Madison Mayor, Canton Mayor talk JSU expansion

By Brad Soroka

It's an interview you'll see only on News Channel 12: Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler talks with us about comments made by Canton Mayor William Truly, Jr.

“If she does not accept Jackson State, then we will accept Jackson State,” Mayor Truly told us Wednesday.

We asked Mayor Butler her reaction to that: “My reaction is the same as its been always. IHL needs to follow the state law in going through the process.”

The controversy continues. Canton's Mayor can't understand why Madison's Mayor won't welcome Jackson State with open arms.

“Basic components of running a municipality would be 1.) economic, 2.) educational, 3.) job creation,” Mayor Truly tells us. “Why one would have resistance to education is an enigma to me.”

Mayor Butler tells us she doesn't have any resistance to education, but she wants to see Tulane grow and prosper in her city. The Dean in charge of Tulane's Madison Campus tells us his school isn't going anywhere.

“I hope so. I hope so,” says Mayor Butler.

The Madison Redevelopment Authority owns the property Tulane leases. Mayor Butler admits city officials wooed Tulane.

“I don't remember all the details, but there were incentives given to Tulane to come to the area,” she says. “And it was a partnership, because they were the first ones here, and they were the first ones and only ones interested at the time.”

Mayor Butler keeps stressing she wants the Mississippi IHL to go back and follow proper procedures for allowing JSU to move to Madison. The Commissioner of the IHL tells us they've done everything right and have been in talks with JSU for years about expanding beyond its Jackson campus.

Sunday night on our 10:00 newscast, we'll show you the process Jackson State went through and tell you why the IHL thinks the school is such a good fit in Madison.

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