The City of Bay St Louis has been out of the news cycle here at Slabbed for a few months now but here in the dog days of August last night’s meet produced big news on a couple of fronts the main one being this morning’s City Council meeting headline. There has been chatter about the Drug Asset Forfeiture Funds since the last meeting and it was clear from Chief Denardo’s remarks last night regarding the Bay Police Department’s inability to access the funding source to make undercover drug buys there was a problem in finance. The council request asks for a review of the forfeiture accounts from 2008 forward.
Additionally Slabbed has learned this morning from a source with knowledge of City Hall operations requesting anonymity that Mississippi State Auditor’s office investigators have visited City Hall this morning requesting a meeting with Mayor Fillingame, Chief Denardo and City Clerk Smith regarding problems in the Forfeiture Funds. State Auditor’s Office Investigator Susan Syerson was in attendance at last night’s meeting.
Additionally Councilman Lonnie Falgout questioned the amount of cash currently shown on the City’s financial statements for the 2014 Refunding Bond Debt Service Fund indicating his calculations show a shortage of close to $100,000 in the fund. Mayor Fillingame promised to present a reconciliation of the cash in that fund at the next scheduled council meeting.
Finally, what started out as a dust up over how much Bond Vig would be due City Attorney Donald Rafferty turned into a bidding war between Butler Snow and Jones Walker with both firms submitting Bond Counsel proposals at a significantly discounted rate. After Jones Walker’s Trent Favre made his firm’s sales pitch offering to handle the issue for $25,000 (62.5 basis points) total, Butler Snow’s Heather Ladner presented a price of $22,000 (55 basis points) to handle the $4,000,000 proposed bond issue and a public bidding war almost ensued before the Council resolved to advertise RFPs for Bond Counsel with the winning firm selected at the September 8, 2015 council meeting. If you’re with one of the larger local law firms and are interested I’d contact City Attorney Rafferty for details.
Finally last night’s Slabbed New Media debut on Periscope with video clips of the council meeting was a mixed bag due to the bad room acoustics. I’ll see what I can do to improve things for next time.