Other Voices | Lana Noonan: Its a new game in town for Bay-Waveland School District

If the rest of the meetings of the Bay St. Louis-Waveland Board of Trustees are anything like the first one of this calendar year, which took place Monday night, you can safely say “There’s a new game in town!” And newly elected Trustee, Mark Kidd, representing Waveland, threw the first pitch.

Transparency, accountability, and communication are what he stated he is interested in moving forward, and move he did!!

On a motion by Kidd and seconded by the other Waveland representative, Mike Bell, Bay St. Louis representative, Casey Favre was elected Board President.

On reliable source, this was not the plan of some other Board members going into the meeting!!

The Superintendent then gave a report on the latest Test Scores with emphasis on the ACT test results. This ended up being an almost 15 minute monologue that excluded any real data on how the students actually performed with the exception of the Superintendent saying that she “thought” they came in somewhere around 4th Coast wide out of the 16 school districts tested . Trustee Kidd corrected that statement to reveal they came in 4th from the bottom or 13th with an average ACT score of 17.8. Does the Superintendent really expect the public to believe she didn’t have those results? Continue reading “Other Voices | Lana Noonan: Its a new game in town for Bay-Waveland School District”

Fillingame PR pumps click-bait web article. Pravda or Journalism?

In the strange world that are internet top 5, 10, 15 (take your choice as to the number) lists, accuracy doesn’t count for much thus you have Columbia Mississippi (One of the top 10 worst places to raise a family in Mississippi) located “an hour west of Hattiesburg” with the community’s relative isolation being cited as a major reason it sucked so badly for kids. I guess along those lines it is no surprise that Bay St Louis “Located just 90 miles from New Orleans” is a “Top 10 ‘Most Affordable Beach Towns’ in U.S.” Even less surprising is the local newspaper beating it down Hizzoner’s office bearing this fantastic news and needing some official reaction so they could spread the good news:

The typical homeowner in Bay St. Louis spends $9,276 annually on housing, including mortgage, insurance, property taxes and utilities.”

“Once again, it’s a very deserving recognition,” Bay Mayor Les Fillingame said Tuesday, “and I think when you talk about affordability, Bay St. Louis should be recognized for that. I think we’re very astute stewards of the taxpayers’ money – from taxes to utility rates, we really look very competitively at those things and try to maintain a competitive structure.

“It’s very gratifying that people recognize the Bay for that. … I think Bay St. Louis is on a lot of radar screens for all the right reasons. People look to Bay St. Louis as a model in a lot of those respects and it’s very rewarding for all of us and my hat is off to the community, because we have a lot of people who work (both in public and in private) to make sure those things happen.”

I’m not sure what a “typical homeowner is” so I guess the key is in the semantics. My own anecdotal experience would be whoever calculated that was smoking some prime Colorado ganja describing $9,276 as “typical” because there are more than a few folks here that pay more than that for insurance alone. Since the word “homeowner” was used that would exclude all the subsidized multi-family housing. There are some clues in the rental market however, where a three bedroom house goes for between $900-$1,000/month. Add in a $150/month power-bill, $50 for water and an additional amount for the gap difference in insurances coverages and I come up with between $14,400 and $16,400.

I’m not trying to wet blanket civic pride folks, but making a click bait top 10 list for being cheap just doesn’t light my fire any more than Hizzoner claiming to be a good steward of the taxpayer money in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, including all the burned-out decorative street lights in Old Town that comes with financing municipal operations off deferred maintenance.