Trolley lolley lolley, fa la la la……

Bay St. Louis council calls for federal probe into $186,000 in police-forfeiture money ~ Wes Muller

Playing games with pooled bank accounts is nothing new or particularily innovative on the book cooking front.  What gets me is the fact that the same pot of money is apparently spent over and over and over again.  I’ll term it Hocus Pocus accounting and it is fairly easy to see through.

Speaking of Hocus Pocus accounting in the Bay we have a Hocus Pocus budgeting as well as.  You see folks in Mississippi by law Municipalities must prepare their budget on the cash basis with one exception. What this means is revenue per the budget is recognized when actually received rather than when earned. This means with the exception of previous fiscal year claims paid within 30 days after September 30 that expenses are recognized when paid rather than when incurred. Since we’re talking governmental accounting this also means that capital expenses are shown as an expense when paid and both loan principal and interest are expensed when paid.  Adjusting for claims paid 30 days after year end this also means the following equation is true. [Section 21-35-23, Miss. Code Ann. (1972)]

Beginning Cash in fund + budgeted revenues – budgeted expenses = Ending Cash in fund

Now I would encourage everyone to visit the City’s website and download the original and amended budgets for 2014-2015. Look hard for the equation I highlighted above but you can also take it from me that you won’t find it because the City did not use the correct format for its budget. Correct format??? What the heck is Handshoe talking about? I’m talking about the Mississippi Audit and Accounting Guide for Municipalities promulgated by the Mississippi State Auditor’s office, which by law has the authority to dictate the form of the budget. [Sections 21-35-7 and 21-35-29, Miss. Code Ann. (1972)] The following is what I am talking about being missing from the Bay Budget:

Source: Mississippi Municipal Audit and Accounting Guide
Source: Mississippi Municipal Audit and Accounting Guide
MAAG10 Cap2
Source: Mississippi Municipal Audit and Accounting Guide

What does this have to do with the City’s current predicament? Let’s visit with Wes Muller’s story above:

Falgout challenged the mayor’s explanation, saying the previous administration used a separate account for police forfeitures for 22 years until former City Clerk David Kolf closed the account in 2009.

“David Kolf closed that fund in October of 2009 after you took office, and it hasn’t been back since,” Falgout said. “The city has received up to $315,000 worth of monies in the last four or five years, and we’re sitting here saying it’s $186,000. We don’t even have enough money in the general fund to cover half that.”

The formulas above is what also caused Councilman Falgout to question the Cash balance shown in the 2014 Bond Refunding Debt Service Fund as being $100,000 short. When Falgout say short he is not accusing someone stealing per se, rather, it implies he thinks a portion of the dedicated $13.00/month surcharge on everyone’s water and sewer bills is sitting in some other fund. The City, in direct violation of its debt covenants with Hancock Bank did not segregate the dedicated debt service funds from the pooled account until late this past Spring when councilman Falgout asked why there was no money in the debt service fund. It reeks folks.

These are esoteric accounting concepts but they are important because when the City Council was forced to refinance its water and sewer bonds in 2014 or default, the public was assured the new service charge added to their water bills would not be spent for any purpose other than debt service on the refunding bonds. By co-mingling the funds the Fillingame Administration did exactly what the council prohibited and now there are questions about the fund being short around $100,000.

And that is the biggest fallacy in the City’s Hocus Pocus accounting because when you add up all the little pots of money the Mayor claims the City has stashed and compare the total to the reconciled balance in the pooled bank account it comes up short, just like Chief Denardo’s Drug Asset Forfeiture Fund and this brings me to the brand spanking new Old Town Bay St Louis Trolley, which was supposedly paid for with the Seal Grant Money the only problem being the Seal Grant Money has been spent about 8 times over by now by my calcualtion. This in turn has prompted residents that would rather laugh than cry to begin circulating the parody below:

Reader Submitted Facebook Photo | Mayor Les Fillingame, Councilperson Wendy McDonald and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tish WIlliams and spouses.
Reader Submitted Facebook Photo | Mayor Les Fillingame, Councilperson Wendy McDonald and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tish WIlliams and spouses.

Ooops sorry folks, wrong picture. Here is the correct one:

Citizen Parody of the latest Bay St Louis taxpayer giveaway.
Citizen Parody of the latest Bay St Louis taxpayer giveaway to the Old Town area of the City.

The problem with financial houses of cards is they always come tumbling down. Next up, in light of the Statutory requirements that a Mississippi Municipality budget on the cash basis, what is the impact of sandbagged claims payable that are never recorded on the books until just before they are finally paid very late months down the line. Stay tuned.

12 thoughts on “Trolley lolley lolley, fa la la la……”

  1. The funds are called HIYTA Funds………………..Les and Kolf thought they said Hide the Funds!

    Are Wendy, Bobby, Les and Kolf competent to stand trial!

    Les is a sociopath Liar, Kolf missed more work due to stress than anyone on the payroll and Bobby and Wendy don’t even know what they are all talking about!

    Wendy wants everyone to take a Trolley ride and hold hands and sing cum by ya!

  2. I hear the current City clerk walked off the job today!!!
    Question, why was the former Davey clerk guy on a city computer the last few days? All he is now is a Bay St Louis taxpayer… At last nights meeting Les told the council their clerk couldn’t see the bank statements, REALLY… Your now non-bonded, no longer employed clerk has access to our records!!!! Looks like another letter to Stacy.

  3. The original image of Mayor Fillingame and Councilwoman Wendy McDonald in front of the trolley was taken by me. It was published on my online magazine by me. I shared it with my clients, the Old Town Merchants Association. Neither organization is funded by governmental organizations. The copyright of the image is mine. It is not a public domain image. I gave no one else permission to use the image. I gave no one permission to alter the image. Please delete it from your site immediately.

    1. This is the week that keeps on giving. 😉

      I did google “Bay St. Louis Trolley” hoping to find the “online magazine” I had never heard of. Surprisingly I found the top result was this very Slabbed post. Your results may vary. (Anyone needing a cheap thrill could do a similar search and then click on the Slabbed result to help optimize the “Free” Trolley search results.)

      I did not find the referenced “online magazine”, which was a disappointment. It sounded like the type of place to find the types of pictures I like to link to in the comments. Such as this one of the governor from a while ago.

      1. It hasn’t been this good since the extorting Tranny was on the loose.

        I have seen the 39520 Ashley Madison list to go with 39577, 30501 and 39503. The database crashed again due to traffic.

        1. My intuition tells me that we are nowhere near full disclosure on a whole number of scandalous and corrupt topics. They used to say summer is slow for news. Not this year.

          Sam Waggoner Jr’s guilty plea to a single count today makes me think he cut a deal and Irb Benjamin apparently did not. There are probably more revelations to come on the corrections scandal. There were serious dollars involved both in the construction and the operations of the facilities at both the state and county levels. Those involved in the various parts of this game are a veritable who’s who of important and connected players.

  4. Is this the same lady that has that hideous boat in her yard with weeds in it? Wow u would think she would leave well enough alone. 10 yrs after katrina and she hasnt cleaned up yet? I saw pictures of people saved in katrina by mattresses, refridgeraters, garbage dumpsters most anything that floated! She must feel her situation was special. She needs to clean it up! She is devaluating property in the Fourth Ward! She wants to protect her rights by taking away rights of others what do you think Trump or Obama fan? Lol all these people need to save their legal budget to fund Les’s legal problems!

    1. I feel the same way about the rotten boat full of weeds in the yard on third street. That historic building has been turned into a vrbo ( vacation rental by owner) and been degraded by its owner. The Webb school has been forgotten as a community landmark and now is being used by the owner for Hurricane Katrina related personal gain. There’s a time and place for everything and I believe it is time to move on just as the tugboat that washed up in Long Beach during Hurricane Camille is now gone. Moving forward requires letting go of the past.

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