Voters go to the polls in five days to select a new Jackson mayor of Jackson. We talked with incumbent city councilman and lawyer, Melvin Priester, Jr. about his vision for the capital city.
The Harvard and Stanford educated attorney hopes to bring new life to a city with serious challenges.
"I think the people of Jackson understand that we have to have some fresh new energy and bring some new technology to Jackson," said Priester.
Thirty-five year old Priester serves as President of the Jackson City Council. He says it's time for a new approach.
"I'm trying to bring some common sense to the capitol city," said Priester. "If my business was run like the city of Jackson's business is run, I'd be out of business. That's a unique thing I bring, also we've got to think for the future."
Priester says he is tired of Jackson trying to keep up with others cities adding, it's time for Jackson to get ahead.
"We've got this 1 % sales tax that's going to generate between 12-15 million dollars but we've got hundreds of millions of dollars worth of problems," said Priester. "If we don't have detailed oriented leadership, we won't get through the gate and we will miss this great moment and this great opportunity we have right now."
Priester uses terms like fresh approach, make Jackson green and save money, right size the public works department, demand improvement from the school board, priority based budgeting. And step away from old school ways of doing things.
"I think the Farish Street project is an example of how an old school leadership style thought about how to change Jackson," said Priester. "My school of leaderships believes that we have to build Jackson with the people that are already here."
Priester says Jackson's woes are personally frustrating, but can be addressed and have to be addressed in the next 4 years.
He says a project management office is needed.
"Because we are about to embark on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of infrastructure improvements," Priester added. "Right now we do not have the staff in house to make sure we are building those projects building them right; to spec, and we are getting the most of taxpayer dollars."
Priester was recently endorsed by longtime congressman Bennie Thompson and vows to bring together all parties from all parts of Jackson to lead the city forward into the future.
Thursday, August 28 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:33:06 GMT
SPARTANBURG COUNT, SC (WYFF) - Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office. DeputiesMore >>
Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office.More >>
Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:01 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:01:35 GMT
Who wouldn't feel sorry for a man that stands in front of you, nearly in tears, and talks about how his wife died eight months ago during labor.More >>
Who wouldn't feel sorry for a man that stands in front of you, nearly in tears, and talks about how his wife died eight months ago during labor, his mother just died, and now he is a single father raising a newborn all alone.More >>
Thursday, August 28 2014 4:49 PM EDT2014-08-28 20:49:29 GMT
A Jackson police officer has been hospitalized after being attacked in south Jackson. The department says it happened last night, while he was making an arrest, at the intersection of Forest Hill RoadMore >>
A Jackson police officer has been hospitalized after being attacked in south Jackson. The department says it happened Wednesday night, while he was making an arrest at the intersection of Forest Hill Road and Raymond Road.More >>
Thursday, August 28 2014 1:26 PM EDT2014-08-28 17:26:05 GMT
This is a news release from the office of Judge Hollis McGehee Special Judge Hollis McGehee has scheduled a status conference and hearing for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, in the Circuit Court CourtroomMore >>
Special appointed Judge Hollis McGehee said he will file a scheduling order for the Chris McDaniel vs. Thad Cochran trial by the end of this week. More >>
Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:27 AM EDT2014-08-26 13:27:00 GMT
A Jackson Prep football player hospitalized following Friday night's game has died. Walker Wilbanks was transported Friday to the hospital during the second half of the school's home football game againstMore >>
Pressler says Walker's death was an "unfortunate freak event" revolving around the balance of sodium and water in the body. He says it had no reflection of being over or underhydrated.