A good state to retire

Comment & Observation
By Joe Lee III

     If you retire in Mississippi, your money will go farther than in any other state.
     According to GoBankingRates.com, $100,000 will last two years, seven months and six days at an annual burn rate of $38,435 in our state.
     By comparison, Hawaii ranks dead last in the study where $100,000 lasts one year, two months, three days in retirement with annual cost of living totaling of $85,243.
     Another study lists Mississippi as the third lowest state for housing and utility costs, fifth lowest for financial services and insurance costs and eighth lowest for healthcare costs.
     According to RNPublicRelationsGroup.com, it takes 75.3% of Mississippi household income to live in Mississippi. The national average is 81%.
     In South Dakota, the average resident spends 100.9% of the money taken in.
     I don’t know about you, but I think I am going to recheck my ZIP code to see if I am actually closer to South Dakota than I previously thought.
Sun-N-Sand motel
     The Mississippi Department of Archives and History is looking at making Jackson’s old Sun-N-Sand motel an historic landmark.
     Few folks appreciate old historic buildings more than this columnist, but there is no reason to designate the old motel as an historic landmark, other than it housed one of the first bars to open in Jackson after alcohol was legalized in Mississippi in 1965, and it was a famous gathering place for legislators. Perhaps these two items are related.
     The motel opened in 1960, and has been abandoned since 2001. Mississippi has plenty of historic landmarks. The Sun-N-Sand motel is not one of them.
Democrat dilemma
     Sen. Chuck (never had a real job in is life) Schumer is whining about the possibility that the Republican-controlled Senate will not call the witnesses the Democrats refused to call in the House of Representatives impeachment circus.
     Meanwhile Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is withholding the articles of impeachment from the Senate. That makes a lot of sense. The House of Representatives when through hours of circus antics to pass the impeachment resolution for a Senate trial, and then she threatens to not send them to the higher chamber for trial? Pitiful.
Jackson tragedy
     A pizza delivery lady was killed in Jackson recently.
     Something has to be done about the level of violence in Mississippi’s capital city. Jackson’s violent crime rate is 148% higher than the rest of the state and 80% higher than the national average. Jackson’s property crime rate is 62% higher than Mississippi and 87% higher than the U.S. (Statistics are from AreaVives.com.)
Fuedin’ Yankees
     Newark, New Jersey Mayor Ras Baraka is suing New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio. The two Democrats are fighting over the accusation that de Blasio is forcing New York’s homeless to move to Newark.
Some statistics list one in every 121 of New York’s 8.5 million people as homeless. That’s about 68,000.
County Audit
     The 2018 Grenada County Audit shows the county in good fiscal shape.
     There are many numbers to look at when assessing government finances, but a good indicator that quickly stands out is the General Fund balance.      For fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018, the county had a little over $5 million cash in the general fund, according to page 8 of the official audit.
     The most recent audit by the City of Grenada (FYE 9/30/17), shows the general fund overdrawn by $1.3 million (page 8). The Mayor/City Council has to juggle money from other city funds to meet payroll and pay bills each month. (The city’s 2018 audit, which was due by state law no later than Oct. 1, is now nearly three months overdue.)
     The city election is coming up in May. Hopefully we can elect new city leaders with the same level of sound fiscal judgment as those in the courthouse.
     We need some good candidates to stand up for Grenada and get on the ballot. Grenada cannot survive many more years under the current leadership.
     You don’t have much time to get on the ballot.