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As the fools play: Pissin’ away your tax dollars

After all folks we have tax money to burn when it comes to Hollywood giveaways so first the theme song of the Mississippi legislature:

Yelling ‘Cut!’ for Moviemaking Tax Breaks: States keep discovering that the dreamed-of benefits don’t materialize. ~ Chris Hudon and Donald Bryson

And despite the overwhelming evidence these taxpayer Film incentives are spend a dollar to gain a quarter type propositions that make absolutely no economic sense, one of the major accomplishments of the 2015 Mississippi legislature was finally instituting this taxpayer funded giveaway to out of state business interests. Its not that the leadership in this state being backwards that makes this so bad. Its that the leadership is both late and backwards that helps keep us snake bit when it comes to economic development. Meantime the fools play (with your tax money). Continue reading “As the fools play: Pissin’ away your tax dollars”

Saints talent evaluation watch: Smith County > Stockton

For those of you that are not pro football fans I will point out Donte Moncrief is a home boy. Through three games:

Donte Moncrief – 17 receptions, 200 yards, 3 TDs
Brandin Cooks – 16 receptions, 190 yards, 0 TDs

Meantime over NFL fantasy football central:

Since I’m making a fantasy mea culpa, I wish I could take a huge mulligan on Brandin Cooks. This was my biggest blunder of the fantasy draft season (so far). Ugh. Thankfully I had him in just one league this year. Yes, that is past tense. I already traded his (expletive). Thankfully it’s the NFL Fantasy LIVE league, so it’s really not an important league to me. But hot damn, that smarts. (To be fair, the guy drafting in front of me spent the entire summer saying how much he hated Odell Beckham Jr., and then drafted him right in front of me. Which caused me to take Jeremy Hill. Another mistake) I have no idea why I thought we could trust a single Saints receiver, but it’s not going to happen. Oh well, now I can move on. I replaced him with Donte Moncrief (for real), and I’m not going to think twice about it.

Ole Miss and LSU continue to win and Mississippi State is also fielding a decent team so at least we still have Saturdays. Consider this an open thread.

In denial until the very end: Bay Budget Standoff Day 3 with no end in sight. (Updated)

Mayor Les Fillingame

And we have yet another special called City Council meeting as we still have no budget:

Is Bay St. Louis on the brink of financial crisis? Budget approval delayed for third time ~ Wes Muller

And of course the new City Comptroller has learned to tell whoppers well from his new boss:

Former city clerks David Kolf and Katherine Smith battled medical issues over the last year, which Fillingame said contributed to some of the city’s financial problems.

Kolf resigned months ago, and Smith will retire on disability this month, Fillingame said.

The mayor said parts of the audit were inaccurate, specifically the findings that the city allowed its windstorm insurance to lapse during the 2014 hurricane season and was without workers compensation coverage for 60 days.

“We never had a lapse in insurance,” the mayor said.

Clark agreed, saying the wind insurance was a supplemental policy the city didn’t need and paperwork confirms there was never a lapse in workers comp coverage.

Who do you believe folks, the man who brought everyone this financial disaster or your own lying eyes?


Friday night the City Council passed a budget that eliminated every earmark to local non-profits except Tourism and the Senior Citizens. New cuts included monetary support for the Hancock County Animal Shelter – $17,500. The Council also added another $100,000 to budgeted Ad Valorm Tax Revenues moving that number to about $150,000 more than this year’s approximate actual. I’d tend to agree with the reader sentiment left in comments to this post that the City’s general fund will be tight for money towards the end of next fiscal year. [Link to previous Slabbed report on that budget gimmick] Continue reading “In denial until the very end: Bay Budget Standoff Day 3 with no end in sight. (Updated)”

Critical indicator: There is a reason Anita went snooping around at the Chevron in Wiggins

She’d really have received an education in Stone County had she gone there at 2:30 in the morning:

Whistleblower put his ‘name on the line’ in fraud case against Stone County Hospital, owners ~ Anita Lee

Looking at the roster of combatants this false claims act case looks to be a fashionable fight and those that want to read the complaint can click here to download it for free from the DoJ. RFP was also Johnny on the Spot last night with an interesting link so for those of you that want to get an understanding of why this lawsuit has electrified the news power-user community here on the coast is to understand the man who the government has set its sites upon.

The business community is fairly diverse down here but there is a cohort of businessmen that in terms of money-making have few peers and Mr. Cain fits into that elite group. Money is the way the heavyweights keep score and the elites in this group are driven to excel in a game where there is only one way to proverbially win. My personal experience is that the closer you get to what a statistician would term the “right-tail” of the distribution (ie best in class in terms of money making ability), the sharper the elbows become. Few businessmen down here on the coast throw sharper elbows than Mr. Cain, who found himself in statewide news back in 2007/2008 when the legislature sunsetted the Mississippi State Board of Health due to numerous problems in the agency which were thought to be Board of Health inflicted. Continue reading “Critical indicator: There is a reason Anita went snooping around at the Chevron in Wiggins”

Meltdown on Main: Bay City Council unable to pass FY 2016 Budget due to lack of information

And from that headline one could easily conclude last night’s meeting was a complete waste of time since the City Council had to schedule a special meeting for later this week after Mayor Fillingame was unable to answer their financial questions regarding the upcoming budget but it wasn’t for a variety of reasons.

Mayor Fillingame did announce that long time City Comptroller turned City Clerk Katherine Smith is retiring on September 30 along with his selection of Casey Favre to fill the remainder of Mike Benvenutti’s term on the Bay Waveland School Board.

I could end this post here and delete the first three words of the headline and call it a public interest journalism day easily completed so I can devote time to the major investigative project Slabbed is doing on the construction of the Jackson County jail where the stakes are so much higher as personal liberty is at issue rather than the simple squandering of tax money by a small town mayor that is in over his head.  I’m not though because last night’s meeting was not the one the public was supposed to see, at least according to the agenda of the meeting emailed to the public by Council Clerk Tilley on Friday.  This public record shows up on a variety of locally focused websites besides Slabbed so I might as well join the gang and display an agenda here on Slabbed so everyone can get a flavor of what I’m talking about:

Source: Bay St Louis City Council
Source: Bay St Louis City Council

I observed a long time ago on these pages that the City Council could do a better job running it’s meetings by curtailing the very generous public comment periods where a Citizen could get up to the mike, state their name for the record and opine (within reason) to their hearts content on issues facing the City. It made the meetings longer, unnecessarily so in some cases. I also noticed a few months back that a new policy was adopted with respect to the first public comment period that it be limited to agenda topics and the above agenda reflects that fact.

A second public comment portion at the end of the meeting was still maintained where the topic of public comments are not limited. Those people that give enough advance notice can be placed at the top of the agenda like Mssrs. Caplinger and Wells were last for yesterday’s meeting.  The policy is still very reasonable and friendlier to the public than many local governments in Mississippi which generally have one comment period that requires advance registration with the board clerk.  I like the fact the Bay St Louis City Council has such a generous policy, that was adopted when Ward 4 Councilman Compretta assumed the role of Council President a few months ago. Continue reading “Meltdown on Main: Bay City Council unable to pass FY 2016 Budget due to lack of information”

More folks enter the Newhouse family Chop Shop

This time the grim reaper came for veteran journalists such as Paul Purpura whose salaries were most likely spiked compared to the newer hires that are on a different salary scale at Advance Publications.

Times-Picayune lays off 37 journalists in latest shakeup; New Orleans Advocate says it’s expanding its staff ~ Richard Thompson

Three Two years into Advance’s brave new world experiment of eliminating daily editions of the local paper in favor of an enhanced presence on the internet, the financial metrics are evidently still not working out well enough for them where they have competition like New Orleans. It appears Advance just got their digital butts kicked out of Baton Rouge as well.

Not to pile on but…….

Ole Miss vs Texas.  Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications
Donte Moncrief | Ole Miss vs Texas 2013. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

As we watched some of last night’s football game between the Colts and Jets my son and I traded banter about the 2014 NFL draft and how badly the Saints fared in talent evaluation from 2010 to 2014 with 2014 being the apex of the bad talent evaluation.

To set things up conventional wisdom at the time held that the Saints needed help at wide receiver and on defense in the secondary and at linebacker. We traded our first round and third round picks to the Arizona Cardinal and took wide receiver Brandin Cooks. We also signed safety Jairus Byrd to a high dollar free agent contract.

With the Saints first round pick Arizona drafted safety Deone Bucannon, who has since started every game for the Cards. In the third round, one pick before the New Orleans pick that was traded, the Colts took Wide Receiver Donte Moncrief, an Ole Miss guy the Saints scouting department should have been very aware of due to proximity. Last night Moncrief snagged 7 catches for the Colts for over 120 yards in a losing effort against the Jets. The Colts eased Moncrief in last year as they still had Reggie Wayne so Moncrief played the three receiver for only part of last year. How does his career stats compare to Brandin Cooks to this point? Continue reading “Not to pile on but…….”