Mississippi Moment: Jackson’s Water Crisis

Mississippi Moment

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Tuesday, we asked your opinion about whether the state should help the City of Jackson solve its water problems. The overwhelming response was ‘no.’

Years ago, I was interviewing former Governor William Winter on the occasion of his law firm moving into new quarters in Downtown Jackson. Now, this was at a time when the fashionable business trend was to relocate to places like somewhere along Highland Colony in Madison County and out of the city.

So I asked Mr. Winter why they chose to stay put in Jackson. He said that in their opinion, the Capital City is the preeminent city of the state, and their law firm was affirming its long time commitment to Jackson firstly. In doing so, it was affirming their commitment to the State of Mississippi by supporting its Capital City.

As goes Jackson, so goes the state.

We have some very progressive metropolitan areas in Mississippi: Tupelo, Hattiesburg, the Coast and Oxford. In the end, their ultimate success will be dictated by the success of the Capital City, to one degree or another.

Now, realizing that Mississippi can no more afford to fix Jackson’s infrastructure than the city itself. At the same time, the image of the entire state is tied to Jackson, because the rest of the state exists in the shadow of the Capital City.

I don’t have any solutions here, but I do want to point out that while there a great temptation to say, ‘Jackson got itself into this situation, let them get themselves out,’ the problems in Jackson are state problems. As long as our Capital City has the image of being less than first class, the entire state has to live in the shadow of that.

So let’s set aside assigning blame and start finding and embracing solutions to the water issue and all of the other issues holding us back.

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