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

Fillingame_Header
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?

Update:

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]

Wes Muller updated his original story on the Bay budget crisis for the Sun Herald to reflect the passage of the budget Friday night. Included at the end is another quote from the Mayor that posited the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year audit, which was due to the Single Audit Clearinghouse on June 30, 2015, was somehow rushed with the Audit firm pressured to release a bad report as he waxes nonsensical for the public:

Fillingame said he feels the auditors released their findings prematurely.

“It appeared to me that they were pushed into making a presentation prematurely because they don’t typically present an audit that’s not complete,” he said. “And I would think, why else would they do it if they weren’t pressured to do it?”

Maybe one day Hizzoner will figure out the easiest way to make major internal control and compliance audit findings go away is to fix the problems identified by the auditors instead of trying to white wash them. I would not hold my breath waiting for that though.

Finally, the local paper checked in with their own story on last week’s budget battle:

Bay council approves budget, cuts funding for shelter ~ Breezy Bice and Geoff Belcher

Finally based on Councilman Boudin’s remarks Friday night those of you in the Bay that wish to ride the free Trolley have three months left to catch a free ride as no funding for the free service was included in the municipal budget for 2015-2016 beyond theĀ  original 6 month commitment.

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

  1. B.S.Fillingamer said:

    “…they released their findings prematurely”

    Typical of Bay politicos who also shoot their big mouths prematurely inside the ends of the prophylactic bags they walk around in.

  2. Lies, Lies and More Lies….. Les will never accept the truth and admit he made a mess of the situation in BSL.
    Everyone is laughing at him and he is just making a fool of himself. Typical Less, to blame the medical condition of an employee on the financial woes of the city. Such a nice guy. Boy, He can really come up with some excuses. Why would any employee stand up for their employer when there is NO loyalty. He will do and say what he thinks is in his best interest.

    1. Les has a certain amount of charisma that sways weaker minds. Last night he blamed setting up payment plans for the growth in delinquent Water and Sewer accounts. If the monthly payment under the plan is less than the customers normal bill the past due balance will grow. Of course only an imbecile would address a delinquent account in such a manner.

      The solution is to padlock the meter and cut off service.

  3. The Council’s death grip this past year on the Reserve Fund they built up from selling off assets and coming into some BP money was the only thing that saved the Bay last night.
    But by the time we left the Council Chamber last night, the mouse was chasing the wheel again, because the Council had to relinquish 1/3 of it to the Mayor who had neglected to pay bills that, by law, could not be carried over into an amended budget.
    The Council motion to pay the Reserve back with the first ad valorem check from Jimmie Ladner in Jan. sounds great, but wait, that leaves them $300,000 short coming out of the gate with money to pay bills starting in January, 2016. The mouse just kicked up his pace.
    Let us not forget the fact that there will be no BP money this year, and probably no more assets to sell, unless they do put the Council Chamber on the market and move everyone to City Hall which was rumored this past year. The mouse is breathing heavy now.
    And, just in case any of you think last night was the last time in this calendar year that the Mayor and Comptroller will be scratching at the Council door for what is left in the Reserve fund, think again.
    No ad valorem coming in for 90 days, and seven pay periods until Jan. 1, 2016= right at about $994,000.00!!!!!!!!!! It was subtly mentioned by the Comptroller while he was at the podium!
    The wheel just stopped! Where’s the mouse?! Oh, is he breathing? !Do any of those operating the wheel know CPR??!!
    As one taxpayer said leaving the meeting last night–WORDS, WORDS, WORDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Since the general fund must have enough cash flow to satisfy the interfund loan rhus the budgeted excess of revenues over expenses has to show at least the amount that needs to be repaid to the reserve fund. I did not see a copy of the revised budget since the changes were not passed out. Adding the $120,000 in newly budgeted revenues/expenditure cuts to the $97,494 excess of revenues over expenditures results in $217,494, which is less than the amount to be repaid.

      Of course grossing up budgeted Ad Valorem collection to almost $150,000 more than was collected this year (which includes the receivable collected next month) is wishful thinking as well.

  4. Andrew Jackson would hang les by a rope! Les is the enemy within. Lying legionnaires all! He can spin but he cant hide! If we make it to the next audit with any cash he will have a lot of explaining for re-election.

    I understand they prefer cash in the community center rental! That is told by more than one person. Who do you think runs that operation? Katey Filingame Stewart! How can she get bonding and if she is what is the cost of it with her financial back ground?

  5. And the Saga continues. I can not wait for it all to blow up in his face with in the next 6 months. Things have to explode between the property taxes, payroll and bills. Let’s see how he is going to pull this one off Mr. Charisma !!!!
    So you have to pay CASH to rent community center and Katey collects it?? I wonder if Less taught her how to do the accounting?? Where’s the Cash?

  6. Dang…. I left town to see my newly born grand baby 3 weeks ago and the town goes to hell in a hand basket…Oh thats right the finances are just fine!!! And Davey the part-time clerk said POOLMAN doesn’t understand CITY finance. Had a great time on my trip, saw the next generation of my family, the head water of the Mississippi river, OH and realized Stacey Pickering could give two shits about Bay St Louis. Seems
    my calls and notifications of problems didn’t mater, well except my complaint about the HIDA funds to the FEDS, it appears EM-INS FED GUYS may not find it funny!!! Les may be the next cowboy at the Angola rodeo, and hells bells I missed the TROLLEY ride. Lets see what I can stir up at Coast Transit this week with a copy of this video with drinkers on public transit.

  7. Les and Katey have about as much charisma as an Iguana! Daddy said is spying on employees as they are getting extremely paranoid, as they should be. Throwing sick people under the bus and anyone else to help him justify his debacles. Les and Katey sashay around town like the are the owners of it! Haha I heard when the election is over they are going to put her on a weed eater as that is really all she is qualified to do!

    1. When an Administration can not meet city payroll then the first city employee payroll checks not to be written should be the salaries of Iguanas Les and Katey, the next checks not to be paid should be the Council members’ and etc. down the chain of incompetency.

      Like the good book says ‘if you want to be No.1 then you have to be last and serve all others first’.

      So if Les wants true public sympathy Les, Katey and Council must work for nothing for a few months and then the taxpayers may throw them some moldy, stale crumbs from their bare cupboards. But for raiding house RATS that should more than enough.

      1. Good ideas.

        Duh mayo could consider leading by example: any personal bills duh mayo receives (other than city bills such as) will now be on the slow pay plan.

        Credit cards? They will understand being late paid by a month or two.

        Duh mayo’s auto and homeowner’s insurance? He can late pay those a few months and cross his fingers for no claims in the meantime.

        It’s all good, heh, duh mayo might as well file and pay his taxes late too.

  8. You are right Doug. Les has failed personally in business several times and left the property owners and investors holding the bag. Con Men do what they do because they can lie and make you not only believe it but feel good about it. Wendy and Bobby and Doug offset his cost to them by receiving City Salaries, Retirement and Medical Insurance which makes them fit the cliche” that they need the city mote than the city needs them! They get paid whether they even show up for meetings or not! Part Time Employees with benefits! As has always been said…..they get theirs first and if any is left they donate it or pay bills………….they changed it to just maybe pay bills!

    By the way has the Chamber stepped up to see if they can help their founding city while in need? Hell no they have their bloated salaries to pay. That is what they should worry about…The Director and the paying Members.

  9. If they truly want to trim the budget it has to start at the top.
    How much do we pay for gas, cell phones, cars, health insurance?
    Part time council members should not be allowed any of these expenses. Actually any employee should not be allowed any except maybe health in some positions. We need to take care of our Police and Fire department.
    The company I work for doesn’t pay any of those expenses. The employees should be happy they have a job, especially Katy.
    Cars should not be allowed to take home. Drive your car to work and pick up city vehicle upon arriving at your job. All of that is extra gas plus wear and tear on the car. Have you seen the big car Les drives, wonder what type of gas mileage he gets. All of this should be taken into consideration. All economy vehicles. The mayor of Pass Christian drives a little economy car not a big SUV like Mr. Les does….
    Some say this does not add up to much, but start adding up the expenses and lets see where we can cut.
    Cell phones, everyone has one and will have one no matter if the city pays or not. It is a way of life for all of us now and the city does not need to provide this. I bet most of the calls are personal on them if you look at the records.
    Lets REALLY trim the budget.
    Everyone wants a city job, why? because of the benefits. What happened to just wanting to work to earn a salary and be thankful you are working??

    1. The City Council had no appetite for cutting personnel or any other expenses for that matter beyond the third party earmarks.

      The problem with the City I see is it is top heavy with high price dead weight that comes at the expense of every other function. The names have been mentioned here on these pages time and again. Its why the grass on Highway 90 or Felicity Street or Ward 6 does not get cut. When money gets tight it always comes out of City services – never from the dead weight at the top. Its also why the employees on the bottom that do bust their tails rarely get raises.

      There is no magical panacea to counteract the nepotism and cronyism. It boils down to a question of priorities.

    2. Les needs that big suv so he can haul around all his bulls#!t.
      he’s going to need a dump truck soon. thanks for the information slabbed.org
      hey seacoastecho keep up the bad work.

  10. Every single meeting the public has sat snd watched the Council ask the Clerk if the funds are available to pay the docket, and every single time he or she ( depending on who the Clerk is at any given moment) says ,”Yes.”
    Recently, in the absence of a Clerk, the Mayor certified the availability of the funds.
    And Friday night when the budget was finally adopted, there were outstanding bills and the need for cash flow funds. So, out the window went $300,000 from the Reserve Fund.
    Tell me how this happened after a year of the Council being told month after month that the funds were there???!!!

  11. Because while Les says (he said it im not saying it) he is taking responsibility(he blamed two sick employees) he is not being accountable. The only thing that makes accountability is the Law. We live in a law less state. No accountability! Criminals take responsibility when they admit their wrongs, accountability comes when they are punished for it. The council needs to reduce his pay and theirs until this mess is straightened up. They choose to put it back to the tax payers.

  12. I see all of these Hood commercials how he has prosecuted so many corrupt politicians, where is he for Les. He has lied time and time again to his council and the people about the funds. He has misappropriated funds, what more does he need to do before someone from Jackson comes down and grabs him?
    I am tired also Lana, paying for Les mistakes. The special assessment on the water bills for his incompetence and now all of this. We should not have to pay for his mistakes everytime. Enough is enough.

  13. The Pro Forma Audit from the State started yesterday! They are gonna throw a rock in the pack of dogs see who yelps. Wendy didn’t want the audit I would start with her, Rafferty tried to stop it he is next and Les wants to Veto it he is certainly on the list. I believe that it may be that they all are relieved of or reduced in their capacity to operate fraudulently after it is done.

    We will get our finances and court system back on track. The Court System has been a play ground for out city attorney. The reasons will present themselves shortly and hopefully criminal charges brought forth so that they have to defend themselves the way the public has had to do both financially and legally! it will play out!

  14. Mayor and Daughter are going to be weed eating the Highway in stripes and the City Compensated Counselor will raking up the clippings. I understand Les and Don are not cooperating with the investigations.

    Pioneer Company, who was contracted to collect out standing debt at the water Dept is getting the cold shoulder to. Les has cut deals with the bills. WLOX Employee is 3 months plus behind. Do you think that is why he gives favorable TV feed to our Play Ground Bully Les?

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