With just hours remaining prior to the deadline to pass a budget, Alderman Marvin Jarrett has unveiled an alternative budget that could possibly break the log jam at City Hall and avert a shutdown of city government. Jarrett delivered a copy of his proposal to Mayor Arnell Willis's office this afternoon. Willis proposed a budget during the first week in January that was met with lukewarm support from the City Council. Willis has cancelled all council meetings during the last three weeks forcing tonight's eleventh hour showdown.
There are some key differences between the Jarrett proposal and the Willis proposal. Largest among them is that while Jarrett's supplies a 12-month blueprint, it only provides for appropriations on a monthly basis. Also attached to the Jarrett proposal is a list of employees that the clerk is authorized to pay which is absent from the Willis budget. Noticeably absent from the Jarrett list are Willis's controversial hires of Anthony "King Deuce" Banks and Bobby"Ga Ga" Jones. Willis hired both men, who have been reported to have felonious pasts, to be department heads. Finally, Willis had asked for a salary in excess of $90000 to start when the city code called for a starting salary for the Mayor to be $48000.
We will keep you posted tonight as the meeting unfolds. Listen to the council meeting replay tonight at 10:05 on www.kjiwfm.com or KJIW 94.5 FM. Also tune into the Inside Scoop broadcast on Saturday morning at 11:30 for more analysis.
Here's a copy of the budget as presented by Alderman Jarrett: