JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A group of neighbors are calling for changes to how the City of Jackson runs.
The push is to change the form of government in Jackson from the mayor and city council system that we currently have to a council and manager format.
That decision is in the hands of Jackson neighbors.
“I’m for establishing a type of government that works in the 21st-century. Jackson, Mississippi, as the capital of this great state, there’s no need to be a follower. We need to be the leader of change in the state.”
Corinthian Sanders’ voice was one of many that spoke out for change in Jackson at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
He’s an advocate with the committee to make Jackson great again which has no connection to the Trump Presidential campaign.
The group is circulating a petition to change the form of government to include a city manager; a different format than the mayor and council system we have now.
“It didn’t work 30 years ago and it don’t work today. And we know that now because look at us now,” said Sanders.
Councilman DeKeither Stamps proposed a resolution Tuesday to support the change but it failed to pass when other members of the council requested a study to find the most effective form of government.
“I feel that a lot of the frustrations that go on here in the City Council are symptomatic of the actual form of government,” said Councilman Stamps.
“When both branches of government don’t have the opportunity to engage and understand what the other one is doing, there’s a lack of respect for that,” said Mayor Tony Yarber of the City of Jackson.
Mayor Yarber says he’s not taking the petition personally, noting that many other cities operate with a manager.
“It works in places all over the country. It has its flaws as well just as ours is. No it doesn’t eliminate the mayor’s position,” said Mayor Yarber.
Sanders says that the change would not only mean hiring a manager but also electing an at large councilmember and the mayor would sit on the council as well.
“The state of our finances are in terrible shape. And I wanted to support the council-manager type of government because it’s a government that is competent,” said Sanders.
Right now, the petition has about 350 signatures.
It needs 17,000 to make it onto a ballot to be voted on.
Sanders says the change would also have to be approved by the state legislature.