MADISONVILLE, KY (1/26/12) – Yesterday evening, January 26th, Madisonville Mayor David Jackson addressed an area group known as the 'Concerned Citizens Society' and also delivered his 'Minority Report.'
Jackson has made an attempt to address minority concerns in the past, but it was clear from the meeting that those in attendance wanted to see more results from the City of Madisonville.
Bill McReynolds is president of the aforementioned group/society and introduced the mayor, as well as several from the group of approximately 22 people in attendance. Madisonville City Councilman Raymond Marion was the only other city official joining the mayor.
Jackson explained that, "What affects one of us, affects all of us...we cannot move forward as a city unless we all move forward.”
The mayor pointed out that the city had significant budget cuts last year and had met the cuts without layoffs. In spite of the budget cuts he felt that the city had improved customer service with the 'Go Madisonville' program. The program is the first of its kind in Kentucky. Governor Beshear has sent representatives to Madisonville twice to study the program. Over 700 requests have been made through Go Madisonville.
The City of Madisonville is looking to expand the Fourth of July celebration building on the success of last year.
“We want to build it into a week-long event,” Jackson said, with the hopes of giving Madisonville a signature event like Owensboro’s annual BBQ Festival.
Jackson pointed out the improvements in the Carney Center and redirecting the focus from recreation to education. Jackson thanked those who had volunteered in tutoring programs for students.
Mayor Jackson said that he was working diligently to get the Minority Economic Development Council approved as a 501C3, non-profit organization. The Internal Revenue Service must approve the application and the process has not easy. Jackson envisions that the organization will be able to create opportunities in the minority community and be able to help minority owned business with the bid process, not only city business but state, federal, and larger contractors that need minority suppliers. Jackson remains committed to create opportunity for all citizens including the minority community.
Jackson said that over the next few years many city employees will retire. It is the best opportunity for the City to be proactive in hiring from the minority community and encourages people to prepare to take advantage of the opportunity.
In closing his prepared remarks, Jackson said that “Our best days are ahead of us.”
For the next hour and fifteen minutes Jackson heard comments and took questions. Primary among those questions were concerns about abandoned property, water problems and employment opportunities.
Jackson said that nuisance properties must go through “due process” so that all parties are treated fairly. He acknowledged that he had slowed the process down slightly if he felt the owner had not been given a fair opportunity to take action with the nuisance property.
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