The Jackson City Council is set to decide tomorrow whether to launch an investigation of Council President Frank Bluntson's use of city employees to campaign for his daughter-in-law, who lost a bid for Madison County Court judge Nov. 2.
Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba placed the proposed investigation on the agenda for tomorrow's 10 a.m. meeting. The investigation was originally set for a vote at the council's previous meeting, on Nov. 30, but Lumumba pulled the item because Ward 3 Kenneth Stokes was absent.
Lumumba has questioned whether Bluntson improperly asked two employees from the City Clerk's office to campaign for Barbara Ann Bluntson on Election Day. The two employees who worked on her campaign have maintained that they took a vacation day Nov. 2 to do the campaign work. Bluntson told the Jackson Free Press Nov. 22 that he did not instruct the employees to work on his daughter-in-law's campaign. Lumumba's call for an investigation is a political ploy aimed at removing him from the president's seat, Bluntson argued.
Lumumba said today that he was not sure whether he would get the four votes necessary to launch an inquiry. "I'm not sure what the votes are," he said. "We're going to (let) the people involved have a chance to say something about it, and then the council's going to decide whether they want to do an investigation."
Also on the agenda for tomorrow's meeting is a discussion of "allegedly racially insensitive acts" at the city's Department of Planning and Economic Development. Lumumba, who submitted the item, said that the issue concerned employees of the planning department and were, thus, a personnel matter and would be discussed in executive session.
Read the JFP's previous coverage "Bluntson and Lumumba Square off" for more on the Bluntson issue.
This is a waste of taxpayer's money and a waste of the council's time. If the employees are sticking to their story that they willingly participated in the campaign and that they took vacation time to do it, this is a moot issue except for the smear and politics involved. I am not a big Bluntson fan and can give you many reason why I think that the community who elected him in the beginning must be nuts or care little about moral/ethical issues.
Can this Council get on with the City's business???? The business Lumumba is trying to run is definitely not his.