Well, well, well.
It seems the town of Mason, Tennessee's finances aren't in need of such strict control or oversight after all.
Just a couple of days after the original publication of our post decrying the flagrantly racist power grab by Tennessee's Comptroller Jason Mumpower, )and thanks to a lot of attention from national outlets,) the Tennessee Lookout reported that Ford Motor Company weighed in on the issue with concern for the town of Mason, and wanted to make sure its citizens weren't being railroaded.
The statement from Ford said company officials are “aware of the long-running situation between Mason and the State of Tennessee but we have not been directly involved.”
“We have reached out to state and local community leaders to express concern and learn more,” read the statement from Angie Kozleski, a Ford spokesperson.
“As we ramp up construction of Blue Oval City this year and move toward production in 2025, Ford is absolutely committed to being a good neighbor and providing inclusive and equitable opportunities for West Tennesseans, including the residents of Mason.”
Comptroller Mumpower still took control of the town's finances, since the predominantly Black, Democratic town refused to hand over its charter to the predominantly white, Republican state of Tennessee. Mumpower did, though, "agree" to a meeting with the Mason's city officials about the oversight.
Guess what? Lo and behold, looks like Mason's been paying its debts after all, just like officials of the town (who took over from the corrupt white folks who ran up the debt in the first place) said they were.
The town of Mason could be free from state financial oversight as soon as July or August after a “very positive meeting” between state and local officials, Tennessee Comptroller Jason Mumpower said Tuesday.
“We were able to put together a positive plan moving forward,” Mumpower said shortly after a 70-minute meeting with Mason’s Mayor, Vice Mayor and financial staff. “We can release them from financial oversight sooner rather than later.”
Isn't that great? Except Vice Mayor Virginia Rivers said the information presented to Mumpower at the meeting was available to him all along, even before he threatened to take over its finances, including how they have been using money from the American Rescue Plan to repay their debt.
She told the Lookout, “All of this could have been avoided if Mr. Mumpower had come to us and had a meeting with us like we did today. He just came in with a demand.”
Mumpower purports to be super excited about the fact that Mason could regain control of its own finances “as soon as this July or August.” He gushed, “It’s a tall order. I’m very very happy and excited….We want to do everything we can to make Mason succeed.”
Suuuure, he does.