Governor pleased mayor will no longer have control over Jackson’s water system

Come November 22, Gov. Tate Reeves will wash his hands of Jackson’s water
Come November 22, Gov. Tate Reeves will wash his hands of Jackson’s water(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 4:10 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Gov. Tate Reeves is praising the interim stipulated order that will take control of the city’s beleaguered water system out of the hands of Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba.

“It is excellent news for anyone who cares about the people of Jackson that the mayor will no longer be overseeing the city’s water system,” he wrote in a Tweet. “It is now out of the city’s control and will be overseen by a federal court.”

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had filed a proposed interim stipulated order with the federal court, which would put an interim third-party manager over Jackson’s water system and water billing system.

The third-party manager will have sweeping authority to oversee almost all aspects of the city’s system, including the ability to raise water rates without the city council’s consent.

The agreement, which was approved by the city council earlier this month, still must be signed off on by a federal court judge. It will remain in place until a consent decree is put in place.

The governor and mayor have been at odds since the start of the water crisis in late August, with Reeves crediting the state for restoring water, and the mayor claiming the state had to step in after failing to provide Jackson with the needed resources to maintain its system over the years.

When the governor’s state of emergency ended, he said Jackson was facing a “crisis of incompetence” when it came to leadership, and that “new leadership [was needed] at the helm so that this crisis... cannot continue.”

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