JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Since taking office 100 days ago, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba has filled out his administration and put an end to furloughs.
Mayor Lumumba held a news conference Tuesday to make a few announcements.
He said the city has budgeted to hire 50 more police officers before the end of the fiscal year. “I take the position that every block will be controlled by somebody,” he said. “It will either be a negative force or a positive force.”
“We’re not sure if we’re going to do that in one class or two,” said Police Chief Lee Vance.
Officials said there are currently 368 JPD officers. The department is budgeted for 418.
Lumumba also discussed infrastructure. He said the city has a $2.5 billion infrastructure problem.
“We’re receiving approximately $13 million annually from the 1 percent sales tax,” he said.
The mayor said fixing one project at a time using that money would be slow, so he is looking at leveraging the sales tax money.
“Just as people’s homes or cars are assets, a 20-year referendum of a sales tax is an asset to the city, and we have to appropriately leverage it to take on more projects.”
Determining how much should be leveraged is still up in the air. However, the city approved a two mil increase for homeowners. Lumumba said they were left with the options of raising the millage or ending some early childhood development programs.
“We felt we made the appropriate decision.”
Lumumba also mentioned how his administration put an end to furloughs. He said they didn’t benefit the city.
The state of the city address will be held October 30 at 4 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall.