Kingfish at Jackson Jambalaya profiled Senate Bill 2587 and its impact on Bay St Louis’ perpetual Interim Chief Building Inspector Charles Oliver last Saturday that is well worth the read. Kingfish nailed the situation at the end of the post and as a point of disclosure it was JJ’s coverage of the same situations in Jackson and Hattiesburg involving this exact issue that made us hip to it here at Slabbed:
Kingfish note: Mayors Johnny Dupree, Frank Melton, Chokwe Lumumba and especially Les Fillingane all appointed department heads on an interim basis whom they knew would face confirmation problems. Checks and balances can be such a nasty thing but are a fundamental part of representative government. It is also tempting for Mayors to find any means possible to avoid answering to anyone on anything. The city council apparently had enough of the foolishness and put an end to some of it.
Rafferty can argue all he wants BUT department heads are municipal employees. There are some department heads who are subject to confirmation votes by the city council. Thus the law applies to them as well.
Mr. Rafferty is now the former City Attorney and that brings us to a well written story run under a misleading headline:
Bay Council cancels counsel’s contract ~ Stacey Cato
The term “cancels” carries with it the connotation of the council taking an affirmative action when the reality is the City Attorney’s contract simply expired or an even more precise term “not renewed”, both correct terms contained in the lead off in Stacey’s story. Allowing something to expire or to not renew a contract by not holding a vote on extending it further in reality is not affirmative action at all. It is that very difference where the Attorney General’s opinion that Mayor Fillingame had no statutory authority to veto the non-renewal in June draws its basis for support. Despite the Mayor and former City Attorney’s protestations to the contrary, this is not a unique or new concept in Mississippi’s various governance statutes. However, it is abundantly clear from the quotes Stacey snagged for her piece that Mayor Fillingame remains in deep denial: Continue reading “How about an update for the Bay”