks follow their own rules and they make them up as they go. The sad thing is that we allow this foolishness to continue. Read the language: They will ast as if melton is "on VACATION or away on City business." We have heard these lies entirely too many times. What's wrong with simply stating that frank is on a medical leave of absence and it is not determined as to how long he will be out of the office. Mr. BenFrankTillBluntson screw ups are in charge or until Stokes Chokes the sh!t out of Chrisler as Simone looks ON........Helplessly frank melton is not listed under his name, accoring to news sources. Why is he using an alias when he is constantly in the public eye here in Jackson? Is TX the State of his BIG BAD WOLF? Just thinking!

Author
justjess
Date
2007-01-26T14:58:44-06:00
ID
125138
Comment

What a sad state this City has come to. At first, the Council did not know the rules governing the absence of the mayor. The rule has been researched and read. Now they know. The problem is, what keeps them from following the law. Rember: If a man knows but act as if he doesn't know, he is either a fool or a (CITYCOUNCIL MEMBER) - PITY THEM because it is nothing that we can do until it is time for re-election.

Author
justjess
Date
2007-01-26T15:19:07-06:00
ID
125139
Comment

They body guards or partners in crime are in Texas with Frank to make damn sure no one can ask or offer them a darn thing to turn on Frank. Frank will spend his own money, our money, stole money, or fake money to keep these fellows by and on his side until he knows he won't be living in prison or existing as ex-mayor. Frank ain't stupid enough to lose these fellows at this critical hour, and I'm not talking about his medical situation. He ain't as dumb as he looks. Faye darn near stole Wright from him before.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-01-26T16:55:29-06:00
ID
125140
Comment

Where people get their health care from may be their own business. What I'm having a hard time understanding is the big discussion of being near his "family". FM and his wife have not been in this city "living" together the whole time he has lived here. What is the big deal on being near his family now. He never said he was going to Texas for the best care only mentioned to be near his family. No one in their right mind would wish any ill will on someone ill. The discussion is about constant lies that are told about everything that comes out of FM mouth.

Author
maad
Date
2007-01-27T23:59:20-06:00
ID
125141
Comment

I don't get why the chief doesn't just order them back home to do their jobs, Ray—or suspend them so they can shadow Melton everywhere NOT on the taxpayer's dime. And why do the courts allow them to go everywhere with him, considering they're all under indictment together? Is there nothing that can be done about that?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-28T10:32:04-06:00
ID
125142
Comment

Ben Allen's comment quoted in today's C-L regarding Melton's setting up an office in his 'home' is curious. Is this his 'home' in Jackson or his 'home' in Texas? Also, last night on one of the newscasts, Carolyn Redd was spoken of as the City's Assistant Chief Administrative Officer. Is this truely her title?

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2007-01-30T08:09:36-06:00
ID
125143
Comment

So, Marshand Crisler was just on Kim Wade to tell the listeners about the statute regarding absence of the mayor. Basically saying exactly what the state law says. So, then Ben Allen called in to say he is embarrassed that Marshand is making a big deal out of this and that Marshand is just pushing his personal agenda. Have you ever heard a parent talk down to a child? That is the tone Ben took with Marshand. Classy, real classy! Yet, what Ben doesn't tell you is that this morning he gave his opinion of the situation saying "he" didn't think it was a problem, that it amounted to "kicking ant hills" worrying about it, and calling it no different than being on vacation. Then when a caller said that a few other council-members would hurt their brain if they sat down... well the hardy laughs of Larry and Kent were intermingled with Ben faining laughter, "Aww, stop it now." So, why can Ben talk about it on the radio; but, if Marshand tries he is called out publicly by Ben Allen? Sounds like Ben's own personal agenda came through with his phone call this afternoon.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-01-30T19:15:17-06:00
ID
125144
Comment

I can only think that Ben might be more scared of Temporary Mayor Bluntson or Stokes, rather than following the law of the State of Mississippi. If Mr Allen can't come to terms with his duties, it's time to relive him of his seat on that council. Wish I could.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-01-30T19:24:07-06:00
ID
125145
Comment

So, following the law is "kicking at anthills"??? Mr. Allen is beginning to sound a bit too much like Mr. Melton. This is completely inappropriate for the council president. This crisis is just getting bigger by the day. I say that realizing how awful a Mayor Bluntson or Mayor Stokes would be, too. But the law is the law. What part of it doesn't the council president understand?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-30T19:29:45-06:00
ID
125146
Comment

I mean, whoever is in charge, might be the best thing to hit the city since Reconstruction and all. However he's not eligible under MS law.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-01-30T19:31:52-06:00
ID
125147
Comment

"The Mayor of the city is EXPECTED to use the services of HIS CITY" I can see some use of this as a political bludgeon for some types of services by some people for political gain, but honestly, complaining about where they are going to operate on his heart is somewhere between 'living in a logically inconsistent fantasy world' and 'simple gross ignorance of the seriousness of such a decision.' When you make a medical decision which will directly impact the remainder of your mortal life, consideration about the minority that will whine about where it wasn't done isn't something that seems that important when it is YOUR body being cut open.

Author
Scott Thomas
Date
2007-01-30T20:36:56-06:00
ID
125148
Comment

When you make a medical decision which will directly impact the remainder of your mortal life, consideration about the minority that will whine about where it wasn't done isn't something that seems that important when it is YOUR body being cut open. I have to say, I pretty much agree with this. I imagine that he wanted to be in Tyler because his wife is on staff at the hospital (or otherwise plugged into the medical community there) and he can get VIP treatment there by someone they knows and trusts; likewise, he probably doesn't mind being out of the local media spotlight while he's recovering. I get the frustation, too -- if Melton was more of a "Jacksonian" then he'd have a doctor here, a family here, etc., and Tyler wouldn't be an issue. But given that his Texas connection exists, I don't see why he would expect him not to take advantage of it in this case.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-01-31T12:50:47-06:00

Thanks to all our new JFP VIPs!

COVID-19 has closed down the main sources of the JFP's revenue -- concerts, festivals, fundraisers, restaurants and bars. If everyone reading this article gives $5 or more, we should be able to continue publishing through the crisis. Please pay what you can to keep us reporting and publishing.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

comments powered by Disqus