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Jackson County, Mississippi

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Jackson County is one of 82 counties in Mississippi and is located at the southeastern tip of the state and adjacent to Alabama. As of 2010, the population was 139,668. Its county seat is Pascagoula. Jackson County is named for U.S. President Andrew Jackson.

Jackson County is included in the Pascagoula, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The county was severely damaged from both Hurricane Camille in August 1969 and Hurricane Katrina on August 28–29, 2005.

Website evaluation

Last rated on August 27, 2012.

The good

  • Budget
    • Budget presentations are posted.[1]
  • Meetings
    • Meeting schedule, minutes, and agendas available.[2]
  • Elected Officials
    • Board of supervisors listed with individual contact information.[3]
  • Administrative Officials
    • Administrative officials listed under their respective departments.
  • Building Permits and Zoning
    • Building permits and zoning information is provided.[4]
  • Audits
    • Audits are posted.[5]
  • Local Taxes
    • Local tax information available.[6]

The bad

Board of Supervisors

The Jackson County Board of Supervisors is responsible for the management of county government and a number of special districts. The five supervisors are elected by district to four-year terms by the citizens of Jackson County. There are no term limits. Board members serve residents in districts of different geographical size, but each district has approximately equal population.[3]

Board's primary duties:[3]

  • Adopting an annual budget
  • Establishing the annual property tax rate
  • Setting policies, goals and objectives to direct the county's growth and development
  • Adopting and providing for ordinances, rules and regulations as necessary for the general welfare of the county
  • Carrying out other responsibilities as set forth by Mississippi state statutes

At the beginning of each year, the Board chooses from its members a president and a vice president to serve during the following year. The president presides at Board meetings and signs documents in the name of the county. The vice president substitutes when the president is absent.[3]

County Administrator

The County Administrator is appointed by the Board of Supervisors and carries out all policies adopted by the Board. The current Administrator is Alan Sudduth. His key responsibility is to support the Board by overseeing the following duties:[7]

  • Coordinate Board meetings, work sessions and presentations that require the presence of three or more Supervisors.
  • Assist the Board in the preparation of the budget and of the tax levy
  • Employ and supervise department heads and employees according to the County’s personnel policies and procedures and promote a safe work environment
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the County
  • Act as liaison officer to work with the various divisions of County government and agencies to see that County-owned property is properly managed, maintained, repaired, improved, kept or stored;
  • Legislative relations

Budget

The county’s operating budget for 2011 is $124 Million, which appears to be a slight decrease from 2010.[8]

Taxes

Salary of Tax Collector is based upon the total assessed valuation of the county for the preceding taxable year. If the Collector collects property taxes for a City then the salary is increased by the Board of Supervisors to compensate for the extra work load. Currently the Tax Collector is paid $75,000 per year.[6]

Millage breakdown:[8]

2010 2011
Pat Harrison 0.200 0.200
Airport 0.705 0.692
Capital Improvements 1.000 1.000
Port Authority 1.000 1.000
Reappraisal Maintenance 1.000 1.000
Library 1.749 1.685
Debt Service 3.352 3.851
Community College 5.254 5.137
Road/Bridge 10.881 10.670
General 26.228 26.134
Total 51.369 51.369

Public Safety

Along with the Sheriff's Department and District Attorney, the following departments are also responsible for providing safety related services to the County:[9]

  • E-911 -- Board appointed commissioners
  • Emergency Management (Civil Defense)
  • Fire District (Volunteer Fire Departments) -- Board appointed commissioners
  • Narcotics Task Force

E-911

The E-911 office coordinates 911 activities and operates as executive agent for the Jackson County Emergency Communications District (JCECD) Commission.[10]

The basic 911 responsibility is to ensure that all Jackson County addresses are entered into a 911 database. This database, maintained by the phone company, enables automatic routing to the appropriate law enforcement, fire protection and/or Emergency Medical Response unit in response to a citizen’s 911 emergency call. Coordination with county and city planning departments is vital so that as new roads, subdivisions and developments are created, the database can be updated.[10]

The office also maintains control of JCECD’s new, state of the art communications system based on an 800 MHz, digital trunking system. With three antenna sites acting in concert to send the same signal , reliable county-wide communications are possible. Gradual migration of various existing public safety radio systems will enable greater interoperability between public safety agencies. A county-owned paging system is also managed by the E911. Companies interested in leasing tower space for antennas should contact this office for details and site for available details.[10]

Emergency Management

Civil Defense/Emergency Management acts as a coordinating agency during times of emergency or disaster. It takes the combined efforts of all county departments and volunteer organizations to effectively manage these events.[11]

Fire District

The fire district is made up of ten volunteer fire departments throughout the unincorporated areas of the county. The Fire District has two main objectives- provide professional fire protection to rural property owners and lower the cost of fire insurance rates.[12]

The district is overseen by the Fire District Manager and the Fire Commissioners. The Fire District Manager reports to the commissioners, who are appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The Fire District Coordinator is also responsible for district’s fiscal year budget and organizing fire prevention activities.[12]

Narcotics Task Force

The Narcotics Task Force (NTF) of Jackson County is a multi-jurisdiction unit operating under an Interlocal Agreement comprised of officers from the Ocean Springs Police Department, Moss Point Police Department, Gautier Police Department, Pascagoula Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. The NTF is staffed with a Commander, six (6) Agents, an Administrative Assistant/Intel Analyst, and an Evidence Technician.[13]

The mission of the Narcotics Task Force is to support and coordinate with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in effort to identify, apprehend, and prosecute street-level drug violators, drug traffickers, and violent criminals.[13]

The NTF is responsible for all street level drug cases in Jackson County as well as assisting in major crimes. In addition, the NTF facilitates all cases that are initiated by the agencies that they represent. The NTF receives drug intelligence through those respective agencies, anonymous tips, public complaints, and confidential informants.[13]

External links

References

  1. Budgets
  2. Meetings
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Supervisors
  4. Planning
  5. Audits
  6. 6.0 6.1 Taxing Information
  7. County Administrator
  8. 8.0 8.1 2011 Budget Presentation
  9. Public Safety
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 E-911
  11. Emergency Management
  12. 12.0 12.1 Fire District
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Narcotics Task Force