Moving Lumberton Forward with Jonathan F. Griffith
Well, tomorrow the residents of Lumberton will head to the polls to elect their next mayor. This election will prove if the residents of Lumberton are ready to move forward by electing Jonathan F. Griffith or if they’re willing to stay chained to the past. Over the weekend, the Hattiesburg American ran the story about the candidates and I was taken aback by Crider’s boast that
“he’s the only candidate who has experience with the city finances.”I knew Crider was obtuse but to see written proof is mind blowing. One of the main problems here in the City of Lumberton is the finances of the city and Crider cast votes over the past 6 years that has placed the City of Lumberton on the fiscal cliff. Crider also made claims that he has been in constant contact with representatives and officials in Jackson and that his presence is needed to help secure the $2.5 million dollar grant. To be fair, there's been less than positive things said about every candidate.
Well, I too have been in constant contact with officials in Jackson as well as the legal department of the Army Corp of Engineer who sent me confirmation that the City of Lumberton has not submitted the funds required to secure the $2.5 million dollar grant. I’ve also been in contact with the Mississippi Ethics Commission regarding Crider’s and other elected/appointed officials failure to adhere to the Open Meetings Act. One would think that Crider would have more knowledge of these requirements since he’s served or sat on the board for the past 6 years. As a matter of fact, the Mississippi Ethics Commission found that the Lumberton Board of Alderpersons had blatantly violated the Open Meetings Act based on a complaint that I submitted. I may not have 6 years of experience to tout but I am the most knowledgeable candidate when it comes to the laws that are used to run a code charter municipality.
There are some that say they’re not voting for me because I’m planning on going into the office to dig, to investigate. One would think that would be something a city would look for in a Mayor. Yes, I plan to continue to hold those that were elected to represent the citizens of Lumberton accountable. I’m fully aware that if elected, my job is not going to be easy because those currently on the board are not willing to ask the tough questions and provide the citizens with the answers they deserve; not the answers they want to hear. On Tuesday, we have an opportunity to move the City of Lumberton forward and release the anchor of ineffective leadership that has continued to cause this city to sink. I’m not making any promises but I know I must hit the ground running.
It’s no secret that most of the prime business locations in Lumberton are owned by a small group of chief sinners and two of these men are invested in one candidate because they know he will continue their agenda. I can’t believe that businesses aren’t interested in Lumberton. It is my belief that businesses cannot or will not move here because the owners of the property have overpriced their property; keeping business at bay. I find it strange that there are aldermen that think $350/month is a “good deal” for the rental of an entire airport but accepts the support of land owners that want to rent their small tract of land for $3,000/month. Where’s the logic in that?
I can’t promise that I can attract businesses and neither can any other candidate but I will find out what they’re being charged and let the citizens know the “real” reason why businesses are not coming to their city. In the Griffith Administration, the board will no longer hide behind the closed doors of executive session. As an active mayor, I will get BBI training so I can search the system and get an answer about the hemorrhaging of funds here in Lumberton. In the Griffith Administration, we will get a full audit, implement a system of checks and balances, find the funding needed for adequate police protection, make sure the minutes reflect what actually took place during the meetings and start rebuilding the reputation of Lumberton as a destination instead of a drive thru location.
I believe I'm the best choice because I don't have any question marks behind my association with the City of Lumberton. There's still unanswered questions about what happened at the fire department and so many allegations of thievery and deception but it's all speculation. We have an alderman that served for 6 years but his vote has catapulted the city into its current situation. There are those that complain about the fact that I blog about the City of Lumberton. I have been in court for a year and won my case because the judge could not find any "false claims" made in my blog. For the past 8 years, I have been making claims about what should be done and how it should be done. Well, this is your opportunity to see if I can back up my claims. I'm acutely aware that the mayor of a code charter municipality does not have the authority to make vast changes by himself but I know that the mayor has the authority to demand accountability as well as effective and respectful services from those dealing with the people that keep this city operational--the residents. Over the years, lackluster turnout has proven that elections have consequences. You can either make excuses or make progress; the choice is yours. I want to serve as Mayor of Lumberton because I feel I have an actual platform with achievable goals. I can shadow all employees/department heads to determine what areas need adjusting and I will hold every elected official (including myself) accountable.
This election is a pivotal moment for Lumberton. In order to move forward, the City of Lumberton must reposition itself just as Zacchaeus did in order for us to receive from God. Elections in Lumberton can be swayed by friendships, church affiliations and last names but I’m not here making empty promises; I know there’s a difficult road ahead. As I outlined in my platform, I know those governing the City of Lumberton must be held accountable and they must be wilting to become transparent in order for our city to be blessed, have a breakthrough and enlarge our territory. We can no longer dwell on the petty matters if we want the Lord to abide in the City of Lumberton. I may have said some things in the blog that many consider offensive but the truth is not always beautiful and beautiful words are not always the truth. Can any good thing come from Lumberton? Yes….it has, it can and it wills again if we reposition our city and move forward. Lumberton is where I grew up and where I attended public school. Lumberton is where I lived my life and where I developed my zeal for community-based public service. I know what Lumberton is, I know what Lumberton has been and I know what Lumberton can still become. I want to be the next Mayor of Lumberton because I believe I have a lifetime of experience that counts; experience I will put to work for you. Let’s move the City of Lumberton forward. Help Elect Jonathan F. Griffith to serve as Mayor of Lumberton.