Breaking Gene Taylor Press Release: Still Stuck on Stupid at FEMA






2269 Rayburn HOB

Washington, DC 20515

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For Immediate Release                   Contact: Ana Maria Rosato  
August 25, 2009                                                (202) 253-1308


U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss) Congratulates Harrison County

School District for Leadership in Reigning in Government Spending

While Getting Job Done

(Gulfport, Miss.) – A recent audit by the FEMA inspector General disclosed that the Harrison County School District saved taxpayers $4.1 million. The school district had been awarded $20.9 million in Hazard Mitigation Grants to build the new D’Iberville and West Harrison High Schools to the highest standards to function as shelters. The school district was able to contract for and complete the work for $16.8 million.

“Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the FEMA audit did not thank the school district for saving $4.1 million in taxpayer funds.” stated Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss). Instead, FEMA criticized the state for not reprogramming the million funds to other projects right away.

“At a time when we need to reign in government spending to live within our means, the Harrison County School District is leading the country in demonstrating how to get the job done with a 20% savings in projected costs.” Taylor continued. “I want to personally commend Superintendent Henry Arledge and all the officials and staff at the Harrison County School District who worked on these projects. I want them to know that their effective stewardship of these federal grants is greatly appreciated.” 
DA-09-20 – Harrison County School District, MS (PDF, 5 pages)


4 thoughts on “Breaking Gene Taylor Press Release: Still Stuck on Stupid at FEMA”

  1. uhmmmmmmmmm…..wonder where that $4.1 in taxpayer funds went? We are talking about New Orleans….geez! They should put the $ in the schools they built (and some that need repair and up-gradingl


  2. Harrison is one of the Mississippi coastal counties.

    Gene’s point, as I understand it, was the money went nowhere but the report ignored the school district’s accomplishment (saving $4million plus) and focused, instead, on the obligated, the unexpended funds as a negative.

    Unfortunately, that’s the way government works. The linked document states the objective was to determine if the federal funds were being spent appropriately.

    Recipients do have a responsibility to deobligate funds that aren’t needed but the real kicker is that auditors are expected to report deficiencies only – even when excellence is discovered and complimented while auditors are on-site, it is never included in reports.

    It’s certainly easy to see why so many feel “government programs don’t work” – and, equally easy to see why agencies that do excellent work often feel it wasn’t worth the extra effort.

  3. I did those type of audits Nowdy and can tell you first hand a large percentage of the time there was no mechanism in place to take the money back. No telling what the story is there.

    I use County Farm Road a fair amount and can attest the facilities are first class.


  4. I think they’re faulting MEMA for that (lack of mechanism).

    Part of the story may be “just another reason why not to run the money through existing programs”…

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