Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. appears to be taking his time in hanging a portrait of his predecessor up in City Hall. Part of the delay, however, stems from the fact that the City Council hasn't bothered to hang up Johnson's portrait from his first term.
In a City Council work session Monday, Council President Frank Bluntson asked the mayor to explain why former Mayor Frank Melton's portrait was not yet hanging in City Hall. In August 2010, Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes introduced a resolution to hang Melton's portrait up next to other portraits of Jackson's former mayors, but it hasn't been done yet.
Johnson replied to Bluntson that the mayors' portraits were to be hung up in sequence, meaning the next portrait to go on the wall would be his, from his first term as mayor.
"The next portrait to go up would be my portrait from the period 1997-2005, and in the period between 2005-2009 (during Melton's administration), there was no such resolution passed by the council to get my portrait up there," Johnson said. "But we will hang the portraits in sequence, and once we get my portrait for '97-'05, then Mayor Melton's portrait will go next to that one."
When Bluntson asked why it was taking so long to get the portraits up, Johnson said he had to decide on both a portrait of himself and the right framing, which had taken longer than he had anticipated.
"We had one frame, and now we have to switch out the frame, so that's been the hold up," Johnson said. "… As soon as we get the frame switched out and hang up my portrait from 1997 to 2005, we'll probably just hang them both at the same time."