Recessed Bay City Council Meeting: “These people don’t know what they are doing”

Last night’s Bay City Council meeting was evidently one for the ages and the Mayor’s new citizens group, the Les Lovers United were in attendance. But what interested me most from last night was the above quote from a Citizen that had never previously attended a City Council meeting because only those blinded by cognitive bias born of perceived self interest can’t see the three ring circus that is the Fillingame Administration as it is pretty apparent to everyone else.

Since the local newspaper of record’s idea of beat reporting on recent meetings consists of letting Les Lovers United spew venom at the Mayor’s critics we’ll do our best here at Slabbed New Media to actually inform the public about what is happening in their City and in that way differentiate the news product. The bottom line here is Slabbed gets its news to report from the City Council Chamber, not the back of the Mayor’s limousine.

First on the agenda was the City Attorney’s contract. You see folks, under the Fillingame Administration the City Attorney evidently operates off a handshake, nod and wink and despite months of the City Council asking for a contract, as strongly recommended by the Office of the State Auditor, one has not been presented to them for approval. I was not at the meeting but you get the feeling City Attorney Rafferty would drag this all out until June 30, 2017 if he could but last night Councilman Doug Seal read the council’s offer to the City Attorney and told him to either have a contract which conforms to those terms ready to execute at the next meeting or the Council would advertise the position.

Mayor Fillingame opened the Mayor’s report by withdrawing his nomination of City Cultural Affairs Director Paula Fairconnetue to be City Clerk.  The Council has previously directed Mayor Fillingame to advertise the position in November after Clerk Clark resigned but that has not still not happened according to Lana Noonan of the Hancock County Alliance for Good Government, who was in attendance last night. My own opinion is its hard to find a qualified City Clerk to hire when you don’t look for one.

The Mayor also advised the Council during his report that the 2014-2015 fiscal year audit had commenced.  He was later contradicted by City Comptroller Sissy Gonzales who informed the council the City’s books and records were in no way ready for audit commencement.  Mayor Fillingame then asked for the Council’s permission to bring in a CPA firm to close the books on the 2014-2015 fiscal year, suggesting Carr Riggs and Ingram from Metairie for the job. The Council agreed to let the Mayor get proposals.  Given the late date, now almost 5 full months after fiscal year end, in closing the City’s books it is a virtual certainty the City’s audit will again be late as it is due to the Single Audit clearinghouse by June 30, 2016.

Last summer, in public remarks before the City Council, Les Lovers United member Joan Coleman, claiming to be an accountant, blamed audit firm Wright Ward and Hatten for the City being serially late with its fiscal year end audits.  With Ward Wright and Hatten out of the picture for the 2015-2016 audit, it will be interesting to see who Les Lovers United blames this year for the Mayor’s failure to insure the City’s finance department timely closes the municipal books. My own opinion is it all begins with hiring a competent city clerk and empowering that person to do their job instead of attempting to continue covering up the City’s accumulated deficit.

The City’s Docket of Claims featured some very old claims including a 10 month old claim from the Seacoast Echo,which had invoices dated from last April on the Docket presented last night for council approval.  The administration explained to the Council that the Echo never sent the invoices to the City until very recently, such a situation literally an epidemic with the City’s vendors per my own anecdotal observations as this is the first thing the Mayor tells the Council about past due bills showing on the claims docket.  There is no word yet on whether Fuelman has been caught up so the police department can resume charging their fuel purchases.

And then the meeting progressed to the “fiasco portion” when it was revealed that the City is currently being insured for $17,000,000 total in property coverage while a competing agency was told to quote coverage for $14,000,000 in total which begs the question of exactly how much is the proper amount to insure the City’s assets.  This discrepancy effectively tee-peed any chance the City had to actually receive competing, apples-to-apples price quotations as the polices in question expire before the end of this month.

Hancock County Republican Party Chairman Danny Johnson appeared before the Council with a letter from Governor Phil Bryant appointing  him as the City’s representative to the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission. But at the January 19, 2016 Council meeting, the Mayor requested the Council ratify “the Mayor’s appointment of Robert Kane to the Commission”. To the extent the State enabling legislation deals with such commissions located in a Municipality it is unclear whether the Bay St Louis Mayor has to the power to appoint anyone to the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission. This much is clear, Port and Harbor Board President Kane is refusing to step down in protest while Mr. Johnson is promising to raise a stink in Jackson if his gubernatorial appointment to the Port and Harbor Commission is not honored.  My thoughts are that this fiasco will be fun to watch unfold.

This is all I have on last night’s recessed meeting but I am certain attendees of last night’s meeting will fill in the other details. Stay tuned.

25 thoughts on “Recessed Bay City Council Meeting: “These people don’t know what they are doing””

  1. Let’s all admit that it is time for political justice. The OSA has preached, talked and groveled for the council to take charge. Each meeting it is a new debacle for them to deal with. They are getting a grip on it finally. I appreciate they way they had to grab Raff by the horns. He is a bully and will run over them as he has in the past. His days are numbered and he knows it. I would think they would eventually apply this same position to the Insurance Boy. No service, Poor Coverage, billable problems and after hours celebration with the Fab Four Wendy, Don, Les and Gus. All Pirates Four! Argh!

    What I see know is complete contempt for right. They got to go!

  2. The insurance issue is a scam created by Fillingame & Rosetti, Inc. The whine merchant is way, way overpriced, and the council knows it.

    Glad the mayor backed off on the municipal clerk thing, and thanks to Councilman Favre for flatly informing Les of the professional qualifications needed to be set for a new clerk. This was a Throw Paula Under the Bus scheme, and it didn’t work.

    As for the Rafferty contract: He wanted to grab more overpriced power and also get full benefits and family health insurance, even though he is just a part-time contractor. That was denied by the council. Bravo. Never seen the big pirate look so deflated before.

    Things are coming unraveled pretty quickly.

  3. Um, it was my understanding that Paula is, in fact, the “Acting” Municipal/City Clerk (the title kind of kept changing) until another is advertised for & found & that she’s going to be compensated for her additional workload. The Mayor repeatedly pointed out that the Clerk’s job was not just fiscal!!! The council didn’t seem pleased with the CRI suggestion & wanted bids from local auditors.
    Another comment overheard was “We need a gong!”

  4. Les, Wendy and Don have been gonged!
    I admire and respect that Bobby and Doug have really taken straightening up our situation to heart! I beleive that the OSA training gave them the legal confidence to legislate. Raff had everyone uninformed and bullied into a lot of things they were not sure of. Good work council lets clean up the mess one pile at a time! Also kudos to Sam Atkinson for identifying what our problems are. I have more confidence in our ability to govern legally and redponsibly! It isn’t happening. at my pace but definitely they have to watch these people 24/7!

    1. While we should all be happy Bobby and Doug have finally seen the “light”….how long did it take for them to wake up? And how many MML “training” sessions have they attended since being elected? Way too long and way too many.

      They’ve wasted valuable time playing go along to get along with the current admin. They are absolutely responsible for allowing the city’s finacial situation to spiral out of control under their watch. As well as letting the counselor counsel with their “unlimited” checking account in hand with zero accountability until now.

      It’s my hope voters will not forget their lack of action and limitless pandering when it is election time.

      1. Lord,
        You are correct in all you say. But at this juncture fixing the problem is primary. The election will sort its self out when that time comes.

        They (Council) have to deal with new administration debacles each meeting. Les keeps making new problems before they can finalize old problems. The Legal Counselor continues to try and throw curve balls at them to thwart their solutions. Fortunately the OSA is here to help put his unfounded legal opinions aside. The system works two weeks at a time which is plenty of time for Les and Counselor to conspire to stop actions. The Mayor and Legal Counselor are like gum on the bottom of your shoe…you can’t shake em off. They work on the scorched earth theory….if they are going down they will burn the city down! They are both close to being shown the door.

  5. Cajuncutie
    I thought it was comical that the Mayof said Paula was “acting” City Clerk”
    Really, then why has she never attended a Council meeting to present the docket and answer questions? Why has ‘t she presented to the Council
    the official figure they need to amend their budget adopted in Sept. for any outstanding debts they could not pay by Oct. 30, and then close out the books on that fiscal year so the newly hired auditing firm can begin the audit which is now 5 months behind schedule?
    These are the things a city clerk does and if she is “acting” clerk, she’d better get busy rather than have the taxpayers hire an outside accounting firm to do the aforementioned duties she should have been performing for the last 5 months as “acting” clerk!!

    1. What’s the pay rate for an acting city clerk?
      Who has the authority to assign temporary duties?
      Who has the authority to give a raise for temporary duties?

      See where this is going?

      1. According to Les Lovers United, the Council should be happy with the Mayor making it all up and them serving as a rubber stamp. They call that “working together”.

        1. I have no proof or knowledge that anyone is being compensated for work they aren’t performing. That said, there are words for those who are in positions of authority and have knowledge of any such thing if and when there is such a thing. Words like co-conspirator, cooperating witness, subject (insert letter here), and so on.

  6. They all need Bernie sanders signs! Take from the responsible population and give it to the irresponsible! They think Les should get a trophy because he played in the game! Apathy is a bad thing!

    Les Lovers United are quite the group. Hand outs and give always if it is some else’s money. People with ideas and no money always are smarter than everyone else just nobody listens!

  7. You know, Doug, you described at one of the Council when you used the word “happy.”
    Last night Councilwoman
    McDonald actually said she was “happy” with sending the bill for an outside accounting firm to her constituents in order to clean up after the Mayor’s refusal to advertise for and hire s city clerk.
    At least Bobby qualified his vote by saying he would only vote to hire the private firm under certain conditions such as for one month to get the books closed out while at the same time advertising for a clerk with a CPA’s license.
    One of Les’s groupies was overheard saying during that discussion that it is not necessary to have a clerk who is a CPA. But I bet she agrees with Les’s idea for the accounting firm who will be CPA’s.
    At least we know now, as Mr. Well’s pointed out, the delay in the audit last year was not the auditor’s fault–look at this year–worse yet!!!

  8. A classic from the Wendy archives: “Uh … Mr. Rafferty … can you help me word this motion?”

    Rafferty: “Well, certainly, councilwoman. You just say it like this …”

    Some of us have long memories.

  9. Just a quick note on the port authority appointment. Les delayed getting the appointment of Robert Kane to the govner which caused the problem. He won’t admit even a minor f/up! Charming Guy!

  10. Paying Attention,
    Les has no authority to send an “appointment” to the Gov.
    He can only nominate. And, he can send in 10 nominations if he wants. But, by law, the Governor selects from the nominees and appoints!!
    Hey, Les has a lawyer provided him by the taxpayers! Why did he let his client “appoint” Robert Kane at the Jan. 19 Council meeting??!!
    He also has the School Board appointment screwed up agsin like he did 3 years ago.
    Clevand Williams resigned 2 weeks ago, and Les was going to replace Mauricd Singleton.
    And the vacancy is still open. He didn’t act on it last Tues.
    And, this is the Mayor who is currently keeping the city’s books instead of hiring a city clerk and in lieu of Paula actually “acting” as clerk.
    The inmates are running the asylum😳😳😳

    1. In the meantime Waveland wants to annex?? Why havent’ we heard anything about this from the HCAGG? Seems waveland resident’s only focus is bsl & doesn’t even know what goes on in her home town. Maybe attending a meeting where your tax dollars are spent would be a good idea just every now and then. Waveland musta lost their mind is all I can say.

  11. Dumped On:

    “Les does many things that are not in his scope of authority”-well what would yo’ expect from Lesbama “Hussein ” FillingBSgamer .

    But don’t worry cause he has only months to live as every morning after his shower he dusts his genital area with J&J Baby Powder.

  12. Les is commonly referred as His-assholiness! Lil Filingame is referred to as Her-self-importancey! She sashays around city hall while minions do her work! Hey dont blame me that is what they say!

    From those two you can only believe 50% of what you see and none of what they say! Family traits are hard to hide! hey that ain’t me it’s rumor on the street! Their investgative group will prove it wrong if it isn’t true!

  13. Oh Well WTF the Filingame Apple does not fall far from the tree. How many employees do you know stay clocked in and leave early for personal reasons and have no problems with getting paid for the absent time. Book the Community Center for Cash only and no telling what else is going on. No integrity or morals. Like Father Like Daughter.

  14. You never can under estimate the unethically ambitious! J Rosseti is still trying to take the school board insurance account by political take over! Wow he really has nice starched shirts but apparently he doesn’t have an insurance quote. He feels anointed. Beleive it or not his camp is Lietisha Haas, Don Rafferty and Windy Wendy McDonaald lamb winters, Les of course and other names. What a crowd. They are special. John is really cool. He knows Les, Gus, Tish and other very important people that will impress you. Mike Bell is really impressed! He will tell you why john needs to be the agent for the school board. All professional of course. He will make a difference just pay his buddies! LOL. Let’s Make America Great Again! Start by getting rid of parasitical cronies that suck the life out of the solution!

  15. What happened to the Bid system? RFP? I thought the School Board Members were there to make sure the contracts and money were fiscally responsible to the School Children and us the Tax Payers. But then of course what’s new??? C’est La Vie !!

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