6 thoughts on “Meantime back in the Bay…….”

  1. Is this normal procedure for a trial date to be so far in the future? What about depositions, etc.?
    I see there is a procedure for a possible settlement out of court? Fill us in with this legal lingo, Doug.

    1. Yes this what I would term a normal case management order. Discovery will certainly happen though the times frames are not specified in the order. It is that process that consumes the most time in litigation so I imagine the parties would get right on it. Depositions are referred to in the case management order, specifically the fact the total number of depositions is limited to 15 without seeking court permission to conduct more.

      Litigation is a drawn out process and the order illustrates that.

  2. Doug,
    Regarding the story in the Echo today about the Bay being so far behind in their payments to the Utility
    Authorities– the Mayor just doesn’t get it, or he thinks the general public is stupid. There is no logical reason for the Bay to be behind in these payments. They collect the money from the users each month. Last month at a Council workshop Councilman Seal stated that 96%of the users pay each month.
    Okay, so aren’t the funds collected by 96% of the Bay’s users for these two entries on their bills immediately forwarded to these two Utility Authorities? Garbage and water treatments services are not provided by the city, so the money is not theirs to keep, it should go directly to the authorities that
    provided the service for that month. This is not difficult to understand.
    If I were Johnson and Pitalo, I would begin now to work out some legal agreement to have the users pay directly to the authority rather than the money be filtered through the Bay St. Louis city hall for them to use for whatever they have been doing with it. And Fillingam and Compretta both sitting on this utility commission and not paying their city’s bill looks BAD.
    Those two are the Captains of the political and financial game of Kick the Can they play every month.
    They should be held accountable.

  3. The article doesn’t have enough detail to understand why the city is short on its payments.

    I don’t recall the details, but I think the utility authority had financed an expansion with loans through the DEQ revolving loan fund. The loan would be repaid by the cities and county from their utility collections.

    Then Katrina wiped out a lot of utility customers, so the collections were much less than expected.
    DEQ said it could not cancel the loan. FEMA rebuilt the system, but its funds could not be used to repay the DEQ loan.

    DEQ or MDA or Barbour could have used some of the free Katrina CDBG money to pay off the loan by framing it as rate relief for low and moderate income utility customers, but they would not do it because giving new contracts for new utility systems for new developments provides much more political patronage than paying off old debts.

  4. Brian,
    This is the first I have heard of your reason for the delinquencies. Les Fillingame is on record at a city council meeting stating that the reason is because we did not have a cold winter last year. No, I am not kidding. But
    that would only affect gas users. The bottom line is the city does not provide these services, so that part of every user’s bill should be forwarded to the utility authorities, and Doug Seal claims that 96% of the Bay’s users pay on a regular basis. The utility authorities not receiving their money from the Bay has to do with
    it arriving at city hall, but for some reason, not being released to the proper authorities. Waveland isn’t delinquent, and Diamondhead users pay directly to the utility authority which is what Bay St. Louis needs to do so the money will get where it belongs.

  5. The issue I referred to may have been resolved. I just remember working on it in the Taylor office and shaking my head that everyone wanted more federal money to pay off the debt while MDA, DEQ, and the Governor all still had plenty of federal money in their back pockets.

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