Jackson, Mississippi Set to Pray the Potholes Away
The mayor of Jackson, Mississippi came under heavy fire after sending out the following tweet, which could be taken as the mayor implying that the power of prayer could fix Jackson’s pavement problems:
— Tony Yarber (@TonyYarber) August 21, 2015
This comes from the same state which proposed the so-called “Jesus Take the Wheel Act,” which would allow drivers without a Commercial Driver’s License (currently required to drive large vehicles like buses or semi trucks) to drive church buses transporting up to 30 people between states (previous legislation only allows transportation of up to 15 people).
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Despite this and the mayor’s other ecclesiastical tweets (of which there are many), it seems unclear whether he means that he believes prayer will literally fill Jackson’s potholes. While the comparison of the city of Jackson to Moses parting the Red Sea seems to point toward the positive, it is entirely possible that he meant that the power of prayer would help the city to find the funds to fix its infrastructural problems (of which there are, again, many). Back in March, Mayor Yarber signed a state of emergency declaration for Jackson’s infrastructure system to allow leeway in the bidding process to hire companies to repair its infrastructure, and more importantly, to procure funding aid from the government.
Between now and 2031, the city estimates that it needs $743 million worth of repairs, including repairs to 1,200 miles of roads, more than 200 bridges and hydraulic structures, and over 1,000 miles of water pipes. A sales tax increase meant to raise funds for this repair effort is unfortunately woefully short of paying for this—the tax is estimated to only raise $13 million per year, according to Jackson’s Clarion-Ledger.
Perhaps, while Jackson rolls up its sleeves to try to fix its roads, bridges, and pipes (while possibly dodging wild church buses), they do need some prayer.
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