Left unsaid in yesterday’s post but well explained in the video embed was the Bay City Council refusing to take up the City’s claims docket for approval until they were given access to the original invoices that support the docket they are being asked to approve. This routine vote is far from meaningless as personal liability attaches to any yes vote for any expenditure made without statutory authority and it is not an esoteric concept, especially if one carefully reads the Auditor’s internal control and legal compliance findings in the 2013-2014 audit report Mayor Fillingame is stonewalling because there is an open question in my mind if a money demand is not already coming to the Mayor and certain members of the City Council for reasons I will not disclose at this time. Given the pervasiveness and totality of the problems, self inflicted as they are, it would take a special kind of masochist to vote blind on the financial matters before the City Council.
I mention this because Slabbed has learned Councilman Boudin has not been given access to the original invoices supporting the current claims docket and according to email correspondence he sent that included the local media he will not be attending tonight’s recessed meeting of the City Council. Additional follow-up correspondence from Councilman at large Mike Favre which included the local media is suggesting the Council formally seek a Writ of Mandamus to force Mayor Fillingame to share the original public records supporting the claims docket with the City Council.
Stay tuned for updates on this rapidly developing situation.
Last night’s recessed meeting of the Bay St Louis City Council was a nonstarter as Councilmen Boudin, Favre, Falgout and Reed were absent thus the lack of a quorum.
To set things up, in October 2014 the council unanimously passed a resolution which stipulated a list of financial documents they needed to see in advance of the City council meeting. That resolution was referenced a few times in Tuesday’s meeting. It must not have been vague to the Mayor because Mayor Fillingame never vetoed it. He also generally has never bothered to give them everything they asked for in advance of the meeting. The council as a whole was apparently fine with being treated that way but with the Mayor’s recent vetoes coupled with allegations of misspent drug forfeiture funds, multiple sets of investigators at City Hall and a whole host of major audit findings, the council members that were not quite as willing to go along in order to get along have had enough. It is very well established in Mississippi that Board members across the spectrum of local governments have the right to see whatever information they require in order to cast informed votes. Such is a major problem not only with the City of Bay St Louis but also the Bay-Waveland School Board and it will remain a problem until enough sitting board members get tired of being patsies and dupes for their Chief Executives. At the City of Bay St Louis, it appears a majority of the City Council has finally reached critical mass and is not going to tolerate information being withheld from them.
Sometime between four and five yesterday afternoon, Mayor Fillingame proved this whole year long saga was nothing more than a bunch of BS because he and his new City Clerk were somehow able to bring the original invoices across the street to the Council Chambers, albeit too far past the deadline to be of any use in conducting the meeting. Sources on the Bay City Council tell Slabbed the docket will be taken up at the October 20, 2015 meeting provided requested backup information is presently timely to the City Council in accordance with Mississippi statute. Stay tuned.