Mayor Yarber said with a little restructuring, the city can save many programs that provide quality of life for citizens. But some council members say his administration was the one that that ordered cuts in the first place.
“This is going to hurt our communities,” said a Jackson resident.
More than two dozen people who live and work in Jackson didn't hold back their frustration when discussing the city's recent budget cuts and closures. The historic Grove Park Golf course is on the list.
“We teach kids five to 17 years old and teach them characteristic traits,” said a Jackson resident.
“There is money to be made at the golf course,” said another resident.
Greater Jackson Arts Council also showed up asking the city to save the arts after losing 25 percent of its in funding.
“The arts council is a snapshot of Jackson," said an arts council supporter. "We support and provide grants to every corner of Jackson.”
After the outcry, Mayor Tony Yarber proposed re-sending the amendments made to the budget to keep Grove Park open. Also, restructuring the city clerk's office to help keep the arts council up and running. He says restructuring can result from $250,000 to $300,000 in savings.
“When I was part of the council we functioned with anywhere from seven to 10 city clerks, now the city clerk's office is budget for 21,” said Mayor Yarber.
During the meeting, they mayor and council president Tyrone Hendrix pointed fingers about who originally ordered the cuts.
“The administration‘s decision on what gulf course to close,” said Hendrix.
“Grove Park, unfortunately, was the victim of some additional cuts made by the city council,” said the Mayor.
Hendrix would not say if the council would move forward with any of the Mayor Yarber’s two proposals. He did stress the city will do what they can, to save what they can with the small budget they have right now.
“Our priority as a council is to cut from the top Whereas, the administration has different set of priorities,” said Hendrix.
Jackson officials also announced today that The Fannie Lou Hamer Library in Jackson will remain open for now. The library was set to close at the end of the month due to lack of funds.