Yarber Administration Accomplishments (2014-2016)
Department of Planning and Development
- First recipient in the State of Mississippi to receive grant funding for Lead Based Paint Hazard Control grant in the amount of nearly $1.4 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes.
- Re-instituted Limited Housing repair Program for eligible Jackson Homeowners to receive minor home repairs.
- Launched first phase of the City’s Jackson Gateway Housing Project in west Jackson. To date, eight housing units rehabilitated.
- Developed a GIS-based zoning map accessible to the public from the City’s website.
- Launched Neighbor’s First Lot Program, allowing Jackson Homeowners and qualified non-profit organizations to purchase certain city-owned, residential zoned lots for as little as $10. To date 65% of the eligible properties in this program are under contract.
- Held 94 ribbon cuttings and grand openings for 94 businesses.
- Opened the first free Health Care Clinic for City Employees.
- Awarded Certified Local Government Grants to support the rehabilitation of Smith Robertson Museum supported by the Historic Preservation Grant to the City.
- Implemented the Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets Initiative called by the U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
- Adopted a Complete Streets Policy to enhance safety, mobility and access for all users of city streets.
- Launched the Play Streets Initiative as a pilot program to promote health and physical activity in neighborhoods city wide.
- Completed Jatran headquarters construction.
- Launched Jackson 500 which is a workforce development program that provides employment and technical and soft skill training.
- Placed over 1,500 Jackson Residents in Jobs through the City’s Jobs for Jacksonians Program.
Department of Administration
- Successfully implemented multiple cost saving measures that resulted in the City improving its cash position and replenishing its unrestricted fund balance to a level that puts the City on track to optimal financial stability.
- Government Finance Officers Association has awarded the City its Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting during each year that the current administration has been in office.
- Proactively identified opportunities to restructure some of the city’s outstanding debt at lower interest rates, thus generating more than $2.2 million in present value savings.
- Proactively negotiated with AT&T and T-Mobile to upgrade 18 cellular tower sites; this resulted in an increase in annual revenue of approximately $100,000.
- Generated significant cost savings for the City by bringing in-house printing jobs which had previously been outsourced.
- Implemented new systems across the City which improved efficiency in Water Billing, Equal Business Opportunity Management, and Personnel Management.
Department of Public Works
- Paved 59 Streets
- 62,488 Potholes Filled
- 458 Utility Cuts Repaired
- 1139 Water Lines Repaired
- 2420 Water Main Repairs
- 60 Completed Projects
- Launched Phase 1 of LED Jackson Project which is designed to save tax dollars through energy efficiency.
Jackson Fire Department
- Reopened Station NO. 3 after a nearly 2 year closure.
- Promoted 100 firefighters within 2 years.
- Met apparatus staffing goal for the first time in 20 years.
- Increased training hours.
- Created partnership with local colleges for EMT/Paramedic courses.
- Established “Firefighter of the Month” Program.
- Provided monitors in all fire stations for teleconferences.
- Partnered with AMR to create a scholarship to assist firefighters who are pursuing advanced credentials.
- Secured $1.8 million in funding for state-of-the art platform ladder truck.
- Secured $1.8 million in funding for essential equipment.
Jackson Police Department
- Department received Accreditation for the first time in its history.
- Joined U.S. Justice Department Violent Reduction Network (VRN) for a 2 year commitment.
- Established Customer Service Follow Up Report.
- Established Command Staff Ride-Along Program
- Expanded “Chief’s Committee” to include input from rank-and-file and civilians.
- Strengthened working relationship with Hinds County Sheriff’s Department to include joint Narcotics, Crime Prevention and SWAT operations.
- Established Intelligence Division and hired analyst.
- Expanded coalitions and partnerships with business owners, churches and apartment complexes through the Crime Prevention Unit.
- Police Recruit Class graduated from Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy.
- Community Improvement Division eliminated 240 abandoned structures as well as clear and cut 568 over grown lots in the City of Jackson.
- Total savings of $1,278,949.41 to the city by enforcing ordinances for citizens to cure their own violations.
- 311 Action Line has a 67% closure rate for reported violations within Community Improvement.
Department of Human Cultural Services
- Thalia Mara Hall revenue increased and attendance rose from 75,059 to 92,244.
- Launched Broadway series at Thalia Mara Hall.
- Hosted 29 piano recitals at the Municipal Art Gallery.
- Exhibited work of over 350 artists from major art clubs at the Municipal Art Gallery.
- Hosted two citywide town hall meetings for early childhood development providers within the City.
- Expanded the Project Read early literacy program at the childhood development centers by revising curriculum and training.
- Hosted first statewide collaborative Disability Awareness Conference with the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, drawing 600 participants.
- Smith Robertson Museum received $20,000 Nissan Foundation Grant to complete the Woolworth lunch counter scene of May 1963.
- Completion of the first comprehensive exhibition on James Howard Meredith- “Am I or Am I not a Citizen.”
- Delivered more than 70,000 well balanced nutritional meals to homebound seniors.
- Provided more than 44,000 meals at senior centers.
- Americorps members prepared and distributed over 700 food boxes monthly to low income senior citizens, exceeding the original goal.
- Installed computer labs at all City senior and community centers, providing free technology access to Jackson citizens.
- 2016 Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Expo attracted 1,000 youth and 56 business vendors. Approximately 600 youth were employed through the program.
Department of Parks and Recreation
- Annual Easter Egg Hunt drew 1,400 participants.
- Staged “The Lion King” at Thalia Mara Hall.
- Red White & Jackson Fireworks Extravaganza drew 3,500 participants.
- Trunk or Treat Harvest Carnival drew 3,500.
- Presented “All City Dance Showcase” at Thalia Mara Hall, featuring eight dance companies.
- Provided mentoring programs at Grove Park and Jayne Avenue community centers.
- Provided fitness programs at Vergy P. Middleton Community Center.
- Hosted invitational championship titles for Judo and Jiu-Jitsu.
- Provided Summer Enhancement Program at four locations for Jackson youth.
- Hosted “Green Light Special Yard Sale” at Grove Park Community Center.
- New equipment, rubberized surfacing, walking trails, pavilions, and golf carts throughout several inner city parks.
Department of Personnel Management
- Implemented Taleo, a new applicant tracking system that allows applicants to apply for positions online 24 hours a day. The system eliminates manual processes and improves productivity and efficiency.
- Participated in 4 job fairs.
- Streamlined the City’s hiring process, in part, by revising the City’s Hiring Policy/Procedure.
- Provided training to City employees in areas that included customer service, management, performance appraisal, teambuilding and business ethics.
- Blood Pressure Screenings for City Employees by way of the Mayor’s Health Task Force for a Healthier Jackson.
- Launched Open Data Portal as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities Initiative, making government information and data more accessible to the public while helping to improve City of Jackson operations. The portal, data.jacksonms.gov, hosts over 50 data sets related to the City budget, Infrastructure, Master Plan, community improvement projects, public safety, economic growth, and mayoral goals.
- Launched Open Budget, a gateway that connects individuals directly to the City of Jackson’s Operating Budget and Special Municipal Sales Tax (1% Sales Tax) funding at the line item budget level. This level of detail allows readers to review, compare, download, visualize, and analyze the budget in an easy to use format.