And why is this?? Simple junior, anytime more than three residents are gathered in the same room trying to make public policy, a fight is going to break out. The third grade classes at East Hancock Elementary gets on better than the folks in Diamondhead, especially the elected officials on the POA who are the biggest bunch of self appointed blowhards to grace a Mississippi common interest realty association that I’ve personally ever experienced. Going after Michael Shaefer’s widow was particularly bad form IMHO.
All that said I’ve received several requests to cover what is going on in Diamondhead City government. Doug Walker was around yesterday for WLOX as was Double D who is always around Diamondhead City Government. Poolman was around to fill out the peanut gallery yesterday and was quoted both in Dwayne’s piece and Doug Walker’s report.
The long and short of this is the Mayor and the City Manager/City Council are battling each other which as I pointed out above is the norm in Diamondhead. Allegations of malfeasance have been leveled and there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth. One thing everyone agrees on is that Sam Atkins of the Performance Audit division of the State Auditors Office needs to come do a Performance Review like the one being finalized for the City of Bay St Louis, because according to Press reports (and despite the fact the City Attorney is a State Legislator), no one in the City seems able to read and comprehend the Mayor-City Manager section of the “Home Rule ” section of the Mississippi Code thus they do not know if they are doing things right. Worth mentioning is the City has been audited three times by local firms since it came into existence and the last report contained eight findings which laid out in detail the internal control problems in City government.
I would hope Stacey Pickering tells the City’s elected officials to exhibit some leadership and come back to his office after they have the City’s 2015 audit completed. The 2014 FY took almost a year to complete and that is the first major problem that I see, the inability to close a set of books for the audit. Finding out what you did wrong almost two years after the fact guarantees the same problems surface year after year after year and is frankly indicative of bad management. Experience tells me there are only two causes of a City running serially late with its audit:
1. Incompetent staff.
2. Inadequate staff levels.
Its seemingly always one of those two things with number 2 being the typical reason. In a Mayor-City Manager form of government that falls right back on the City Council and City Manager. Instead of trying to drag the State Auditor into a local power struggle, maybe the gang on the Diamondhead Council will discharge its statutory duties to see the annual audit is completed in a timely manner. Even better maybe the gang will read the audit report to find out what they are doing wrong.
File this one under your tax dollars at work.