Secretary of State Hosemann: Bay City Officials Never Notified his Office of Triple Tails Encroachment on State Green Space

In our first post on the topic of the Fillingame Administration playing Santa Claus with state owned land I asked the following question:

Does anyone reckon that Seal, Compretta, McDonald or Hizzoner came clean with Hosemann about the council granting Triple Tails permission to cantilever their building over the green space in direct violation of the lease between the City and the Secretary of State?

I also disclosed that I had contacted the Secretary of State’s Office with some questions on this matter and here one day in advance of another meeting between City Officials and Secretary Hosemann I received an answer to the inquiry, which was:

Did the City ever contact SOS and advise SOS in early 2015 that they were allowing Triple Tails to construct their building over the state owned green space? If so what was the nature of the contact and how was the questions-City requests handled by SOS?

That was an important question because there was lots of paper wasted in the form of Board minutes in 2015 documenting contact between City officials and Secretary Hosemann’s office regarding Triple Tails. The timeline constructed with the help of the Hancock Alliance for Good Government contained in the first post on this topic illustrates:

  • February 23, 2015 – City Attorney Rafferty tells Council that the Secretary of State’s office asked Council to prepare a proposal including rates and other lease terms for the Triple Tails airspace use. Rafferty advised the Council that the Secretary of State’s office says they do not want money for the rental, rather it is the City’s funds to be used for the Harbor. Rafferty advised that the Secretary of State’s office wants a resolution from Council covering the above items.
  • March 3, 2015 – Mayor Fillingame tells the City Council that he and City Attorney Rafferty met with Ray Carter of the Secretary of State’s office on Feb. 28, 2015. They further advised that Mr. Carter was agreeable to an Airspace Utilization Plan which is to include costs and what businesses want to rent and utilize the green space strip. Mayor Fillingame tells  the City Council he and Mr. Rafferty will work on the plan and have it ready for Council to vote on at the March 17 meeting.
  • March 17, 2015 – Councilman Favre moves, seconded by Compretta to approve resolution on airspace usage with corrections identified to be made by Rafferty with copies to be provided to Council and forwarded to the Secretary of State’s office. Motion carried unanimously.
  • May 5, 2015 – Under Old Council Business “Air Space Rental” Councilman Seal states that as of May 4, 2015, there has been no decision on the March 17, 2015 resolution. The Council was to be notified once a decision has been made by the Secretary of State’s office.
  • May 19, 2015 – Under Air Space Rental, Mr. Rafferty tells Council the Secretary of State’s office has concerns about remedies should a sub lessee quit paying that air space lease. Also the Secretary of State’s office wants to know if City charged Triple Tails for use of state green space property for use as a storage yard during construction. Per the Administration, the fees would be same as other businesses were charged for using the green space as construction storage. Mayor Fillingame states that the Secretary of State’s office stated they will support whatever fee schedules the City designs.
  • July 7, 2015 – Councilman Favre moved, seconded by Councilman Boudin, for the Council Clerk to send a letter to the Secretary of State’s office and request their presence at next Council meeting, or provide a date when 3 members of Council can meet with themat their office in Jackson.
  • August 18, 2015: City Council Agenda item styled “COMMERCIAL VENTURE BUILDING ON CITY PROPERTY”. A Motion was made to approve a City Right-of-Way for Triple Tails.  Councilwoman McDonald moves, seconded by Councilman Favre, to approve the Resolution for granting a City Right-of-Way to Triple Tails. All present voted yea.

The answer to this question, which came from Secretary Hosemann himself is succinct:

No

I personally attended most of those meetings. Looking back the only thing that comes to mind is a quote from Scene V in Macbeth:

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing

Would I love to be a fly on the wall at tomorrow’s meeting. Someone better put in for some combat pay for City Attorney Favre. I know if I were Secretary Hosemann, I’d be pretty cranky.

Stay tuned.

13 thoughts on “Secretary of State Hosemann: Bay City Officials Never Notified his Office of Triple Tails Encroachment on State Green Space”

  1. If Fillingame and Rafferty could be compensated for lying, they’d be millionaires!
    But Council dropped the ball as well for not making their own contact with the Secretary of State.
    After the First Bank Loan of Nov. 2013, the noses were growing in city government in the Bay by feet instead of inches!!

    1. The kernel of truth in the minutes is the documentation of the performances given by the Administration, some of which I recall from attending the meetings. The open question is at what point in 2015 did the Council become wise as to what was going on?

      We know from Councilman Seal’s notes in January 2016 that by then they all knew of Secretary Hosemann’s position on leasing the green space. I think it is clear the gang didn’t volunteer what had already happened with Triple Tails.

      Looking at the chain of events I think it is safe to surmise that when the City granted the right of way they likely had no legal right to give everyone knew the score. And by everyone I mean the Administration and the City Council but certainly not the public.

      The bigger questions in my mind are what they were gaining by hiding this from the public and what did the owners of Triple Tails know about this subject and when did they know it? Slabbed may have been the first media outlet to contact SOS about this but I am told very reliably at least one property owner made contact with SOS on the green space issue. I would argue the mythical prudent business person would have worked both parties to the lease rather than just one.

  2. That property was misrepresented by the administration and the attorney at every step. They were not acting alone. At that time the Chamber was involved with them trying to turn private property into green space and a promenade walk. Those types believe they are the see all know all people.

    Drain the Swamp!

  3. Given the History of the City of BSL any Property Owner should never rely on the City Code office or Mayor to know if it is allowable to build over their green space.
    Doug you are correct, the owner should have had signed documentation for the use before spending money constructing over the area and now have to tear down..
    It is always better to get your answers direct from the Horse’s Mouth, than the City of BSL….

  4. Fact or Fiction :
    Did the city attorney get paid for discussions with the SOS’s office that didn’t happen???
    He received many of payments for talking with Mr. Carter , & now these conversations may not have happened !!!
    Also paid for contracts to be written up that wasn’t!!!!
    DA / AG’s office needs to look into the possibility of another scandal!!!!!!

    1. Ooops! Isn’t THAT special?

      So, HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING, if bills were submitted for this, and any of the councilpersons who voted to approve the claims docket were aware that the SOS discussions and contracts ALLEGEDLY DID NOT HAPPEN and ALLEGEDLY DO NOT EXIST; who is it that goes under the bus next?

      What do you call it in golf when the entire foursome all need a mulligan at the same time?

  5. The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the Mayor and Attorney. No paper trail just billable hours.

    Look at Triple Tails paying no rent and doesn’t have an elevator as ADA Required.

    These are just a few things the council has to deal with when the executive branch lies and cheats and as in the case of the building dept they can’t read rite or do rithmatic

  6. City billed for talks with SOS by Rafferty?? Do I smell Fraud again on the part of City doing Business or cover up?? I sure hope someone points this out to the DOJ.
    Councilmen where are you???
    Another investigation for the City. Les will you ever learn you can’t lie….

  7. Maybe at this juncture, it would be helpful to point out for people who have never lived in any other city or part of the state, that this type of corruption, while occassionally occurring elsewhere, is not the norm. The law is not a joke everywhere.

  8. The Filingame Administration and his prior Legal Council thought that the Law, whether Federal, State or Local was just merely a suggestion. They though the Court System was their Play Ground. They have chased all their adversaries through the PD and local legal system on the backs of the Tax Payer. Most all official city business has sat idle while we paid his counselor $120K per year to work on his miss deeds as mayor and chase his daughters ghosts. I, for one, believe their reign of abuse and terror is just about over.

    Drain the swamp.

  9. It is my understanding that Les is going to appoint a crony business lady on Main Street to Wendy’s paid for seat without performance. It will be interesting to see what her Bond will cost. Repossessed automobiles, foreclosed house poor financials fit in well for Les but maybe not for Bonding! That stuff is right up Les’s alley.

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