Dumpstergate Part Deux: Still never a dull moment here in the Bay

Let’s tell the story of last night’s Bay City Council meeting via twitter:

Meantime the lack of general fund claims dockets has not gone unnoticed as Poolman pointed out in comments here. For my part I was glad to see Tony Trapani take himself out of the dust-up:

Just an idea but Old Town is a unique neighborhood though it is a relatively small part of the overall City but it seems to consume a disproportionate share of both City management time and scare city resources via the subsidies that go to that part of town. Cash flow is so short the City can’t produce a general funds claims docket and there is no real capital projects budget in the approved 2014-2015 FY budget, yet last night I heard the Mayor propose the exploration of the City buying a 30 yard trash compactor for Old Town merchants to use at the new community dump site, ostensibly purchased with money the City does not have.

True dat, the old town businesses claim they are paying the City a fee for the dumpster service they currently receive but if the cost of providing that service is more than the associated fees, such is a direct taxpayer subsidy. If the City goes into debt buying a trash compactor for private business to use, even if the businesses pay a fee, such implies at the minimum an indirect subsidy as using the City’s full faith and credit to make such a purchase confers a financial benefit all on its own. And none of this counts the interest charge on either a lease or purchase.

I bring all this up because maybe it is time a special taxing district be set up for Old Town, so that the level of City services consumed there can be both maintained at its current high level and paid for by the people that benefit from it. Maybe that way there would be some money for the folks in Ward 6 can get their ditches mowed once or twice a year. Maybe then perhaps the Bay could afford a new firetruck or two along with some new police cruisers, to name a few of the unmet needs that benefit every resident of the town instead of just one area.

The problem here is one of misplaced priorities when broke down fire fighting equipment is trumped by discussion of City furnished dumpsters for private businesses.

28 thoughts on “Dumpstergate Part Deux: Still never a dull moment here in the Bay”

    1. It sure was mentioned in conjunction with that workshop they’re gonna have on the issue thus the exact words I used above, “Mayor propose the exploration of the City buying a 30 yard trash compactor”. I’d be happy to go get the sound bite from Miss Jane if you missed it.

  1. I’d also like to note there is nothing stopping the old town merchants that suddenly find themselves in a trash bind from crafting their own solution and leaving the City out of it except for zoning, etc. just like Tony Trapani did last night. I don’t personally have any problem with the notion of a community dump for the old town merchants and that 30 yard trash compactor idea rocks, I just fail to see why the City should be involved monetarily.

    1. As suggested, we should have a Special Tax District, which is what they do in a lot of cities that have high maintenance districts that have special needs out of the norm. This district can discuss amongst them selves about what they need and submit to the city and a millage can be set for them to pay it.

      That will resolve the issue of whether they want to freeload or really have a need.

  2. Paying Attention,
    You have just nailed it. I think a special tax district is a great idea. It will separate the men from the boys for sure. Don’t know where “unbelievable” was when the compacter was discussed, not once, but twice. I am sure the Clerk of Council will allow you to listen to the tape.
    I am glad the Trapani’s have decided their garbage is their problem. However, I doubt they would have come to that conclusion had The Blind Tiger not pulled the plug on them and Buoy’s using the “free” dumpster at the parking garage. Better late than never I guess.
    During the “garbage” discussion, I kept wondering what do the 14 restaurants, 4 banks, 4 mini malls, 3 filling stations, 2 dry cleaners, 3 motels, and numerous doctor’s offices and other businesses on the Highway 90 corridor in Bay St. Louis do with their garbage? They don’t seem to share the opinion of the “downtown” businesses that their success and problems are for the city to solve. And, by the way, I don’t know if the Mayor has ever ridden a train, but to refer to downtown as the “economic engine” of Bay St. Louis is ridiculous. Bay St. Louis is blessed just like Waveland to have that State Highway running through their little town where national firms can locate in addition to so many local businesses. I shutter to think where either town would be if Highway 90 wasn’t there for commercial use. It is the lifeblood of both towns.
    After a four hour meeting that included everything from garbage to sun tan lotion sales, ( these things are favorite topics for Councilwoman McDonald), very, very little time is ever spent on what should be discussed—WHY THEY CAN’T AND DON’T PAY THEIR BILLS!!!!!!!!!
    Boudin came close when he mentioned accounts payable, but dropped the ball as usual. Falgout did point out that there was no letter of confirmation from the City Clerk that funds were available for the little piddling list of bills that were read aloud. They had better start looking for a good upholsterer for that chair the Mayor sits in. Some serious squirming took place last night. His body language is fabulous.
    AND–DRUM ROLL—Another delinquent utility list of over $100,000. Boy they sure got a lot out of that rate increase and sur charge. Did they say the Chamber left owing a water bill on the Court St. property?
    Some of these delinquents are over 3 months over due. That account must be hurting big time because it may also be where payroll is coming from.
    No need to worry if you can only attend meetings in the Bay once or twice a year– the agenda and tom foolery never changes.

  3. How about the City Attorney laughing at them for a year because they demanded E&O Insurance. There is a City Ordinance that requires subcontractors to have this which the attorney and council strictly adhere to when it affects other businesses. He runs this town. He issues legal sanctions against business owners and an attorney from his office prosecutes and the Mayor appoints the Judge and Police Chief. The council just collects their pay and benefits and kicks the can down the road.
    Council Pay: $1,700 per month, Medical Insurance, Retirement that they accumulate at 13 months per year because they don’t have sick leave. I personally know 2 that went on 2 week cruises and missed meetings, also soccer games and lengthy sicknesses. I know of not one to ever miss a paycheck. As a matter of fact they get paid first and if any is left they pay bills which is not often.
    MML Training(Mississippi Municipal League) Tax Funded Training that we pay travel, lodging and meals for the council and mayor to run a City,meeting, agenda and make rules, ordinances, compliance, enforcement, financial management, sunshine laws etc. to appropriately legally run our city. That is play time and networking for them and their spouses as they have shown no appreciable knowledge from the 10’s of thousands of dollars spent for their training. this could be taken straight from a fictional novel but it is the truth.

  4. Paying Attention,
    I am very familiar with the MML. I have always thought it was a joke. If these public officials learn anything there, it is how to put it to the taxpayers and smile while you’re doing it.
    But on a serious note, it seems like this City Attorney in the Bay may have a problem getting a company to insure him. I don’t know how old he is, but I would imagine he has been practicing law for at least 20 years. A look into his background would be interesting. I know other professionals who have to have this coverage, and they don’t have any trouble getting it. Something smells here, but it will never get taken care of by this Council. Just add it to the other “garbage” in the Bay.
    I did think it was funny last night when Mrs. Moon, owner of the Bay Town Inn, introduced herself as the owner of the Bed and Breakfast downtown. Her establishment is NOT a Bed and Breakfast. It is a motel with kitchenettes available in each suite. I thought it was going to be a B&B myself, but was told no, it is just a motel. For some reason, the elite don’t want a motel downtown, so they refer to it as a B&B.
    That whole bunch down there operate under a façade. The real business people are out on the highway, and thank God for them and for that state highway.

  5. A novel idea would be to cut the council back to five council members. Split up the city into 5 wards and you do not need a councilman at large. Mr Farve can then run in his own ward. I guess that would be between goodfellow and gemelli’ s house. That would save the city $60 to $70 thousand dollars a year or MORE. Mr Farve wants to cut street lights out in the rest of the city in order to install lights on Longfellow Farve said cut the lights out somewhere else at put lights on the poles going down Longfellow.

    1. You can thank Mike Slaughter (Slaughter and Associates) Don Rafferty, Bill Taylor, Doug Seal, Jim Thriffley, Bobby Compretta and Jeffrey Reed for the “new” seven member council we have. Make sure you thank them by not voting for them again in the next election.

      They used the 2000 Census in 2007/2008 to come up with the new council design. They “had no choice” because of the annexation and “could not” use updated population numbers from the utility companies for the redesign of the existing four wards. No way. Not happening. So yes to all you newbees, the council decided to use BAD DATA (they all admitted so) to ADD two new council seats and create TWO new wards. They COULD stayed with the former city government design: Mayor Council Form with five council members. They could have redrawn the former four wards. However, they were all worried (except for Bill Taylor) that they might not win re-election or might be “zoned out” of their “new” ward. So they took the easy way out – make two new council positions. You know….because that made so much sense. The City certainly could afford the additional expense of two more knuckleheads on the council and an additional clerk to keep up with the never ending meetings we have been subjected to since. Unreal. Having SEVEN councilmen has made SUCH a POSITIVE impact on the progress of this city. It is simply AMAZING.

      Please don’t get me wrong – Wards 5 & 6 deserve representation. If anything they deserve it more than anybody else. They have gained virtually nothing but higher taxes and woeful neglect since being officially annexed by the City of Bay St. Louis. Did we really need two additional councilmen to provide this representation? Somebody should have given up a ward or the current 5&6 should have been included as the majority of one the exiting four wards. God forbid somebody would have made a good decison on the former council. Not going to happen. No sir. None of them had the good sense to push back on all of the “consulting” Mike Slaughter and Rafferty were providing them.

      So same story different day: True to their colors – the council took the easy way out. They added two more wards and two new council seats.That’s the real problem. Wards 5 and 6’s voice is now more minimized than ever. More power in affecting change with one really great council member of five vs. two people who have their own agendas in a sea of seven. So in essence, wards 5&6 were doubly screwed with the “expansion” of the council to include their newly created wards. The annexed area should have been the majority of one of the city’s “pre-Katrina” four wards.

      Last, but not least, we can all thank Bill Taylor for insisting and pushing so hard for annexation. What a great legacy he has left the poor neglected souls of wards five and six.

      These last few years have been more of the same – living in a place apart from reality. All I can do is SMH and hope people wake up and realize it is not just “hizzoner” that is to blame for the mess we are in as a city. Please don’t forget the nicely compensated (salary, insurance, retirement) council, we elect, is just as culpable if not more so than the current administration for the situation our city finds itself in today. Remember this when it is time to cast your vote.

      #theyallneedtogo #circlingthedrain #zeroleadershp #stuckonstupid #whereisbuzz #cityattorneymakingbank #nobodycaresabouttish #councilstilldoesnthaveaclue #itswhoyouknow

  6. Lights… They haven’t had the normal large electric bills on the docket for 2 months. We have no money for lights, or any other purchases. Funny I noticed the Harbor fund paid a $19000 insurance bill. I understood that the liability for the marina was included in the Cities policy and had no increased premium. Strange time to get a bill, if it opened in May. Really strange that they received bills from last April/May for the harbor just this month! Stacy you watching this? Check State law, you can’t pay bills from the previous year. Maybe one of the council will have the testicular fortitude to ask Jackson for help. And congratulation Donald the still uninsured attorney, you save another months premium and laughed at um!
    Oh and the money from the sale of the Court street property made the final payment on the MARINA!!!
    As always keep the eyes and ears open you never know when the trains a comin.

    1. It was made clear to the public that the MML Insurance would cover the Marina at no additional cost as it was, according to the administration, no different than a base ball park or other recreational amenity. I believe this to be true. I think the harbor fund was siphoned of to pay the Cities Insurance premium. Possibly, Ray Carter or Delbert Hoseman need to look into this. I believe the Harbor can only pay actual costs and improvements and maintenance. The rest must be escrowed by the State for dredging. My memory always seems to be better than theirs.

    2. Has anyone heard anything about the City engaging an audit firm? The first quarter is already come and gone. Most local governments engage their auditors prior to the end of the fiscal year.

      The City is currently displaying multiple symptoms of secular mismanagement which results in a complete lack of institutional knowledge on the basics of running a Mississippi municipality. Yes, the annual MML conference is a big party but lots of networking also happpens that can be beneficial. The MML also has training resources that are valuable. Here in the Bay I get the feeling that going back generations the City fathers have been content to make it up as they go.

      It isn’t that the City does not have capable employees because I think there is plenty of human talent at City Hall. It is capital that is squandered by mismanagement.

        1. Thanks. Maybe this time they’ll catch full faith and credit debt never being advertised in accordance with the MS code.

          1. I will say this. They paid a $19000 insurance bill. Les told the council that was the share for the Marina. I just put a request to Gus Mckay for info on insurance.
            Lets see what they paid last year for liability insurance, then what it costs this year. That will tell us if Les is pilfering the Habor fund. I will be the first to send the red flag to Delbert, and Stacy.
            On a side note I received two notices from Jackson today, one confidential and the other confirmed complaint M-14-007 Jeff Harding vs Hancock Co. Solid Waste Authority Open meetings complaint. They have until January 21, 2015 to respond.
            Always keep the ears and eyes open, you never know when the trains a comin.
            Guess I’ll need to attend Mondays meeting to see how they publicly respond.

  7. The lease agreement the city signed with the Secretary of State forbids harbor funds from funding anything but the harbor. Now, city funds can finance harbor needs. And if things do get to that point you are looking at a tax hike; you can bet on it. But there can be no mixing of harbor and city funds. The harbor has to have its own account. The most the city can expect to get out of the harbor is if the harbor attracts visitors and they eat enough shrimp po-boys. Then the sales tax on those po-boys goes to the city. Read the lease. The city is just baby sitting a project for Delbert Hoseman. Interesting too, at Tues. meeting the Council revealed that they only have 200 ft. of beach to offer for public use. The Corps of Engineers made it clear in the Sea Coast Echo when the seawall was finished that the beach from the foot of the Bay Bridge to within 200 ft. of the harbor was part of the Seawall Protection Plan.
    It’s gonna be a zoo out there this summer with all those SeaDo’s running about the Bay in the midst of the boats trying to navigate entrance and exit to the harbor and their slips.
    The harbor master did not look like a happy camper and left the meeting early. I think he may be beginning to realize he is working for 8 people (Mayor + 7 Councilmen) who have no knowledge of running a harbor. Not doing too good at running a city either.

    1. The mayor and city attorney run the harbor. Make no bones about it. It will be a financial nightmare and it is like a train coming down the tracks. The harbor is no more than another check book for the mayor. The philanthropy money and grant money soon to be gone. There will be no doubt another tax increase for this much less the dumpster sight to be built and the side walks compretta needs and the natatorium that I understand that Les and Lady Gaga(council woman) want for all the chilrens she is worried about. Go on and on. They just sent out a request for additional projects they may want to do to the council. We have not had a complete docket in a year. We are now paying last years bills with this years revenue. The Mayor and Council get paid first and then bills get paid if any is left as is not often.

      1. We need to go back to five wards because we have 10 thousand people. Cut one councilman and then you will not need councilman at large. In all of the surrounding councils, Biloxi has seven council members. Biloxi has over 70 thousand people or more. Gulfport has over 70 thousand people with 5 council members.

        1. Mississippi Code: Title 21, Chapter 8, Section 7.

          Simply Said: Great idea. Propose the council do so at their next meeting. Would love to hear what they have to say about it, on the record.

  8. Does anyone know why Waveland was with out water twice this week?
    the first time I was without was for about six hours and last night about one hour-does any one know if we are to boil our water?

    1. I would bet that the city would have to shut a few mains in order to repair busted pipes from the freeze. They can’t help that of course but a heads up by reverse 911 should have been put out. They do this in the BSL but not sure if that is what waveland can do.

  9. Just for laughs. Dont loose this thought!

    Miss Trap loading n unloading the garbage in her traditional tights on main street!

    Know try to forget that!

    U cant! Hahaha

    1. Do you have spell check. Now, that is funny. Bullying people is not funny. You should use this web site for issues truly important. Why are individual people being attacked for being tax payers who work hard to make an honest living. Do you work?

  10. Coastal Gal,
    I see your point about the annexation, but before you go after the Council, go read the minutes and you will see that some of those Council names you used were actually opposed to enlarging the number of Wards, but the City Attorney advised them that they had to in order to be in compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I still don’t understand why he advised them in that manner because Waveland didn’t do that and still hasn’t. The Bay was told by counsel (not council) that they had to keep each Ward within 10%of each other in population—One man, one vote. So, this was not about the census, it was about the Voting Rights Act. Some on the Council even questioned why they had to do this and not Waveland.
    But, if you step back and look at what has happened financially, it really has nothing to do with the city having too many new people and geography to maintain–size is not the problem—the Mayor couldn’t run something as small as a video store.
    Poor management and lack of communication (boy, am I being charitable) from the Mayor with the Council, and the Council being too spineless to challenge him is why the City is where it is today.
    It is what it is.

    1. Notfooled:

      So does the counsel make decisions for the council or does the council make decisions for themselves? I’m confused by your interpretation of how the council/counsel operates, but not fooled.

      The City of Waveland has a different form of city government and they don’t have a “minority” ward/district last time I checked. That’s Waveland’s issue not ours. Make no mistake; Ward three residents in Bay St. Louis made sure that their ward was not going to be impacted by any changes occurring with the council/Ward redesign to account for the newly annexed are. As did their representative on the city council, Mr. Reed. One of the few agenda items I have seen him become utterly engaged in, enthusiastic about and animated while talking during council meetings/workshops. A rare site to behold. Indeed.

      Just a little FYI: I attended every meeting on this subject. I am not impressed with the selective recap of the minutes, nor was I impressed with the way the council, their counsel and hired consultant handled things back then either. Total sham. Total waste of taxpayer’s time and money. They knew exactly what they were doing. It was a well rehearsed production put on for the public. No matter though, the “council” followed their “counsel’s” advice: They agreed to use faulty data to determine the new wards and agreed to submit everything to the DOJ for approval. Their votes don’t lie neither did their winks back and forth between the council/counsel.

      One other thing you failed to mention (that can be found in the minutes): The Council waited too long to address the need for representation for the annexed area. They were way past the legally allowable time-frame to do so when these meetings/workshops took place. So, as usual, they looked to their hired “counsel” to tell them what to do, quickly! The council doesn’t plan ahead (I don’t care how many workshops they have), make well thought out and sound fiscal decisions nor do they accept responsibility for the actions and decisions they have made, as a governing body, in the last 9+ years. I don’t care whose names you include on the list. Both past and present city council members bare responsibility for the fiscal mess we are in today. End of discussion. It is unfortunate that whether there are five or seven of them sitting up nice and tall in their seats looking down on their constituents (Thank you, Hoss) they still need to be lead. Leadership is not an inherent skill they possess as a group and it is something we need now more than ever. IMHO.

      Agreed, Notfooled. Our current mayor and city admin leave a lot to be desired when it comes to leadership, transparency, accountability and more. However, our “council” is accountable too.

      #samestorydifferentday #Brokenrecord #timetoownit

  11. Coastal Gal,
    I have to agree with you on the lack of leadership on the part of the Council and Mayor. But we both forgot the City Clerk. While these aforementioned elected officials don’t have the financial expertise to run a city, he does, or is supposed to. These people who get themselves elected from D.C. on down don’t necessarily have any expertise in running a business or government. That city clerk has misled these people right in front on our own eyes. But nobody questions him either.
    Maybe right now until the financial situation is straightened out, all of the elected officials and city clerk can forego their salaries. You think they’d be in a hurry to get the right thing done?
    I just heard today that the list of vendors waiting to be paid is growing. These are businesses trying to make it out there.
    You seem to be up on the legality of the redistricting more than me. Could you be specific as to what data was faulty that was used by the Council when they expanded the city to 7 Wards? Just curious.
    Anyway, we could go on and on, but the bottom line is it is a BIG mess up there. And I don’t see any improvements coming any time soon.

  12. I thought there might be some real info here but I was mistaken. Obviously it’s the same few people here chatting back and forth,always about the mayor or council or city clerk. No real info, just ranting and repeated warnings that the axe is about to fall on any one of them at any moment because of some highly illegal deed they’ve done…going back quite a ways, I see it has yet to happen. Reckon they all have so much clout they can buy every state & federal official to keep themselves from being charged with even one of these heinous crimes, this gross mishandling of public $$ and other such things? Anyway this all seems like a lot of typing for something the 4 or 5 posting here could be doing face to face. Jus’ sayin’. Well it was fun, I had a nice visit, killed some time.

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