Mississippi needs a recall law

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Even I get discouraged. As much as I champion Jackson, there are times that its outdated vestiges rear their ugly heads. There are times when the corporate status quo takes a few slow promising steps forward then a disappointing few backward. It’s at our greatest moments that sometimes we shoot ourselves in the foot – or at least aim the gun that way. My head is bloodied, yet unbowed. 

We’ve all known this fight for our city would be a long one. There may be casualties but those casualties don’t need to be the new generation of professionals that want to stay. It can’t be the thousands of renaissance men like myself who multi-task – achieving several things while keeping their ears to the streets. We cannot penalize them for being innovative, can we? Is that the best way to attract and retain talent? Will they continue to stay motivated when their ideas are never used? Currently, no. The politicians play politics. The businessmen play politics. Politics has politics. And our generation of straight-shooters has become angry. 

We have become a society that applauds bad behavior. We have become a nation that shuns decorum and champions those who break rank with tact. We have become a country that no longer respects authority, title, nor office. We live amongst people who have lost respect for their fellow man. We no longer have the ability or desire to disagree without being disagreeable. Some say they breathe the breath of patriots but encourage their children to not respect the office of president. We elect lawmakers who teach our kids that adults can and will act like children when they don’t get their way. Shouting, yelling, threatening, lying, stealing, and cheating have become the rule and not the exception. It disgusts me. It even further disgusts me that people tolerate it or excuse it. 

One could wonder why we haven’t learned from our mistakes. We’ve toiled with some of the same problems for decades over several administrations – several generations. It seems the more “modern” we get, the more socially-regressive we become. What are we teaching our children? 

Our Hinds County Supervisors’ meetings have devolved into WWE wrestling matches. We watch grown men, one almost 60 years old, another over 80 years old, tussle like school kids fighting over the last swing on the playground. I’m over being concerned with who’s to blame. At this point, all of the sitting supervisors are culpable for these outbursts. 

Unfortunately, Mississippi doesn’t have any statutes that allow recall elections. In February, a bill introduced by Senator Jeremy Englund died in committee. The “Mississippi Recall Act of 2021” would provide a procedure for the recall of local elected officials. It’s the perfect solution for instances like those we have seen at Supervisors’ meetings. And it adds a layer of accountability for public officials in this state who get too comfortable and “grow roots” in those seats. But as of now, citizens will be forced, helplessly, to watch this embarrassing circus every week until the next election. 

The bottom line is this: We have to start rewarding, showcasing,and reporting good, proper behavior. We have become a nation where some men (and women) have no honor. They have no respect for one another and will twist reality in the way that supports their narcissistic view of the way they feel life should be. We have to do better. We have to set a better example for our kids. How? By letting them know that you do “not” mistake rudeness, brazen, callous, uncouth, or tacky behavior for genius, nonconformity, rebellion, activism, or uniqueness. Just because you’re loud doesn’t mean you’re “saying” anything. 

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Mississippi needs a recall law

By Brad Franklin
January 10, 2022