Hinds County Supervisors Press Conference

Hinds County Supervisor David Archie, District 2 (L) and Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham, District 1 (R) at the press conference. PHOTO BY CHRIS YOUNG

By Chris Young,

Contributing Writer,

Hinds County Supervisor David Archie, District 2 (L) and Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham, District 1 (R) at the press conference. PHOTO BY CHRIS YOUNG

The press conference conducted at 2 p.m. Monday at Hinds County Chancery Court Building was called by District 1 Supervisor Robert Graham and District 2 Supervisor David Archie. It was held in a second floor hallway, not the supervisors’ boardroom.

Supervisor Archie began indicating that he and Supervisor Graham wanted to address three things: 1) the $5 million that is supposed to go to 664 State Street to create an economic development center in a building that is only worth half a million dollars would be money poorly spent, 2) the proposed $10m that was to go to economic development had somehow shifted to $4M in less than 15 minutes after having the discussion in executive session, and 3) that there is talk of giving the Hinds County Jail to the city of Jackson, and that he and  Supervisor Graham don’t know anything about it. 

He went on to say that “these are the things you need to know because all of these things are being done in the back room and we are not being invited.”

He characterized the other board members 3-4-5 (not present) as a con-man and two dummies. “We are in the business of fixing roads, fixing streets, and making sure this county is absolutely taken care of when it comes to crime.”

Archie said he doesn’t hear anyone in this county talking about economic development. “They want to get crime under control, fix the potholes, fix the ditches, clean the streets, get the trash off the road, deal with loitering, the homeless and the mentally ill population that’s taking place in Hinds County.”

He indicated he wants to be proactive and let the people of Hinds County know all this now, to “avoid what happened on Farish Street – millions of dollars went into Farish Street and nobody knows where the money is.” He claimed that if he and Supervisor Graham need to file a lawsuit to protect the taxpayer dollars, they are prepared to do so.

Supervisor Graham indicated that supervisors have a responsibility to pave roads, repair bridges, and make sure that they help the city of Jackson and the seven municipalities in Hinds County fight crime. “That is our priority, but that is what we are not doing at this particular point in time because several other board members want to take the money and divert it into other things that are not dealing with crime and not dealing with roads and bridges,” Graham said.

He indicated that he is opposed to monies going to economic development because the Hinds County Economic Development Authority has not requested any money. He restated “there is no higher priority than crime and repairing roads and bridges.” Graham was insistent that we don’t squander away this one-time money from the American Rescue Plan.

He also mentioned that today a motion to give the District Attorney one million dollars to fight crime was voted down. Another motion reducing the amount to $500,000 passed. He said, “We really don’t have a plan for these monies. We are flying by the seat of our pants, and that is not good enough for me.”

Supervisor Archie returned to the podium to state that under Graham’s leadership the board was moving in the right direction, but that Supervisor Calhoun is not even the president of the board, saying the matter of the presidency still hangs in the balance in the courts. He indicated that Calhoun’s leadership is about to drive Hinds County into the ground and that the only thing Calhoun believes in is dictatorship.

When the opportunity for questions opened up, The Mississippi Link asked what is the name of the next black economic engine in Hinds County. Supervisor Archie replied that would be a great question for the Hinds County Economic Development Department and that they are going to let them do their job.

When pressed about anything that would give the readers hope that something would be around the corner to help our county, he stated, “We can assure you that deals are being done by looking at tax benefits for those companies that come into Hinds County to do business. So there is some stuff on the books to be done.”

Two week ago, on April 28, a press conference was conducted by the other three supervisors – Vice President Vern Gavin, District 4; President Credell Calhoun, District 3; and Bobby McGowan, District 5.

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