Last night we had a public meeting double header here in the Bay so to make sure the local Alliance for Good Government had people at both we drew straws – Ron and I got the short ones and ended up at the Bay St Louis City Council meeting, which was a real snoozer since the finance department is on extended break. Council Prez Compretta ended up pushing the claims docket to the bottom of the agenda and I feel certain in saying sight unseen the
stooges council approved it blind because Hizzoner said it was OK. Then the meeting adjourned so Hizzoner and stooges council could go the end of the Washington Street Boat Launch and dance naked in the pale moonlight. Like I said, Ron and I drew the short straw. I have the first 75 minutes or so on vid for posterity sake. Posting it for viewing could be construed as an act of wanton sadism so the editorial board here at Slabbed is hashing that part out as I write this.
Meantime over at the Bay Waveland School Board meeting the public was treated to quite a show. To set things up over the past several months the Alliance has been looking at the budgetary practices of the BWSD because the school district was amending its budget virtually monthly in a long standing practice and one that is absolutely unusual for a Mississippi K-12. To go with that unusual practice is the fact there was absolutely no financial detail spread upon the Board’s minutes and after speaking with certain of the Board members the Alliance determined the School Board was not furnished any financial detail on any of these budgetary amendments. Rumor holds that after each meeting in the six months ended December 31, 2014 after voting blind on these budgetary amendments Superintendent Ladner and the
stooges School Board would head on down to the end of the Washington Street Boat Launch and dance naked in the pale moonlight but Slabbed has been unable to confirm this rumor.
In any event early this year certain members of the school board inquired as to what they have been voting on in terms of those budget amendments. Sources with first hand knowledge of the internal discussions have leaked to Slabbed New Media the documents and information they received, literally after months of inquiry and I have embedded this information below the jump.
So now back to last night’s meeting. Lana Noonan presented to the School Board a detailed presentation exhibiting how even the City of Bay St Louis shares the financial details of their budget amendments with their elected Board. On the agenda last night were raises for certain central office administrators and according to Alliance for Good Government analysis of the 2014-2015 claims dockets, BWSD spent 250% more on its central office than Hancock County Schools, which happens to be about 250% larger than BWSD in terms of student population.
The Board went into executive session. I’ll let Lana Noonan describe the scene:
The school board stayed in executive session for over an hour. Superintendent Becky Ladner, Mike Bell, and Mike Benvenutti had a knock down drag out in front of everyone over administrative salaries. Ladner was practically screaming, and she wouldn’t budge.
During the fight, one of the administrators who was sitting in the audience, started crying. Then another gets up and grabs a box of Kleenex that just happened to be sitting on the speaker’s podium. At that point, the assistant Superintendent gets up and starts carrying on about how long they work, and how much they do…..
According to Ms Noonan, the raises passed 3-2. No word yet on whether the request for the budgetary detail was furnished to the Trustees but my guess there would be no. Stay tuned.