Bay City Attorney claims Vig on proposed bond issue. What do the taxpayers get?

Nothing as far as I can tell but a $40,000 bill for no work. Lets’ start with Geoff Belcher over at Fillingame PR:

….the governing authorities shall have the power to pay reasonable compensation … but in no instance shall such compensation so paid exceed one percent of the bonds issued or refunded.”

The statute “says we can pay him up to one percent,” Councilman-at-Large Mike Favre said, “but I don’t think we have to. .. I still don’t understand why we need a third party. He doesn’t even sign anything, I don’t think. He’s just looking at it.”

“I know he’s entitled to it,” Ward 3 Councilman Jeff Reed said, “but I think we talked about negotiating with him on that. Let’s wait until (Tuesday’s) meeting and see if we can negotiate with him and see if he’ll take something less.”

“We’ve always paid attorneys’ fees,” Ward 2 Councilwoman Wendy McDonald said Friday. “We’ve always paid the city attorney to look over our documents. We have a city attorney to look out for the interests of the city and the council and make sure we don’t make mistakes. We try very hard not to make mistakes.

I guess its the past mistakes that give me the heartburn I have in this matter. Over the last several years Municipal audit after Municipal audit has been riddled with state legal compliance violation after violation, most repeated from year to year. The 2014 audit is now very late but that is nothing new because the 2013 audit was very late and none of this counts that 2013 loan at The First the City made when it was on the edge of insolvency without any apparent statutory authority.

With due respect to Councilwoman McDonald the people in Bay St Louis are not the fools she thinks they are. The City Attorney should not get a nickle by virtue of the fact that he takes up a space in the Council’s Board room breathing air and with due respect to Councilman Reed, according to the statute the attorney is due exactly what the City Council authorizes not exceed 1% of the total. It’d be nice if the gang on the City Council treated the City’s money with a bit more respect and stopped acting like Mr. Rafferty was their boss. Tuesday’s meeting should be worth attending.

Slabbed explores the almost completed Jackson County Adult Detention Center – Introduction

The last time Slabbed began chasing a lead that ended up uncovering a huge number of what I’ll term rabbit trails into the brier patch was the massive political corruption scandal in Jefferson Parish back in 2010. I mention this because earlier this year I received a tip which mentioned a significant ramp up of of FBI agents and resources in Mississippi with Jackson being ground zero. A few months later through a completely unrelated source and by happenstance I was able to confirm the first tip. The question to me then became one of the focus of the FBIs interests and we’ve been treated in the news to several tantalizing clues the most recent being our State Auditor according to the Clarion Ledger. I think we can piece several things together and arrive at a reasonable answer and to begin we start with a story today by Greg Gordon of McClatchy DC that appeared in today’s Sun Herald. Gordon’s presence on the scene is significant because he is the Sun Herald’s parent corp’s best financial fraud reporter and what appeared today makes a nice starting point for the coming Slabbed series on the construction of the Jackson County ADC:

In Waveland, federal auditors unnerved local officials by finding a contractor hired to build a temporary sewer system double-billed the city $811,000 for 379 pumps already covered by the contract and improperly charged $608,000 more for 290 more sewage-storage tanks that weren’t part of the agreement.

And who was this contractor?

Waveland’s predicament, however, underscores a central reality for watchdogs who have sought to ensure the fair and efficient expenditures of tax dollars: In Mississippi, one of the nation’s poorest states, most jurisdictions lack the money to repay questioned costs.

“There’s no way, practically, for (the city) to repay that money,” said Gary Yarborough, Waveland’s city attorney. The city’s population has dropped from 8,000 to about 6,000, and its fiscal year budget is $4.2 million, he said.

City officials told federal examiners they’d alerted state auditors years ago that the firm contracted to build the sewage system, Hemphill Construction Co. of Florence, had overcharged for the project. But FEMA has so far chosen to pursue the city rather than the company, Yarborough said.

Waveland’s appeal for relief from FEMA is pending. Hemphill’s president, Richard Rula, did not respond to a phone message.

Hemphill was ubiquitous in Hancock County in the years after the storm and there are reasons for that. The section of Central Avenue in Waveland between Coleman Avenue and Nicholson occasionally makes me question whether the company should have been in the road and infrastructure rebuilding business at all. At the end of the day the companies that seemingly came out of nowhere after the Hurricane to nab rebuild contracts traces to an old political feud between then Senator Trent Lott and then Prez Geroge Bush. Jeb Bush was Florida’s governor at the time. With the political players set lets hit the way back machine and set the dial for April 2006 and Bloomberg Business Magazine: Continue reading “Slabbed explores the almost completed Jackson County Adult Detention Center – Introduction”

Other Voices | Wednesdays Wars: Iran Deal Opponents – The Final Push

Published on Aug 12, 2015

Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu’s paid and volunteer hysterics, who claim the end will be near if the Iran Deal passes, have been temporarily driven to the sidelines by the media’s fascination with all things Trump.

Not to worry. They’re coming back. Expect the richly-financed Iran Deal opponents to go into Armageddon Overdrive as we get closer to Labor Day. Consider the source of what you hear and keep in mind the following:

1. The United States gives up nothing in the Iran Deal. I’ve heard no-nothings say silly things, like, “We’re going to give Iran a signing bonus.” Iran gets about $55 Billion of its own dollars back. It appears weird to me, that Israel, which has received about $250 Billion, inflation adjusted, US Taxpayer Dollars as a gift, would be in such a pout about a country getting its own money back.

2. The charge from the anti-deal hysterics is that Iran is a chronic bad actor, therefore we should keep our foot on their neck permanently.

If truth be told, Iran is not the only country in the Mid East to have misbehaved over the years. Indeed, Ronald Reagan was so disgusted with the barbarity of Israel’s assault on the civilian areas of Beirut in 1982 that he wrote in his Diary that he told Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin that Israel was “creating a Holocaust” in Beirut, and that the image of Israel’s war “was a seven month old child with its arms blown off”.

Also, a little research will uncover that the United States provided targeting information to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War to assist Iraq in its use of chemical weapons against Iran. So, maybe the folks that are out on the streets in Tehran chanting anti-US stuff now and then are just reacting to the disfiguring burns they received during the Iran-Iraq War. Who knows?

3. The charge is made that Iran was responsible for the October 1983 attack on the Marine Corps Barracks in Beirut that killed 244 American servicemen. In October 1983, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, with over five years left in his Presidency and full control of the American intelligence establishment. If there was anyone anywhere who knew where the ultimate responsibility for the Marine Corps Barracks lay, it was Ronald Reagan.

Reagan chose not to retaliate against Iran because he was unable to find that Iran was responsible. Continue Reading………