For the third year in a row, the Town of Jonesboro’s controversial mayor Leslie Thompson has threatened to forgo installing the town’s traditional Christmas lights along Main Street’s businesses and public areas. At last week’s council meeting, Thompson said that the money that is being paid to the town’s Fiscal Administrator made it impossible to fund the Christmas lights.
Said Thompson, “There went any Christmas money that we could have possibly come up with. There will be no Christmas lights.”
However, last year the town was paying Tonya Wade as a fiscal adviser, and still managed to install the lights. The lights are an integral part of the Christmas festivities that have been a fixture in Jonesboro for decades.
Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) has learned from several sources that the town does not pay for purchase and replacement of the lights. That money comes from the town’s businesses to the tune of several thousand dollars a year that the Town of Jonesboro bills to the businesses. In turn, the town furnishes labor and equipment to install the lights. The contributions have been an annual occurrence for a number of years.
At a meeting last week between several business owners and the town’s fiscal administrator, it was also revealed that those contributions from the business owners might not have been accounted for in the town’s finances or for what the money was ultimately used.
Reportedly, the fiscal administrator told the business owners that in the budget he will be submitting shortly to the 2nd Judicial District Court, money was allocated to put up the lights. The town’s employees are eager and ready to begin installing the lights, the sources said.
Thompson was invited to the meeting, but did not attend.