Friday, January 2, 2009

Trial Delay First Step for Melton's Departure

Yesterday, the federal judge in the Frank Melton case granted a 30-day delay due to the congestive heart failure that the Jackson mayor is suffering from. An independent physician said that Melton needs more time to rest up before he stands trial on civil rights violations for improperly tearing down part of a duplex that he claimed was a haven for illegal drug activity.

According to reliable sources, this delay was the first step in putting together a scenario for Melton to plea to a misdemeanor offense, avoid jail time and allow him to resign from the mayor's office, as well as not run for re-election. The political enemies of Melton are already asking for Melton to resign, but the plan is already in effect.

The key variable in this equation, however, is the ever-changing mind of Melton. Melton is known for his eclectic behavior, especially his spur-of-the-moment decision making. A deal can be on the table and then, in the blink of an eye, it is no longer there, due to a last-minute reconsideration by Melton. It is a trademark that goes all the way back to his days as a corporate television executive.

Melton's passion has been the improvement of the quality of life for Jackson, especially how crime affects the youth of this city. He recently admitted, during dueling press conferences between him and the Sheriff/Chief Malcolm McMillan, that his administration has failed in its attempt to curb crime in the city of Jackson. Not exactly what you would want to say before you embark on a re-election campaign.

His passion though has led to a reckless three and a half years of government. Now there is plenty of blame to go around as far as governmental ineptitude in Jackson, but Melton is the mayor. He is the leader who received 88 percent of the vote to change the direction of Jackson, to make it a more viable player among American cities. That has not happened.

His health has deteriorated rapidly since taking office in 2005. He has not been disciplined in his health care regimen, primarily due to the strains and demands of public service. If this deal is on the table to allow him as gracious an exit as possible, Melton should take it and stay with it.

Melton has tried to do it his way, now it is time to do the right thing, to allow what I hope, a new, positive chapter in Jackson's history to begin.