Tonight’s recessed Bay St Louis City Council meeting should be a good one

But first I have two things related to Tuesday’s meeting, which was a barn burner all on its own:

Bay St. Louis council, mayor exchange threats in Tuesday meeting ~ Wes Muller

Falgout moved to have City Attorney Donald Rafferty file a writ of mandamus to force the administration to comply with the council’s invoice ordinance. A writ of mandamus is an order from a court that a government official fulfill his or her duties.

Rafferty responded the city attorney may not take the side of the mayor or the council.

Laughter erupted among those in attendance.

And I uploaded a 2 hour clip of the meeting from Slabbed’s Periscope coverage of the meeting. (The sound is uneven but that is the nature of the beast)

10-22-15 Agenda - Recessed meeting

Stay tuned.

30 thoughts on “Tonight’s recessed Bay St Louis City Council meeting should be a good one”

  1. Let’s not forget the part where a letter indicated cash exchanged hands with Katey for use of the Community Center with no receipt and a complaint of no refund from a citizen! Les defended her saying they never take cash! How would he know that without checking? The audit made references to cash handling problems at the community center! That may have been one of the issues?

    A Clown to the Left and a Joker to the Right…..Raff and Les

  2. Les is having the City Council Secretary’s desk moved to City Hall. He think the Forfeiture Funds are in it! LOL

    1. The council is hereby invited to move to city hall.

      Les wants LE to need a paddywagon or a bus to haul everyone to the arraignment? Others may not be so sure they want to join him on board the trolley to travail.

  3. Raferty’s assesment is that he n les will give the DOJ an education! On what ?shysterism, deception, or how to make money leading a crook down the path of jail! Raff is done, never really had credibility but he is convincing! Lol lets look at where they are at in a year!
    Haha will be fun!

  4. Raff may get a contract! Lol he may not be so avsilable for $35 an hour for letters and $50 for legal!

    No contract raff is about to be sized up!

    Who is your daddy?

  5. Why does the Mayor so adamantly refuse to answer the findings in this year’s audit? And, shy isn’t the Council insisting upon it?
    What is in there. The public who paid $55,000 for it is entitled to know!!!

  6. It was apparent tonight to see why the Bay St. Louis City Council has known for a long time that they had to get their eyes and hands on the original invoices in order to pay bills according to the mandates of state law, which is one of the unanswered findings in their current and last year’s audit.
    We’ll start off with the biggie: Ward VI Councilman Falgout disclosed that the Flood Insurance Premium notice had been received by the city on August 27. He went on to say that the city had received a substantial payment from the tax office , but has yet to pay the premium which expires at midnight on Oct. 25. Comptroller Robert Clark told Falgout that the Financial Dept. did not receive the premium notice until Oct. 1. Okay, I’ll ask the question—– where was it???????????
    The Council found accounts payable to a uniform company from Oct. 2014, and Dec. 2014.
    Unpaid invoices from a local office supply company as far back as May.
    A local Air Conditioning Service Company has been waiting far too long for payment of thousands, some of which were not on the docket of claims.
    Another Auto parts store hasn’t been paid since January.
    Numerous employees going in stores purchasing things according to Ward V Councilman Boudin without purchase orders.
    Needless to say, there is a serious violation of the state law requiring bills to be paid in a 45 day time period as noted in the last two audits. This kind of bookkeeping puts a hardship on small local businesses.
    The Mayor stated that he “respectfully” is requesting the Council to ask the bookkeeping department any questions they may have about the docket in advance of the meetings. That sounds reasonable except that on too many occasions, they haven’t received the docket until right before the meeting. It is doubtful they would have had time to review the docket for question or have any expectations of getting answers before the meeting started. Are you starting to get the picture?!
    The Mayor’s solution to all of this is to move the Council Clerk and all of their documents to City Hall. I could be wrong, of course, but this appears to me to be an attempt to publicly punish the Council for prevailing in this tug of war over invoices by depriving them of the space they have occupied since right after Katrina and which has worked well for them and their staff.
    He does have legal jurisdiction over all facilities in the city and from observation, control seems to be of utmost importance to him.
    The Mayor insist on having everyone under the same”roof”as if that were the problem. The real problem seems to continue to be “who” is under the roof. Minutes ago he told WLOX that he has run out of cheeks to turn. He has also run out of City Clerks and excuses for not responding to the findings in this year’s audit while the”roof”he is under continues to be somewhere in LaLa Land!!
    I understand the auditing firm has also grown weary of waiting for his responses to their findings which is holding up the completion of last year’s audit and delaying the work on this year’s. But, not to worry, the taxpayers only forked out some $50,000 for this fiasco!!
    Stay tuned!!!!

  7. The Audit is on the agenda for the first meeting on Nov. Veto all the minutes. , Illegal to pay the docket of clams , could be fraud/embezzlement , one thing for sure its not legal. Veto the Mils / breakdown of the Mils , what the hell is he thinking. He’s losing it !!! He rants & raves at the morning meetings , threats , may be postal. All facts

  8. Just as Lana said in an earlier post about a snake being cornered he starts to hiss….
    There has to be justice somewhere in all of this. How stupid can he be?? That’s an easy answer, Moving the council to City Hall does not solve his problems. He definitely is on the defense here guys. Starting to feel threatened a little. And I think Mr. Rafferty is feeling the pain. Saying he does not take the side of the Mayor or Council. Such a Joke. He is soooo protective of Les. He needs that retainer and extra earnings. He does not represent the good of the people, only his pockets. Another Day in the Bay !

    1. Last night the council conducted interviews of the type that I would as an auditor when learning about a client’s internal control system. Those of us up on the front row learned quite a lot even sharing the moment when the root of the problem was reached with Mayor Fillingame picking and choosing which bills get paid and which ones will ride. And it was pretty obvious that Hizzoner is playing with the date stamp by not stamping in invoices as received until before it gets paid months down the road, no doubt trying to hide timely payment law violations.

      The man can’t handle money and the City Clerk inviting the council to help them pick and choose which bills get paid was the act of a fool. You see in Mississippi by law claims must be paid in the order received thus eliminating the need to pick and choose. All the City needs is a mayor that is competent in financial matters that can manage an annual cash flow cycle, a task Mayor Fillingame has demonstrated he has no capacity to accomplish.

      If he stopped playing coverup games, let his staff do their jobs and stop hemorrhaging tax money on unbudgeted, hair brained schemes like that free trolley no one rides his life would be far less stressful. Respectfully, Les Fillingame does not know his own limitations and that is what makes him dangerous as Mayor in a Mayor-Council form of Government.

  9. Doug,
    You get the Emily Post Award for Etiquette and the Bishop Fulton J. Sheen Medal for Charity!!!
    The Mayor doesn’t know his
    LIMITATIONS???
    He doesn’t think he has any😝

  10. Great analogy, Paying Attention.
    Let’s not forget as well, before he became Mayor, he commanded about a $40,000 salary.
    You know that old saying,” you can’t expect more out of people than they can deliver.”
    But having said that, I don’t expect public officials to all be scholarly, but I do expect them to be honest. We, the people, have every right to that expectation.

  11. If he doesn’t think he is doing anything wrong, then he can’t fix his mistakes. He is in total Denial, and his attorney tells him what he wants to hear. So how can City Hall ever get any better?? If it hit him in the face he would not recognize his problems and incompetence running the city. He is in LA LA Land. LA LA LES..
    All we can hope for is the council to remain strong, the DOJ to find out what he has been doing and the election can not come quick enough.

  12. The saga continues this Thursday night at a workshop called by the City Council to discuss tax collection by Jimmie Ladner, Road and Bridge funds, and the Mayor’s plan to move the Council office to City Hall.
    Is someone in a mission to find the mole in City Hall?! After all the Council has just come into too much knowledge about how those books are being cooked( oops, ) I mean kept over there!!
    And that’s nobody’s business because that has become a private enterprise all of a sudden.
    Wonder who be in charge of guarding the doors of the Finznce Department? Remember the Mayor giving Ward Vi Councilman Falgout s tongue lashing last year about visiting City Hall and conversing with one of the “Mayor’s” ( I thought they worked for the taxpayers) employees??!!
    Hizzona made it very clear that was NEVER to happen again! Hope he lays down the ground rules for the Council before he allows them to enter his domain or he may have to throw them out of there too!
    Must be tiring being in charge of everything!!

    1. The duties of our city government are clearly outlined in black and white in the Mississippi Code. Under the Mayor Council form of government, the mayor is the city administrator. The Council has very a very specific function. Doesn’t include interfering with the day-to-day operations of the city. The mayor is perfectly within his right to ask the council to funnel all requests and questions through him.

      If the mayor-council form of government is not working for the fits a of BSL, I suggest the council change our current form of municipal government to the city manager form of government. We would have to pay big bucks to get anyone who knows what they are doing to come in a take over the mess the city is in currently, which is total chaos.

      The council owns plenty of the blame for allowing things to get this far out of control. They do control the money and therefore control a good bit of what can and can’t be done. Their actions of late are just that, too late. The horse is long gone from the barn. Putting him back in is going to be next to impossible.

      Let Les move the council. So what if he does? Not long ago they all met at a table in the main lobby of the annex. Before then, they met in a small conference room of old city hall. Maybe instead of giving that space to CASA for free, the council can take the upstairs of Old City Hall back over. Plenty of office space and an adequate meeting room. They’re is also more than enough room to accommodate the council and their staff at the main city hall building. Maybe their current set up is one more piece of property we can surplus!

      This entire situation is just more of the same….#circlingthedrain

    2. How correct you are, the special meeting last week Les-Lie
      said to just call his employees if they have questions!!! Imagine if a council member walked into city hall on a late night or early morning for info. Lonnie and I were under investigation by his hind azz for walking outside the council chambers during normal business hours.

  13. Some of your points are well taken, Coastal Gal, with a couple of questions:
    Since I was at the meeting where the rent for CASA was decided at I believe around $700 a month, what happened? Maybe someone from CASA will reply.
    It is my understanding from other public officials who have served under this form of government, Council members can visit any office and ask for clarifications on figures or other matters as long as they are not telling the emoyeed how to do their job.
    I agree the Council should have taken charge long ago especially where the finances are concerned since that is their main responsibility.
    The Zcouncil manager form of government would be perfect for s city the size of the Bay and I think you could attract a well qualified person for the $105,00 with benefits and retirement the Mayor is getting with his resume.
    And, if the City Mansger is not doing what he is supposed to be doing, he or she can be fired.
    I think it only takes 10% of the registered voters to call for a change and with the current population of between 10 to 11,000, those signatures may not be hard to find at all in the upcoming 18 months.
    But, the Big Question remains:
    Why all of a sudden is it so very important to move the Council operations to City Hall, and don’t say to save money. Please, not after six years!

    1. Would be great to know if CASA is finally paying rent. $700 a month for three nice sized offices, nice size lobby area, conference room, etc. with utilities included is a sweet deal for anyone. Just another entity we can’t afford to subsidize. Also, one of which complained about the city of BSL not providing cash funds out of the city’s budget this year….
      If my memory serves me well this morning, less than 20% of the children CASA is managing are from the City of Bay St. Louis.

      You are correct, the council can ask city employees clarification questions, but not interfere with their day-to-day jobs. However, it is obvious that isn’t working too well for anyone. Les controls what info is given out to the public, auditors, city council, press, etc. It’s the way he conducts business.

      We all know why he wants to move the council. Painfully obvious. Control freak wants more control. Micromanager wants to micromanage more. Again, so what if he moves the council and their staff? He can and looks like he will do it. Silly little fight being fought over absolutely nothing of substance. Flat out embarrassing. Great for exonomic development….a disfuntional city government on full display for the world to see.

      Council lost control long ago. They should have stepped up sooner. It would save money to move them. No question. How much? Have zero clue, and we would never get a straight answer from administration on cost savings either. Maybe the council should barter the cost savings elsewhere to keep their meeting room where it is….how much does the council cost us annually for health insurance? Maybe they could take a pay cut. All suggestions, but would show they have some skin in the game too. Right now they are getting paid before our vendors get paid.

      And on the change in governing model for the city….go for it. Council should lead the charge! I’m sure it wouldn’t be an issue raising enough signatures on a petition to do so, but the success of the new city manager form of government depends on the strength of the city manager and their support staff. Have a hard time believing politics won’t be played with the city manager form of government either.

      Our form of government would work just fine with the right leadership within city administration and on the council, but that is not the situation we find ourselves in.

  14. Coastal Gal, Agree with all your points. Busy schedule this morning. Will try to post later!!!
    We have to “keep on keeping on”
    Learned that the hard way down here in Wavand. It took an election for us to round the bend. And I really. On a personal level, liked all involved in our fiasco, but a serious change in leadership award our only hope.
    None are perfect and I don’t expect them to be, but honest. I and many others fully expect!
    You can’t eliminate the politics. It exists in a Brownie Troop. Lol!

  15. Would it be possible to add a subcommittee to Lana’s group called “Take back the Bay?” I would be willing to help. It could be comprised of volunteers to run errands to City Hall during their working hours, to retrieve information needed. Not knowing whether this is legal, it is just a thought. Any ideas out there to help our councilpersons?

  16. Spider woman,
    I am certain your intentions are pure, and during our trials in Waveland, I did volunteer at City Hall, but it was under the “new” administration” we had elected. Personally, I don’t think at this time, with two ongoing investigations( State and Federal) it would be constructive to launch a volunteer effort in that included any handling or transferring of information.
    Having said that, no investigation circumvents any citizen from requesting information under the State Open Zmeetings Law or the Federal Freedom of Information Act. The cure for what ails Bay St.Louis is an election and work on that should start “yesterday!!”

  17. Coastal Gal,
    Finally got some input from a CASA Board Member. They moved out of the upstairs of Old City Hall this time last year. Are renting from Hiile’s on 90.
    Never did have the whole upstairs; had 1of 3 offices. The others were occupied by the owner of the Cypress Cafe downstairs. Don’t know if she pays rent on upstairs at this time, but the Mayor did suggest at a meeting last year that he wanted to work out a deal with her to the effect that if she handed out brochures promoting the city to her out of town Restuarant customers, rent for upstairs would be waived. I don’t know the status of that currently.
    Will post more as I know more.

  18. Let’s start a movement or petition to change the form of government. What ever is necessary.. We have to get Les out.
    Who interviews the prospective City Manager and who Hires that person. There definitely is money in the budget when you eliminate Les and his salary. I would think a good City manager can be hired for 75/100K. We pay that now for incompetence.
    Where do we start group???? And the next very important question…….. Who hires the City Attorney?

  19. Outraged,
    Go to Miss. Code for those answers or just talk to one of the cities on the Coast that he e Council-Manager form of government. It is worth st least a discussion and petition.

  20. After the WLOX special tonight we may have more people ready to take it to the streets. It is Titled “Trouble in the Bay”!

  21. I was not impressed with the news story. The media at its best again. Wish they would have told more of the truth about what is really going on and elaborate more on the “missing funds” from police account and utility authority not getting paid and the long wait for the accounts payable that do not get paid on time..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *