From the mean streets of Bay St. Louis: Poolman gets his letter

I reckon it is one big coincidence that this issue came up at City Hall a few days after local businessman Jeff Harding spoke out at the City Council meeting about the City’s financial crisis:

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Obtained from local businessman Jeff Harding

Mr. Harding indicated to Slabbed his intent was to demolish and build a new structure and this was not a secret inside City Hall, where Mr. Harding obtained a building permit to demolish the existing structure on the property.

If you are in the business community and are planning to invest in Hancock County I think the lesson here is to locate in Waveland. Here are some of the local taxes a contractor like Poolman would pay:

  • Personal Property tax on non-tagged business equipment and inventory.
  • Sales tax on all retail sales.
  • Property tax on the land and improvements.

The reasons for the City being broke come into sharper focus. Stay tuned.

29 thoughts on “From the mean streets of Bay St. Louis: Poolman gets his letter”

  1. This is a sad situation indeed.

    This letter looks like internal correspondence. Did the city provide this letter to Mr. Harding as the “official” notification he was out of compliance in regards to his privilege license application and the use of his property on Longfellow? If so, what were they thinking??? When is internal communication ever used as an “official” notification of anything? If this is the ” official notification” Mr Harding received, it is more proof of complete incompetence running amok at City Hall! If this is not the case….where is the official letter from the building dept. and/or administration to Mr. Harding stating the reasons his Privledge license has been revoked??? That would be good info to have. Oh they can’t do that, right? That would show that the Building Dept. screwed up! Don’t they issue the Privilege Licenses, building and demolition permits????

    It is rare that any Privledge License is reviewed. Also, from the opening statement of this letter it looks like someone “instructed” the zoning administrator to do this “review” for Hizzoner and the City’s “chief” (unlicensed) building official. Isn’t it the BUILDING OFFICIAL’S responsibility to verify that everything is in order (privledge license/zoning) PRIOR to issuing a demolition permit??? This mess falls squarely on the BUILDING DEPT. and ADMINISTRATION not Mr. Harding. They screwed up. They should have verified the zoning use PRIOR to issuing a demolition permit and verified the privledge license THEY ISSUED was in compliance as well. Once again, if the CITY had DONE ITS JOB this entire fiasco could have been avoided.

    Trying to make an example of Mr. Harding by using the zoning administrator to to their dirty work is just another example of the current administration’s arrogance and willful application of the rules only when it suits them. No doubt this is retaliation. Keep up the good work, Poolman! Thank you, Doug, for staying on top of the goings on at BSL City Hall. Looks like hizzoner can’t stand the heat. The hotter it gets for him, the more his true colors come out. Keep the heat turned up!

      1. My thoughts in order are yes Coastal Gal and yes Empire. The gang inside of City Hall has no clue they are making Mr. Harding’s case for him.

  2. I would suggest that the Poolman take on a partner….let’s say Williams BBQ, they seem to have some help getting around this issue.

    1. He’s not getting help; he’s doing the same thing that Thomas Genin of The Blind Tiger notoriety. Do whatever you want, and then go through the motions to get clearance. The city’s commercial inspector is the arrogant, overpaid, under talented stepson of the previous administration. He does as he wishes, which usually means that he gets a lot wrong. In addition, the daughter of the present mayor has worked for the City for 9 years, and was NOT hired by her father. She is a valuable, long-term worker; no nepotism there, no matter what the three musketeers wish the citizens to believe. God don’t like ugly.

  3. I really like Charlene personally, but this is a very poorly written business letter. My guess is that she was “instructed” to do this at the last minute on Friday.
    She is advising Charles Oliver, Building Inspector and Les Fillingame, Mayor, that she has been”instructed” to review a privilege license. Well, who instructed her? The two she is writing to are the top official in her department and the top ranking elected official of the city. Who else Is going around instructing Mr. Oliver’s staff and the Mayor’s employee?
    This is sad, but so typical of “good ole boy” politics—when a citizen publicly questions your performance as a public official, vilify them to get the attention off of yourself. Nothing new. Let’s see, this took 3 days from Mr. Harding’s presentation to the city council asking financial questions.
    And there are actually people on Facebook criticizing the citizens who pay for all this foolishness–some who should definitely know better considering what their profession is.
    You couldn’t make this up–vilifying the complainers and using their own subordinates, nice people like Charlene.
    Fiddling while Rome burns!

    1. Lana Noonan needs to keep her busybody self in Waveland, where she lives. The person who asked for this inquiry is a regular CITIZEN of BSL, and was distressed to see the clutter on the property that Mr. Hardy is using. THAT’s how this started. It had NOTHING do do with his naysaying of the budget, which he is in the dark over, regardless. How dare she presume to judge the letter writing ability of her friend(?????). She, as so many who are in a rabid rage over the outcome of the last election, do not want to help, just destroy. Shame on you. If this is any indication of “Alliance for Good Government”, then God help us all from the stupidity that these people evidence. It’s not even your fight, Lana. You need to stay out of council(that’s a laugh) meetings, with your disruptive whispering, blatant giggling and DARING to eat chicken while in the room. Have a little class.

  4. Poor Charlene sent to do the dirty work of Napoleon. How would Mr. Oliver, head of the dept. know how to read the codes. I have been told that He can not pass the test to get certified. So we know he did not instruct her.
    We are still living in the days of the Guillotine dear Napoleon. Just “cut off” their livelihood. Same as chop off their heads.
    When will this end?
    Was there any consideration given to Mr. Harding or time limit to correct or process proper permits. We need to work with businesses not close them down.
    WAKE UP City Hall !!!!!!!

  5. I was just having some other thoughts about this letter. Les is very sensitive about anyone, anyone approaching his employees about anything. He made this clear to Councilman Falgout a few months back, so as long as Charlene has been with the city, she wouldn’t have taken “instructions” from anyone else without sharing this with the Mayor.
    I think we all know who “instructed” her. Is that Bonaparte’s Retreat I hear playing again?
    Lighten up and keep smiling everyone.

    1. The reason that Mayor Fillingame told Lonnie F. to back off from the city employees, was because L.F. was approaching workers and telling them what to d, which made them VERy uncomfortable and confused as to whom they needed to answer to. He has NO authority to do that. He also could not fulfill one of his campaign promises of putting fire hydrants on the streets of Ward 6, BECAUSE…wait for it………….. only Hancock County has the AUTHORITY to make that happen, for the JUDGE that oversaw the annexation, agreed with Hancock County and kept all water-related issues with the county. It would be illegal for his “Campaign promise” to come to fruition. Methinks he oversteps his boundaries on a regular basis; for instance, going to the Dunbar Shopping Center to tell the businesses there that he is running for mayor, and wanted to make sure that they were being treated fairly by the Utilities Department. Come on, man. Really?

  6. J.E. Uchelo we should be thankful to the Alliance for the dedication they have for Hancock County.
    Because you may not agree with what is said or done don’t bash them. I don’t see you out there attending all School board and other local meetings to be a watchdog for the people of this county. Their concern is for the county not only the Bay.

    Say thank you and not criticize.
    Maybe you should attend more meetings and see the financial crisis Mr Les has created. Read the salaries published in another posting on this site.
    Everything mr Harding stated a year ago doting the elections were all true. The mayor was covering up the budget and still is.
    Get more involved and understand what is going on and then you will thank the hard working dedicated volunteers of the alliance. I only wish I has the time and stamina to keep up with them and stay on top of things like them
    THANK YOU ALLIANCE !!!!

    1. Disgusted should realize that the ALLIANCE is not in it for anything other than “warmongering.” The School Board meetings are not what this latest hatefest is about. I HAVE been to the meetings, so don’t you dare judge what you don’t know enough about. I just find the vitriol that comes out of the minds of your brethren to be particularly nasty, and NOT helping. If there is any kind of coverup, just sit back and wait. It will be discovered by the Secretary of State. There is NO NEED for the infantile bashing that shows how immature and useless all you people are. IWILL NOT thank people who have nothing better to do than spread their viciousness around. If they were civil in their quest, that would be one thing, but they are barbaric in the fashion in which they represent themselves, and the organization that they align themselves with. I would imagine that the REAL Alliance For Good Government is ashamed of the small-minded people that claim protection for the ugliness under their umbrella of intelligent people who really CARE about good government.

      1. I would not count much on anything being discovered by the state or the state doing much if wrong doings were presented to them. The word I got was Pickerings crew was presented with other goodies and didn’t do squat. But of course, “it’s an ongoing investigation”

  7. Ms. Ochello doesn’t have a dog in this fight. Unless you count dating the mayor’s son. I believe all that blonde hair dye is soaking into her brain. Spewing your vitriol at people who actually live here is really reaching. The current administration has wrecked what the previous mayor had working for 20 years. No one can deny that.

  8. J.E. Uchello,
    Just a suggestion, but if what you are saying about Josh Hayes, the stepson of former Mayor Eddie Favre, is true, that he is arrogant, under talented (not sure what that means, but we’ll take your word for it) I would suggest that the Supervisor of the Building Dept., Charlie Oliver, would be well within his authority to advise Mayor Filligame, of all of this, and ask for the authority to terminate Josh.
    We all know how important the building department is for any city; it affects the citizens’ safety, insurance, etc. and that of their customers if it is a commercial building. After all, I would think it would be the responsibility of Mr. Oliver to make certain that everyone in that department is certified and not “just doing as they wish, and ending up getting a lot of things wrong”, like you are declaring Josh does.
    The citizens of Bay St. Louis are deserving of better service than that. This is the perfect time for Charlie to take care of this too while the Mayor and Council are working on the budget for next year. They could save that $55,923.72 they are paying Josh and find someone who can meet the standards set by Mr. Oliver in his department.

    1. I have had several friends in business that have had to deal with Mr. Hayes when building commercially and more than one have had nightmare scenarios while trying to build best for their enterprises. On this, I could not agree with you more. I have been told that his step uncle will run for mayor and HE will be the new Building “Inspector”. THEN, you and your Alliance will really have your hands full, trying to determine if the city will lose its ability to maintain insurability. There are worse things out there than what you all have decided to chase.

  9. One thing at a time, J.E. With regard to Mike Favre running for Mayor, and appointing his nephew, that’s speculation at this point. Can’t go after something that hasn’t happened yet, but Charlie Oliver can right now if he has knowledge of it, and is the department head.

  10. JE as you know there are two sides to every story. Your friend said “while trying to build best for their enterprises” may not have been CITY CODE. What your friend wanted and what was permitted are two different things. You better get your facts straight. And while you are at it get your facts straight about the Code Office.
    For your information Josh is “certified” as an inspector. The person who is his superior is NOT. Can not pass the test from what I am told. So maybe Josh does know what he is talking about. They city should look at replacing Mr. Oliver with a certified person, Josh. He is also certified in Flood and multiple other qualifications. It would be a disaster to lose the only person with knowledge in the office. But what’s the difference. we have so many other people just sitting around getting checks that are friends of LES.
    We could start cutting the budget replacing Charlie with Josh and not filling Josh position. since he has the expertise and getting a raise, he could increase his job description and save the $50k+ a year there.
    Being Eddie’s stepson is NOT a bad thing. Wish we still had Eddie, then we would not be in the financial situation our current mayor has brought about to the good people of Bay St. Louis.
    Now they want to raise our taxes to keep personnel. Why should we keep increasing taxes to support Les and his cronies.
    JE why don’t you focus your energy on watching what is going on with this city. It affects you and your pocketbook. Start reading the auditors report and see what the Mayor has done with the funds and his “creative financing” shifting money from one account to another to pay payroll, and not pay the Utility Authority the money owed to them. And then the $500K+ in accounts payable the city owes with $30K in the bank.
    Lets work together not against each other. We can get a whole lot more accomplished. Learn the facts !!

    I have worked with Bill Carrigee, who was the most knowledgeable, Ron Jones and Charlie and Josh. Wish we had Bill back.

    1. Perhaps I was not clear enough for you. The Stepson told all of the builders in question how to be in compliance with CITY CODE, and when they (4 of them ) did as instructed, it was made known that, in EVERY instance, all had to change their plans, which costs should have been covered by the ineptitude of the commercial “inspector”. He goes to all the “workshops”, but doesn’t COMPREHEND. Do you homework. See how long it took Trapani’s to open, just for one. Why? Stepson did not catch that there was no place for a dumpster. M. W. came in from Louisiana and told our group how much trouble he had had with the idiot. Guess who? If he, who has had to deal with the idiots in LA, said HE was an idiot…he moved his business back.There are MANY instances where illegal building was allowed, until it became known that there was NO PERMIT. Le’t see…the $600,000.00 bathroom at the foot of Washington, the Blind Tiger, under the umbrella of Joey Boudin, who isn’t even in the Ward, and the list goes on. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. It’s all public record. If you replace the present with YOUR suggestion, there will be so much more damage to the credibility of the building department than there already is.

      My energy is exhausted, listening to friends’ complaints. Add the mudslinging of you and your group, and it is a miracle that you all haven’t gotten your wish to turn the city over to the state. You NEED to work FOR the good, not against . Root out the issues, yes, but do it with integrity. And, lastly, if you don’t live in the city of BSL, butt out.

      1. Such provincialism JE. A closed mind is a terrible thing to waste. I see your MediaCom IP addy is based in Waveland.

        Everyone here is entitled to their opinion about the topics that I cover no matter where they live. If the free exchange of ideas intimidates you Slabbed is definitely not your kind of place. You should attend the meetings instead of throwing stones at those that do.

        1. You really are dense, buddy. Mediacom is BASED in Waveland…ip addresses will reflect that. As far as you throwing ridiculous name calling at one who just does’t agree w/ your agendas; just goes to prove that small-minded people are everywhere, and threatened w/ ideas that don’t mesh with their opinions. You are correct that this is not the place for discourse among intelligent people. Good luck to you and yours.

          1. Uchello,

            I figured it was just a matter of time before Doug chimed in.

            One of the privileges I enjoy about this web blog is the fact that we all can express our own opinions in a liberal but civilized way. I can understand at any given moment certain people may agree with a comment I make or think I am crazy person. I am fine either way as I think the same in regards to some posts people make but respect their opinions.

            If everyone agreed with everyone else it would make America a nonproductive society such as the communist regimes we see in other countries.

            If you desire to maintain your mindset and happen to be looking for other employment opportunities I would recommend checking out the DMR working under the Miller Regime. It sounds like you might be just what they are looking for. Various opportunities in that “organization” are practically opening every day.

            In regards to your comment about small minded people. I respect your right to your own opinion but take a look at what we have going on in our own state government. We have Pickering, Palazzo, Bryant and the list goes on. I personally view them as ignorant and out of touch with reality. It’s a typical southern hick mantality that keeps Mississippi down and the socially connected flourish.

  11. Disgusted,
    Actually, the Council is considering outsourcing the Building Dept. This is how Waveland is doing business right now. The Waveland officials said that at first they did not know how it was going to work, but have been pleased, and it has actually made everyone’s job easier.
    I volunteered in the Permit office four years ago, and Bill was handling the inspections. It is so important to have someone who knows how things are supposed to be done and see that they get done right.
    As I said this is an important service to the community, it has to be handled professionally with all of these new “rules” everyone is facing just to build back or renovate.
    The Council revealed last Thurs. that the Building Dept. only made $128,000 last years, and the Dept. Head’s salary alone was $62,395.80; so half of what revenue they brought in was the Inspector’s salary.
    It will be interesting to see what is decided by the Council

  12. Maybe the fees need to also be evaluated. I personally don’t think they charge adequate amounts compares to other cities.
    I would suggest they compare fees for various permits to other coastal towns.
    It may not bring in a considerable amount ore but any increase always helps.
    Then of course they can also cut personnel.

  13. At the Bay St. Louis Budget Workshop last night, Councilman-at-Large, Mike Favre proposed to cut the Building Dept. by 4 employees. There are presently 7, which includes the Supervisor. With discussion of a millage increase that could raise the ad valorem taxes on a $100,000 home $200 next year, I commend Favre for at least being willing to do some cuts, and not just take it all out on the taxpayers. And, I will repeat that now is the time for Charlie Oliver to step up to the plate as Supervisor of that Dept. and recommend Josh Haye’s termination–now while cuts are being suggested anyway for other reasons, that is if the allegations against Josh can be substantiated.
    It has to happen on both sides of the ledger–raise some fees and taxes, but cut some overhead where you can; and Ward 4 Council Bobby Compretta is now getting on the same wave length. It is just the logical thing to do.
    Another issue in the Bay is clerks in the utility department making more than some of their police dept. such as patrolmen and investigators. This needs to stop–their police force deserves better than this.
    Doug, as far as people from Waveland or anywhere else being criticized for attending and weighing in on Bay St. Louis meetings, the Bay Council lately has been discussing Waveland finances on a regular basis. We can all learn from each other from the positive and negative side as how to approach our problems.
    Hell, the Bay officials are discussing everyone. Last night it was their own, of course, then Waveland and even Diamondhead , and even the Board of Supervisors. If their Council Chairman is going to allow that, then it is ridiculous for J.E. to be so touchy about someone “butting in” on the Bay’s business.
    The way we all survived the aftermath of Katrina was to work together. It is still a great idea.

  14. JE FYI when Trapani’s was built there was a place on the North side of his building. If you look at it you can see the designated area.
    However, by choice of the Trapani’s, they decided to utilize that space for outdoor seating. Did not like the smell next to their tables.
    So Mr. Trapani can’t have his cake and eat it also.
    If Josh was not doing his job, then replace him. Just saying the facts on Trapani’s as I know them.

  15. Just left the Bay St. Louis City Council meeting. They are recessing until 4:00pm on this coming Friday.
    The Council is contemplating having a company called Water Company of America come in and do a review of their utility department. This, I think, would be a good move, especially considering the findings in their audit about the how the utility department is currently being run.
    The Harbor Master has already detected what he described as a possible violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act at the new Harbor regarding the Rutherford Pier. He said that there is no provision for the handicapped to fish. Councilman McDonald suggested that they accommodate the handicapped at the Rutherford Pier and have all other fishermen go to Washington St. pier to fish since it is so crowded on the Rutherford Pier now. No, I am not making this up. Someone needs to tell her that fishermen go where fish are biting. There was actually a discussion about dismantling part of this brand new pier. Unreal.
    The rest of the meeting was just the same old generic business that has been on the agenda for months unresolved.
    They did discuss the Chamber moving out of the 111 Court St. and possibly into the top of the Depot if the Alice Moseley Museum does relocate. They have to start selling off some of their property to help with the finances.
    My favorite part of the meeting was when they were discussing securing an appraisal on the pole yard property on Turner St. which could get them a sizeable amount of money when it sells. During the discussion a member of the Friends of the Animal Shelter actually raised her hand and asked if they would consider making that a dog park. Imagine that. With all of the city’s money woes and the Council in a serious discussion on gaining some revenue, instead of selling this property for much needed funds–a dog park. Does she think the city has already gone to the dogs, and they may as well make it official!
    It’s better than a TV reality show.

  16. Maybe suggesting raising the taxes on everyone might get their attention. Then they will realize the financial position our Mayor has put us in and get involved. If they don’t understand after all of that, then they deserve to pay more taxes to support the budget of the Mayor and his deadhead staff. We can pay for an “assistant mayor” and Buzz.

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