Welp folks, as suspected the City of Bay St Louis is back to robbing Peter to pay Paul:
- Bay council to address $19k payment mistake ~ Wes Muller
- Bay St. Louis harbor commissioner resigns, warns of ‘public financial disaster’ ~ Wes Muller
According to Mayor Fillingame, long time City Clerk Kolf does not know how to properly code the monthly installment of the City’s insurance policy, but nobody believes that as there has been no general fund docket to speak of for months.
Ward resigned from the seven-member Harbor Commission two weeks ago, firing off an email, obtained by the Sun Herald, to the council.
“I feel that eventually we will all be embarrassed in a public financial disaster that is not in our control,” the email said. “The administration has not and will not provide us with accurate and up to date information to make any type (of) decision or planning. (Mayor Les Fillingame) doesn’t provide it to the council and (the) council accepts it that way.”
On Monday, Ward told the Sun Herald he believes the city intentionally took the money out of the harbor fund to cover its own approaching insurance payment.
And this is why I think Mayor Fillingame and Councilperson McDonald’s attempts to plunge the City into the private trash business for the benefit of a few old town merchants is so fundamentally misguided because it is pretty clear a City that can’t get the basics of municipal bookkeeping right that can’t provide basic services to its citizens on a consistent basis has no business expanding into new areas.
Next up the Bay St Louis City Attorney evidently does not know how to contact an insurance agent:
— Wesley Muller (@WesleyMullerSH) January 21, 2015
What is missing from the equation is “Respect”. In most Mississippi municipalities, when the Board passes an ordinance and resolution it is followed without question. Here in the Bay if the City Council passes a resolution or ordinance the administration does not like, it is simply ignored. At least three of the City Council members seem fine with that from outward appearances. It is a large part of what makes City government such a train wreck.
Since this post was published both the Seacoast Echo and the Sun Herald have rolled out more coverage of the Council meeting. The local grapevine is also buzzing as word filters out from the attendees. Both of the updates involve the year plus long saga of the City Council requesting that their Attorney Don Rafferty procure professional liability insurance. It appears that Mr. Rafferty waited a bit too long:
Tempers flare at Bay Council meeting ~ Dwayne Bremer
The tension was palpable Tuesday at the Bay St. Louis City Council meeting as Ward Five Councilman Joey Boudin and city attorney Donald Rafferty sparred over Rafferty’s lack of professional liability insurance.
Rafferty is currently involved in litigation with a former client, Donna K. Bell, according to court records.
Now that the litigation has come out, Wes called up to Mississippi Insurance Department and snagged another quote:
“If they find there’s a pending lawsuit, I can just about guarantee you that person would be declined,” Haire said.
The time to be looking for Professional Liability Insurance is definitely before you get sued. For lawyers across the US including here in Mississippi a couple of clicks is all it takes to start the process. I’ve known a couple of the insurance agents the bar has listed on their LPL page for more than 20 years and they are certainly reputable.
Now that this situation, as is typical in here in Mayberry-by-the-Sea, has turned into a clusterf#@k reaching the rock and hard place stage it will be interesting to how the Mayor and City Council handle it.