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Harvey Johnson’s weekly email...

Harvey Johnson’s weekly email from the City

By: Magnolia Tribune - March 21, 2005

Here’s your weekly email from Mayor Johnson!

Today, Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr. introduced nominees to the Convention Center Commission to the Jackson City Council and made his appointments to the inaugural Capital City Convention Center Commission.

Johnson’s appointees are:

At-Large Members
Reverend Jerry Young
Fred Banks

Members Selected from Mississippi Lodging Association, Central MS Chapter
Tom Swietzer
Norma Brown

Members Selected from Jackson Chapter of the MS Restaurant Association
Leroy Walker
John Hardy

Member Selected from Metro Jackson Chamber of Commerce
Eddie Maloney

Governor’s Appointment
Steve Rogers

The law calls for a nine-member commission and must have five members to constitute a quorum. The commission is comprised of two hotel/motel members, two restaurant members two members representing the business community, two at large members and one at large member appointed by the Governor.

“We have a broad-based representation of Jackson in these commissioners,” said Mayor Johnson. “In fact, the contenders that we had for the commission were so good, that it truly made it difficult to choose.”

Mayor Johnson has designated Fred Banks as chairperson of the commission, and the commissioners will elect a vice chairperson and secretary. The commission is expected to have its first meeting within a few weeks.

The Capital City Convention Center Commission oversees the establishment, development, construction, furnishing, equipping, operating and promoting the Capital City Convention Center.

The Capital City Convention Center will create 700 new jobs and have nearly a $40 economic impact. The convention center is expected to be complete in 2008.

Mayor Discusses Ongoing Work of Quality of Life Task Force
Monday, Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr. discussed his Quality of Life Task Force, organized several months ago to streamline quality-of-life efforts among many city departments.

“The city of Jackson has always been concerned with issues relating to quality of life for its citizens,” said Mayor Johnson. “From spending nearly $3 million to demolish over 1700 structures in the last 7 years, to aggressively pursing repeat code violators, these issues remain a concern for us.”

The Quality of Life Task Force’s mission is to ensure the effective and efficient enforcement of all Quality of Life Ordinances and State Statues by monitoring all affected Departments to make Jackson the Best of the New South.

There are a number of goals the task force seeks to accomplish:

To reduce the number of Code Violations relating to grass and weeds, housing, structural integrity, and vehicles by 90% in three years.

To collect 100% of the existing tax liens and otherwise take possession of the property involved with Code violations within three years.

To eliminate the existing list of code violations.

To process all new cases within 90 days of initial notice.

To reduce the cases of illegal dumping

To implement a Community Service Program through the Municipal Court; and

To coordinate and involve neighborhood associations in keeping their areas clean and reported.

These concentrated efforts involve several city divisions including: Community Improvement, the Police Department, other areas of the Planning Department, the Solid Waste Division, the Municipal Court, Information Systems, Constituent Services, the Legal Department and city Treasury.

“We realize that neglect ? whether it be not cutting the grass, junk vehicles, or just other serious conditions to the property itself ? greatly affect those people living around the property,” said Johnson. ” And we are certain that this task force is already making a noticeable difference.”

One of the hallmarks of the Quality of Life Task Force is to identify “clusters” of properties in need of demolition. The Quality of Life Task Force identifies the clusters and targets those areas for demolition.

The task force has already demolished two clusters several weeks ago: one on Moorehouse Street and one cluster on McKinley Avenue. Both of these clusters were in the Washington Addition neighborhood of West Jackson. Several other clusters identified for demolition in the Washington Addition neighborhood are located on Booker Street, Dansby Street and Florence Avenue.

City Center Parking Garage Opens Today
The first new above ground parking garage in over two decades opened today in downtown Jackson. The City Centre Parking Garage was build by Parkway Properties, Inc. adjacent to the City Centre Building on Pascagoula Street. This 517-space parking garage will not only provide parking for tenants of the building, but will provide parking for visitors to Thalia Mara Hall, the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Russell Davis Planetarium, the Arts Pavilion, the Telecommunications Training and Conference Center and eventually the Capital City Convention Center.

The garage cost $8.2 million dollars and was a public/private partnership.

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.