Should the city of Jackson be involved in the tourism business?
It`s a question that begs to be answered in light of last week`s brouhaha over what to do with the leftover assets of the Metro Jackson Convention and Visitor`s Bureau once the agency runs out of money and is dissolved in May.
On one side of the issue is the city, led by a surprisingly vocal Mayor Harvey Johnson. Pitted against the Johnson administration is the recently formed Metro Jackson Tourism Inc. Indications are that it will shape up into an outrageous political turf battle, and based on past events, there is little doubt that someone — somehow — will interject the “race issue” into the fray.
Quite simply, this issue isn`t about race; it`s about competency.
The city of Jackson has no business in the tourism business. The mayor`s office and city council, along with a number of departments, have proven themselves — by one laughable episode after the other — incapable of accomplishing the simplest of goals. The city is mired in race-baiting showmanship, petty personal politics and cheap innuendo.
And as Jim Engle, president of the Metro Jackson Hotel and Motel Association and spokesman for Metro Jackson Tourism Inc. explained last week, “Tourism is too important an industry in Jackson to be subject to the whims of city government and political fights.”
Jackson taxpayers don`t need to support an additional ineffective city bureaucracy that will only mismanage yet another aspect of economic development.
Jackson`s economy has taken enough hits thanks to the antics of the city`s government. It`s time for the bloodbath to end.