A few thoughts on the Hancock Alliance for Good Government Municipal Candidate Forum

For those following along last night Slabbed put out two pictures but little else live as I was on the media panel that asked the questions.

After the forum an audience member asked where the panel got its questions which I thought was odd, my instant answer pointing to my brain was “from here”. Turned out he was upset because he thought we were picking on a candidate he supports. The operative term here is more colloquially known as a “closed mind”.

Wes Muller from the Sun Herald and Brad Kessie from WLOX rounded out the panel and we didn’t toss out any softies to either the Mayoral or the council candidates for office. Speaking for myself I asked questions that would help the candidates differentiate themselves, from the allocation of scarce tax dollars in the city budget to whether or not tax increases were on the table to deal with the current revenue challenged times derived mainly from declining gaming revenue. There was no such thing as a wrong answer to these questions and overall the candidates for office did a good job responding to the questions, including Hizzoner.

The panel also asked questions designed to find out if the Candidates knew what they were getting into in terms of the office they were seeking. Those questions also got very good responses and the candidates again differentiated themselves. Without going into the he said, she said specifics I’ll add WQRZ was there last night to record the event and it will be streamed on Saturday. I highly encourage those of you that did not attend last night to listen in Saturday.

Several people in attendance commented to me on what was evidently a pretty sharp contrast between the Republican-Democrat-NAACP Forum the night before which was promoted by a new, proxy registered, anonymous website BSL Beyond Politics and last night’s event, which focused heavily on financial questions. Wes Muller was at both and his story on the Republican-Democrat-NAACP Forum tells the tale:

The Hancock Democratic and Republican committees held a joint political forum Wednesday for the candidates in the upcoming municipal elections, but questions on the city’s most-pressing issues were few and far between.

Let’s put on our thinking caps and wonder who would want to steer the political conversation into things like building swimming pools:

Nearly half the crowd left after the first round.

“This is a joke,” said one woman in attendance.

The second round of questions dealt with golf carts and swimming pools. Notably absent were questions on financial matters, which have been Bay St. Louis’ biggest problems for the last year.

I’d invite the local readers to also ponder who could have mobilized both the local GOP and Democrat Executive Committees to team up with the NAACP for an election forum that had nothing but softball questions. That universe of possibilities is very small.

Lest I digress further, on the City Council side two of the four Ward 4 candidates attended in Kyle Lewis and Tad Black and there could not have been a better contrast. Lewis is a young family man with a very easy smile that will translate well in the political world. Black is a seasoned candidate with previous council experience and he too was very well spoken and knowledgeable. These two gentlemen may well be facing each other in the general election in early June.

The forum had three incumbent councilmen participate in Doug Seal (Ward 1), Jeff Reed (Ward 3) and Lonnie Falgout (Ward 6). The three candidates in Ward 2 did not attend nor did either Ward 5 Candidate. Rev. Reed’s challenger Kevin Avery and Ward 4 candidates Larry Smith and Gisele Marie Bradley all had better things going last night and did not attend. Challengers George Williams (Ward 1) and Josh Disalvo (Ward 6) attended as did every candidate for the open Council at Large seat with Gary Knoblock, Susie Veglia, Mike Weems and T.J. Collier in attendance.

On the Mayoral side we had all three candidates from the Democrat primary show up in Mayor Fillingame and his challengers Rachael Ramsey and current councilman at large Mike Favre. The questions I asked included topics such as improving the Bay Waveland School District via the power of making School Board appointments and whether or not the Candidates favored raising taxes to close the revenue gap. I wanted to hear the Candidates compliment each other so I asked the challengers to list one thing Mayor Fillingame did right and one thing they disagreed with. Mayor Fillingame was afforded the same chance to critique the City Council. Like I said, there was not a softball question asked last night by the panel and overall I thought the Candidates that participated did well.

Now we enter the stretch run with the party primaries now just over a week away. As always questions, comments, observations and even partisanship is welcome in comments.

46 thoughts on “A few thoughts on the Hancock Alliance for Good Government Municipal Candidate Forum”

  1. I cannot understand why attendance of the incumbents at council meetings are not as important as attendance of the forums. You can talk with any of them anytime but if they do not show up to vote or discuss the issue with the public it is less than useless and a waste of time.

    Bobby and Wendy are now only relegated to getting a check that is probably auto deposited.

    It’s a shame or sham however you look at it.

  2. Doug,
    On behalf of The Hancock County Alliance for Good Government, “THANK YOU” once again for your participation in our 2017 Bay St. Louis Municipal Candidates’ Forum.
    Needless to say the questions you posed were the ones the public needed to hear, and the candidates most certainly needed to answer.
    I was approached last night by one candidate for Council-at-large, who admitted she has never examined any of the audits so readily available on the city’s website. And she’s a CPA!!
    We knew the other organizations would provide the “doggie park, swimming pool, Pirate Day Parade” type Forums. But Bay St. Louis has “real” issues and they must be addressed.
    Regarding Wes Muller’s question about the amount of tax dollars that have been spent on audits to “clean up the books” the opening for the incumbents was a wide as the Gulf of Mexico. In my opinion, their answer should have gone something like this:
    Don’t have the exact figures in front of me, but you are close, Wes. Let us explain.
    The city paid their independent auditing firm of Wright, Ward, Hatten & Guel $52,000 for the 2014 audit that revealed the co-mingling, without their knowledge, of the DOJ Equitable Sharing Police Grant. Subsequently, in the Fall of 2015, the DOJ themselves called for another audit of that account only, which cost the city an additional $9,500 according to the dockets.
    At that point and into 2016, the resistance of Mayor Filligame to co-operate with Council to hire a qualified City Clerk, resulted in Council having to dip into the public’s pocket again and hire an outside firm to reconcile the books for the new auditing firm of Culumber and Assoc. to do the next audit. Paula Fairconnetue, (salary $50,071.60) who the Mayor referred to as the “acting City Clerk” did not have that expertise to reconcile the books, and Culumber could not ethically reconcile books he was going to audit. That bill for the reconciliation was around $8,000.
    Now in the Spring of 2016, along comes the Office of the State Auditor in the person of Samantha Atkinson, to train the city officials in the execution of their form of government, and “look” at the books. She confirmed everything the DOJ and Wright, Ward, Hatten, and Guel determined.
    Her determination bore the signature of Stacey Pickering himself, who sent the city a bill for $9,200.
    So, let’s add all of this up:
    $52,000 for the annual independent audit
    $9,500 for Carr, Riggs & Ingram ordered by DOJ to confirm the misappropriation
    $9,200 for the Office of the State Auditor, resulting in the same confirmation as the first 2
    $8,000 to reconcile the books for Culumber to proceed with his annual audit
    $45,240 for Culumber , who determined that the DOJ money was still in the account in disagreement with the DOJ, OSA, and Carr, Riggs, & Ingram.
    It must be noted here that Culumber was recommended to Council by the Mayor himself.
    Subsequently Mr. Culumber was called back in by Council and “corrected” his determination of the DOJ account.
    ALL of this because of page 21 of the Final Performance Audit Report from Pickering’s office which read:
    * the Mayor and his staff failed to follow state statutes related to municipal government, and
    *the Council failed to fully exercise their authority over the Mayor and the administration to compel them to follow certain laws.
    And there are still folks out there worried about doggie parks and swimming pools!!
    Use your own calculators, I come up with $123, 940.
    Unbelievable

  3. Lana,
    Spot on. It is called lets change the subject, spend money on amenities that are not needed and debate whose name they can memorialize on it. Now they are really dealing with issues.

    In Biloxi they have a donated natatorium. It has been a fiasco. They cant afford to heat it in the winter and cant keep it running properly other wise. Very costly.

    Dog Parks are for concrete cities. They are dog disease breeding grounds. A good dog owner does not let their pet mingle with dogs that are not verifiably immunized. We have a dog friendly community why do we need a dog play ground on the tax payers nickel. When you are adopting a dog they tell you what breed to get depending on yard size, time devotion and a myriad of other questions. In some cases you just may not need to own one for you and your pets sake.

    1. A natatorium?! Why in the name of God would ANY government – local, state or federal – want anything to do with a natatorium in south MS? If folks want to swim indoors in the winter, they can just go over to the huge indoor pool at the Beau Rivage. Wait, what’s that you say? The Beau Rivage, where you can get a 500.00 bottle of Scotch, a 100.00 prime steak and a 1000.00 bottle of wine delivered to your huge, multi-room suite 24-7 and have a massage while eating and drinking, all while being shown the latest models of diamond-encrusted Rolexes from the store in the lobby if that is your thing, yet it doesn’t have a huge indoor pool? Oh, fine. Then folks can join one of the numerous yacht clubs in the area and use their indoor pool. Oh, they don’t have them, either? Precisely – notice a pattern emerging here?

      The city of Bay St. Louis (or any other coastal MS city) needs a city-owned-and-paid-for natatorium about like it needs, well, a city-owned-and-paid-for natatorium. Is there a single responsible adult (hell, even a moderately responsible teenager) in ANY city position – elected, appointed or hired – in Bay St. Louis?

  4. I get the sense the populace is angry but only in a broad sense. Each person running for the Council that came to last night’s event struck me as well intended but I also got the sense a few of them didn’t fully comprehend what they are signing up for. The Council sets the budget and runs the annual audit in strong Mayor towns. Dog Parks, natitoriums, free trolley service and the like sounds fantastic right up to the point where it has to be paid for.

    The current council, less than one year into their terms of office were slapped in the face with the reality the City was facing default on its Utility Bonds as the City coffers were dry. Slabbed was there to see the entire spectacle:

    My Professional Opinion: Horrifying ~ May 7, 2014

    Writing checks that can’t be cashed: Bay St Louis is broke ~ May 14, 2014

    The Technical Term is “In-substance defeasance” ~ May 21, 2014

    The people in charge of the purse strings have been digging out ever since.

    We had a candidate admit last night they haven’t done any research into the basics of the job they intend to win on election day.

    There is a difference between being a Councilman and a Clowncilman and it lies in understanding what the job truly entails.

    1. I attended last night’s forum as a citizen unfamiliar with the Council-at-large candidates. I was very impressed with one of the young candidates running in a ward race & would also like to thank the panel for their great questions. I came away with my choice.

      1. Thanks, Trixie,
        Your comment is what we like to try to accomplish with our forums.
        I thought the Panel and questions were awesome and thought provoking.
        Thanks for attending.

        1. Here is a question that ought to be asked:
          “Prior to your entering the race, what did you do to prepare yourself for the office you seek and what did you do to acquaint yourself with the real-world issues, concerns and problems of civic entity you seek to run?”

          If the answer is something along the lines of, “I ran a successful business,” “I am an attorney/doctor/plumber/ditchdigger…,” “I: go to church, support/oppose <gay marriage/abortion/dog parks and natatoriums/pressed vs dressed po-boys, am a veteran, etc.," rather than things like "I read and studied these well-known textbooks on city/civil government, studied the laws and court decisions pertinent to city/civic government in MS and sought advice and counsel from people knowledgeable about city/civic government…,” “I studied the issues – which I ID’ed as: – and here is my thinking and possible solutions regarding each…,” etc., you have a real clue as to the “qualifications” of the candidate.

          A city councilperson’s position on the makeup of the US Supreme Court might be interesting chitchat fodder, but it is totally irrelevant to their “qualifications” to be a city councilperson. Anyone who makes such stuff a consideration for their vote is an irrational voter.

    2. The “populace” doesn’t vote – only about 30% of the eligible folks vote and under the most favorable analysis, only about 20% that small subset are “informed.” Most “angry voters” have no better reason for being “angry” beyond than “someone said…” or “they heard…” Look no further than the current POTUS (I am making no comment on his suitability for the job, only his election and those who voted for him).

  5. Nun, Doug,
    Spot on. With the exception of Kyle Lewis, the new comers think they are going to be able to go on a spending spree for their supporters. They didn’t realize that after elected they have fiscal responsibilities to make a workable budget and review and pass ordinances in the best benefit of the community. These duties have penalties X two if not done properly!

    1. Actually, Rod, Kyle was not the only one that understood the importance of paying the city’s bills first before extras. We need more public officials who understand that.

    2. Assuming you are remotely correct, and given at a minimum the last 25 or so years in MS, I suspect you are actually over-estimating the meager qualifications for the average state/local elected official, why in the world would Bay St. Louis expect a competent elected official? Why is someone who admitted outright their lack of qualifications even worth a serious mention (as opposed to a justifiable opposition)? What kind of idiot applies for a job when they have no idea of the work? And more importantly, why would someone who readily admits they have no idea about the job even be considered a serious candidate insofar as being allowed to participate as a serious candidate?

      Bay St. Louis got and will get EXACTLY – no more, no less – the government it elected. Much the same as any other of the MS coast or national governmental entity – the US got Trump as POTUS, the Jackson County morons were elected fair and square, Ocean Springs voted in its mayor, along with her husband and their drinking problems, etc., etc., etc.

      Bay St. Louis voters are responsible for their “rulers.” Look statewide – Stacy Pickering and his Disney fetish, Tatertot Reeves (really? seriously? you folks actually gave this guy control over anything more than a snowball stand?), Phil Bryant (again, really? seriously?), ad infinitum…

      Bluntly, if you folks keep dropping your pants, bending over and lubing up, guess what: one of these opportunists is going to oblige your desire to take it up the youknowwhat. If you pay them for the screwover while essentially asking for more, they will gladly provide more, again and again. In other words, you cannot bitch that you got the screwing you either voted in or failed to vote out.

      It is rather difficult to have any sympathy, and impossible to have any empathy, for people who invite their own demise.

      1. Actually, Bay St. Louis has had some very well qualified and dedicated public officials. But you are not REQUIRED to have any real credentials to run except to be a qualified elector in the district where you are seeking office.
        I am happy to settle for integrity, and the understanding that you are a public servant, not that the public is supposed to be serving you with perks like health benefits for a job that does not demand you show up for 40 hours a week.

        1. Are you really sure that you’ll be “happy to settle for integrity?” How would you feel if your doctor said, “I have no idea what I am doing,” but you absolutely beleived he or she had “integrity?” How about the same with your lawyer, accountant, plumber, electrician, home builder, etc., etc., etc.? My bet would be that “integrity” with no ability or knowledge of the alleged profession wouldn’t suffice. And then, how much “integrity” does a person have if they readily admit they have no idea of what they are doing, but yet, still ask others to pay them for what they aren’t qualified to do? Take the doctor example – would a person of “integrity” attempt to offer medical advice and services while knowing full well they weren’t qualified to do so? Would a person of “integrity” hold themselves out to be a plumber while knowing full well they were not qualified? Eagerness and willingness are all well and good, but they are no substitute for skill, knowledge and competence. If a plumber who also happened to be a fair shadetree mechanic fixed your broken-down-on-the-side-of-road car, would you be angry because he or she wasn’t “a professional mechanic?” Again, skill, knowledge and competence for the job at hand is what counts. Except when voting and running for office.

          With all due respect, your reply illustrates a big problem: most voters and candidates for office have no idea of the skill-set necessary for competence, so voters vote for all sorts of irrational reasons and candidates run for their own irrational reasons, with “change” being especially popular – how often has “vote for me and get more of the same!” been used as a campaign slogan? “Integrity” makes an especially nice compliment to competence, to be sure, but it is no substitute, even just a little bit.

          I’d much rather have an competent, knowledgeable asshole who hated children, had never set foot in church (normally too hung over on Sunday mornings, anyway), and was only of “average” honesty (wouldn’t lie, cheat or steal, but would order the steak and a nice wine rather than the chicken and tea when someone else was paying) than a totally unprepared person of absolutely no ability for the task, but who was in church every Sunday (never been hung over, anyway), loved kids, puppies and apple pie and was so honest they’d drive 10 miles back to a store to return the extra penny the clerk mistakenly gave them. And that’s true whether we are discussing elected officials, plumbers or doctors. Strangely, most folks would agree…except about the elected official part.

            1. Are you offering medical, dietetical or “baristical” advice? Whichever, I cannot take it because I have no way to ascertain your integrity and obviously, any qualifications you may possess which are actually relevant to the situation don’t matter…right?

              1. You may want to check out page 7A of the Sun Herald this morning. At least to me it is a pretty good example of how much integrity matters.
                It is Wes Mullers’ report on our State Auditor, Stacey Pickering, meeting with a quorum (4) of the Diamondhead Councilmen with no notice to the public, which according to Chris Graham of the State Ethics Commission, is a violation of the State Open Meetings Act.
                The Commission cited them for this, and now they want to appeal the decision.
                I hope Ethics prevails. Of course, the citizens of Diamondhead are upset.
                But these four men are ALL educated, well qualified for their positions, and should fully understand the law. That is what I meant when I said I would settle for integrity. Apparently, it was the only thing these 5 lacked.
                Don’t take the coffee comment so seriously. I know I have to back off when I have had an overdose of politicians.

  6. Kudos Lana !!
    It is refreshing to see a young person like Kyle Lewis getting involved and wanting to work for this great city. We need the younger generation to take an interest in our city and want to make it right.
    Not an incumbent who does not show up for meetings for months and decides to run again. To me I call this a parasite. Integrity? That is a joke.. This election is crucial and everyone needs to come out and vote. Hear that Nunn?

    1. I could be wrong, but I honestly think from some of the information that has come my way, there are definitely some of these candidates who are running only for the health insurance. That came up at both forums if I remember correctly, and the majority of the challengers agree that part time individuals should not receive health benefits. It is not offered to part time city employees, and none of these part time elected officials, including mine in Waveland, should be receiving this perk off of the taxpayers.
      If you can tell part time city employees they are not eligible for health benefits, tell it to yourself!

  7. Fact:
    Lana,
    I believe $92,000 for two of the audits were for annual audits.
    The other $30,000 was from Lucifer’s denial of the auditors findings!!!
    Now throw in $$$$ how much for attorney fees?????
    Now we are getting close to the $100,000

    Lana, I’m with you on Integrity , I’d take that any day before lying Lucifer & his evil disciples.
    I wonder how many were involved in the Susan Ladner case. Wish they could find be out.
    They had information on city web page or discussing things on the live meetings before it was even brought up.
    Anyway, wake up BSL.

    1. Fact,
      Let’s suffice it to say that no City of taxpayers who are doing without City services and a decent, safe, comfortable place to vote and for their poll workers to work a VERY long day, should have to spend a penny over the cost of the mandated annual independent audit. AND, the findings should be addressed and corrected, not ignored year after year after year.
      What does that MML
      certification mean if they go and come home doing business like they never heard of MML?! A nice little get away on the back of the taxpayers who derive nothing from it.
      HAS TO STOP. PERIOD.

  8. I know what I have to do now. I have heard there is a place run by those who have a Phd. in politics and are sanctioned by God for their ethics. I’m moving to the land of Prozac in the state of OZ.

    1. It is not the inevitable-as-death-and-taxes honest mistake that indicates the “qualifications” (and “integrity”) of the person, it is the handling of, and learning from, that mistake that gives the indication.

  9. Lana – first, this being the Internet, I do not take any personal comments with any seriousness and certainly don’t expect others to do so, either (while realizing full-well that many folks do so anyway).

    As to the Diamondhead situation with Pickering and the appeal, oddly enough, I happen to know a little bit about it, and in my opinion, the majority of those involved aren’t particularly qualified for their elected positions. For example, Sislow’s outbursts and “stalking” of his opponent’s supporters aside, his self-described qualifications include that he has a Series 7 license and a CFP designation (as well as, if I recall correctly, being some form of “designated” accountant – I don’t recall if it is CPA or other). While he may have held those in the past, he no longer holds either a Series 7 or a CFP. As I understand it, he has literally no experience that would on its own indicate qualification(s) to be a city council member. That does not translate into “unqualified,” but it is fair to assume that a candidate would call attention to things that would indicate they do possess qualifications to run a city.

    Two notes on Sislow’s “qualifications”:
    1) for a person to say they HOLD these, they must be CURRENTLY held, i.e., it would be permissible to say something like, “I once held a Series 7 (or CFP) before I retired…” but not to say “I am a CFP (or have a Series 7)” if they are not currently held. These in particular are not like a college degree where once earned, one can forevermore say they possess it without further action/activity. And anyone who held such things ought to know the difference and “the rules” regarding them.
    2) Someone who allegedly has or had such qualifications, past or present, ought to know better than to have a meeting with 3 other council members, regardless of what Pickering said. Open meeting laws are hardly secret or even obscure rules. They were obviously aware of them – they asked Pickering about it. And now, they want(ed) the City of Diamondhead to pay the city attorney to pursue a “wounded vanity” appeal that stood little chance of succeeding, but more importantly, the entire situation was caused by their own blatant mistake/failure. In other words, they want to piss away city money, yet if they had made a 5 minute call to that same city attorney, who should have been notified about the intended meeting anyway, and especially so since they had a question in their minds about it, and who likely would have advised against it the second he was told, they wouldn’t have found themselves in the situation. Moreover, they received a deserved mild rebuke rather than a real slam. I have heard nothing one way or the other about their “integrity,” but again, “integrity” does not translate into “qualified” for ANY particular position, civic or otherwise. I am fortunate enough to know lots of people who I consider to have very high “integrity” – damned few of them are “qualified” to be brain surgeons…or to run a city…and generally speaking, all would readily acknowledge it.

    Sometimes, being “qualified” and having “integrity” means admitting what you do not know and turning to those who do know. It also means being willing to admit your mistake, accept the consequences with good grace and demonstrate that you have learned from it. From what I understand, and this situation tends to affirm, such are severely lacking traits with the majority of the current Diamondhead city council.

    1. Nunn,
      Sislow’s decision to challenge Chris Graham’s Ethic’s opinion reminds me of that old saying:
      “Arrogance and Pride are concerned with WHO is right.
      Humility and Maturity are concerned with WHAT is right”

  10. It is so great to hear the BLS citizens have finally had enough. I hope that this movement continues right on through Long Beach, Gulfport, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Gautier, and Pascagoula!! The Coast has been spit on for far too long by unqualified, uncaring, money grubbing, “good-ole-boys” with arrogant attitudes. Keep the ball rolling Coast Taxpayers!! Good luck in the upcoming election. I hope BSL gets someone who truly cares about the people and city.

  11. Fact :
    On the forum
    Great questions & Thanks
    New comers, Lewis , Knolblauch did great.
    First it was one, then there was 2, then 3, then 4&5 & now 6 voting unanimously on most decisions made.
    My thoughts are we should never ever have 7 people always agreeing on every decision.
    We must be able to agree to disagree!!!!!
    The so called 3 amigos asked tough but needed questions & expressed their concerns on matters that were not true & now you have facts that support their statements & concerns.
    I believe this council with the exception of 1 councilwoman, has done a good job considering the BS they received from Lucifer, this administration & the attorney ( not the present attorney). They can only make decisions with the information given to them & it clearly states this in the OSA report that they received false & untimely information.
    Do your homework

    Mayors choices??
    4 years ago on that very same stage & throughout his campaign Lucifer stated how great of shape BSL was in. It’s never been better. We are not broke. They don’t know what they are talking about!!!!
    3 months later the city had to borrow $500,000 to pay the county about $370,000 for back utility fees and to make payroll, because he illegally spent utility money on general fund items.
    Then a year later they had to refinance a $1,600,000 utility bond because in his own words they had about $200,000 on the utility payroll that should have been charged to the general fund!!
    6 yrs. @ $200,000 = $1,200,000 of illegal spending of utility money on the general fund. & Now you know why rates were raised twice. Add about $150,000 interest to the tax payers.
    In 8 years he’s never had a balanced budget!!!
    He was left over $3,000,000 cash plus another $2,600,000 owed to the general fund account , from the previous administration , but it’s always their fault.
    All numbers can be found on audit reports & his statements in the news papers.
    Lucifer & his lies , no one can debate with him. He’s smooth!!! Can twist anything.
    Stated only 1 investigation going on.
    Payroll fraud
    Sale of confiscated guns
    Sale of city guns
    Slush fund
    Police brutality cases
    There’s 5 FBI investigations right there that The public is made aware of plus other investigations.
    Lying Lucifer at his best.
    Wake up BSL

    Rachael, good qualifications, some good comments, strait shooter, my second choice.

    Favre, Maybe a little rough around the edges but speaks from his heart & passion for BSL. He’s a straight shooter & not someone to BS you. Got better as the night went on. And will get better in time. Speak with him one on one & hear his passion.
    He’s a numbers guy that has tried to hold this administration accountable since day one.
    He will get the budget straightened out.
    I believe he’s straight up & honest & will enforce the ordinances of BSL & live within state & federal laws.
    He is deeply involved in our community. He puts his Time & Money where his mouth is!!
    He believes in accountability & I believe he is the only one that will hold himself & his entire administration accountable.
    My choice

    1. Mike Favre all the way. I know his intentions and actions are in the best interest of BSL always.

      Kyle Lewis, great newcomer and we need the younger generation getting involved.

      Now, get out and vote !!!

      1. OK – what makes him “qualified?” I am not saying, implying or surmising that he isn’t – I don’t know anything about him and could not pick him from a crowd of two – I am asking what his qualifications are, besides his intentions and not being Filingame.

        1. Nunn,
          I guess, in a way, we may have resolved over the weekend that one man’s idea of “qualifications” is another man’s “nonsense.”
          This is not an effort to be judgmental or try to expose “Trixie’s” identity, but how many City Council meetings have either of you attended in the last four years, or watched by remote?
          While forums are a good venue for candidates to inform the electorate of their “qualifications” there is nothing like actually seeing an official at work for the public meeting after meeting following through on issues, and fighting to get things resolved.
          I will say this about Mike Favre, as an individual–
          He has a passionate love for his city, and the fire in his belly to not shy away from issues, no matter how the **** hits the fan, or where it lands.
          That is what I have witnessed, and if timing matters, as it does in most areas of life, I would say it matters now for Bay St. Louis. It mattered for us in Waveland in 2010, and we took care of business at the polls.
          I hope all of those running as challengers are aware of how “unpopular” they can become if they have to challenge the status quo. That would depend on whether they put more emphasis on being popular or being effective.
          I am just saying that “qualifications” can cover a whole lot of things, and how they actually perform for the citizens is probably the most valuable “qualification” they possess.
          The best way, in my opinion and experience, is to watch them at work live.

          1. I’m not sure what you mean by “we…resolved,” but I never said that things “integrity,” etc. were nonsense. In fact, I plainly said they were certainly good qualities. But they are NOT “qualifications” for office.

            Again, I’ll ask: would you want a absolutely honest plumber with a “fire in his belly” and a “passionate love” for medicine, but absolutely no medical training at all to do heart surgery on you? Or would you want the world’s finest heart surgeon, who was totally honest, passionate, etc., but with no training in plumbing to plumb a new home for you? And also, why would either the surgeon or plumber even offer to do the job of the other, knowing full-well they did not have the _qualifications_, merely the “desire,” to do the job?

            As to Farve, as I said: I do not know anything at all about him, so I asked what his _qualifications_, not his personal qualities, are for the office he seeks. If the best his supporters can come up with are trite political canards like, “he cares about the city” and “he has a fire in his belly,” good luck to him – he’ll need a lot of it.

            By the way, ever hear any candidate (or his or her supporters) for any office say things like, “screw this ! I’m in this for me, my family and friends!” or “ya know, I really don’t have much desire for the office, but if folks will hand it to me, I’ll at least show up to collect my paycheck…” Sure, plenty of them THINK such things, but even the stupidest of them don’t SAY them.

            1. Strange – my reply is incomplete. The first sentence in the last paragraph should read:

              By the way, ever hear any candidate (or his or her supporters) for any office say things like, “screw this [city, county, state, country]! I’m in this for me, my family and friends!” or “ya know, I really don’t have much desire for the office, but if folks will hand it to me, I’ll at least show up to collect my paycheck…”

              I guess the posting software doesn’t like things bracketed by “greater than” and “less than” symbols.

              1. Apparently you did not take my coffee advice nor did you say whether you have attended any meetings and watched these elected officials ” work” for their constituents.

      2. Well, as long as YOU know, that should be good enough for everyone, right? I doubt you really believe that, but see what I mean? Clearly, Farve has strong support here, yet I’ve asked repeatedly for his qualifications and so far, nothing. Again, he may be the perfect man for the job, but a bunch of rah-rahing and sloganeering from his supporters isn’t going to make much of a difference in the election. And neither will preaching to the choir.

  12. Fact R Fiction, anything has got to be better than the performance I have followed on Mr. Les and the current city leaders. Something has to give and I believe he has stepped on his constituents for the last time. We will soon see.

  13. Fact R Fiction Could not have said better about candidates at the form. Mike will make things in BSL better.

  14. QUALIFICATIONS??? Les worked in a video store. what are his qualifications? Look where this got us today. Total debt and incompetence.
    Mike has proven his leadership these last 4 years and I feel he will be the best choice to straighten the city and finances.

    As for Kyle, what qualifications did Compretta have? Managed grocery story. At least we have someone committed wanting to serve BSL. We need to keep our young people here and not move away for jobs we don’t have here.

    Wendy says in her ads to help create jobs and economic development…. Where has she been and what has she done in the last 8 years?? Why want to do something now. Why didn’t you do something 8 years ago? We need to drain the swamp !!!

    1. Re-read “Outraged’s” post from the perspective of the hypothetical just-moved-to-the-area person who is going to vote. I have no doubt that some folks, esp. here, will nod approvingly and in agreement. So what? None of those people were going to vote for Filingame anyway and all I know from this post is that “Outraged” thinks Mike (presumably Farve) has proved his leadership. I have no idea why “Outraged” thinks this nor do I have any possible basis to agree. If someone wants to help their candidate, explain things by citing _relevant_ facts and educating about your candidate’s actual _qualifications_ for the job.

  15. Unbelievable. First, I am not a Bay St. Louis voter, so I have never been to any meetings. That said, I was curious about the candidates, so I did a quick Google search. I discovered several things:

    1. I did not realize that Lana Noonan is an authorized spokesperson for the Alliance for Good Government (although it appears that it is the same Lana Noonan posting here, I understand it may not be the same). I did not see a website for them. Posts to Slabbed, mentions in the Sea Coast Echo and a short, ad hominem disparaging thread on another forum were the first page of the search results. Speaking only for myself, I find it strange that an organization that seems to want to be seen as neutral would show favoritism toward any candidate, but even stranger that Ms. Noonan cannot seem to name a single _qualification_ for the candidates for the offices. I’m not picking on her, just offering my opinion.

    2. Stunningly, I did find servebsl.com and particularly http://www.servebsl.com/bsl-mayor.html, where the candidates responded to a series of questions as well as provided a short bio. It would seem to be a perfect place to list their _qualifications_ for the job of Mayor. Unfortunately…

    If anyone reading this knows either candidate, I’d suggest some things if they haven’t done any of these things already. First, I’d update the “bio” and add real _qualifications_.

    Rachel Ramsey came close with:
    “I’m a retired accountant, with a baccalaureate with a major in accounting and a minor in economics, from Penn State. I’ll post my resume on my Facebook page, Mayor Rachael. Please take a look.”

    Suppose I am not on Facebook? Why not provide a link for those that are on Facebook?

    Farve writes: “I am the son of Ethel and the late Nelius, brother of Neil and Eddie, father of Casey and fiancé of Sissy Seal. I have an extensive history of local community involvement. I actively support and am involved in organizations such as CASA, Coastal Conservation Association, OLG Crab Fest, and numerous school and youth organizations.”

    This clearly indicates he was born, has a child and a partner, as well as that he does seem like a “good guy.” None of it, however, indicates his _qualifications_ to be Mayor. He mentions his term as Councilman at Large and then says nothing more about it.

    I am making no comment on or about the _qualifications_ of either because I still don’t know what they may be. Both write about wanting the job and Ramsey even talks about “applying for the job,” but then, fails “to complete an application.” Farve mentions his term as Councilman at Large, but says nothing about what he accomplished during his term.

    Here’s a tip: Write your bio like you are trying to convince someone who you know will vote but just moved into the city today and doesn’t know anything about you or your – AHEM – qualifications for the office. Will knowing your dad’s name or what you accomplished as Councilman seem more important to that voter? An accounting/ecom degree seems like a qualification, but what did she do with it? Would she say she would have been just as qualified the second she exited the graduation stage, the ink still wet on that degree? Think “I have a degree in accounting/econ and spent X years working my way up from accounts clerk to CFO of Acme Enterprises where I demonstrated that I could be a valuable entry-level employee as well as an accomplished and respected manager of people and effective steward of the company’s money…” or “As Councilman at Large, I was instrumental in / I accomplished X. When I asked for your vote in that election, I said I would do X and I did X.”

    3. Print out several hundred copies the updated bio and the questions and answers – reformat as necessary to fit a tri-fold brochure. Make sure your “core” supporters have at all times at least 5-10 copies to hand to likely voters.

    4. For God sakes, if info is on the web, MAKE ITS LOCATION KNOWN at every single place you can find that a voter might see it. Have business cards printed that say only “I’m [Farve, Ramsey, whoever] and I’d like your vote for Mayor of Bay St. Louis. For more information, go to [website URLS].” If they ask you a question, great, but it will at least entice them to go to the website(s).

    5. Remember this: If there is an incumbent, those that seek to replace him/her aren’t running against each other, they are running against the incumbent. In the case of the Mayor of Bay St. Louis, the incumbent has helped his challengers by demonstrating to anyone who isn’t getting something and is _paying attention_ that he isn’t fit for the job. Remember, only about 25% of the population actually votes (this election may get more voters because of the situation, but don’t count on it) and only about 10-20% of those who vote have a clue about the issues. There are about 5-700 people in all of Bay St. Louis who will determine the next Mayor. ID them, winnow out the ones that simply aren’t going to vote for you because they are – period, end of discussion – going to vote for one of the others (likely 100 people or less for any one candidate in this case) and convince the other 4-600 people that you deserve the job, not that the others do not.

    1. I made it clear in my post that I was speaking as an individual. Favre gave his job description and where he works and how long at the Forum last Thursday evening.

  16. Nun, you are an intellectual know it all! You intellectually dissect other people’s opinions. In short you are a talker and not a doer. You can’t get past your intellectual analysis because you would then need to take a position and either be right or wrong. You won’t make that stand!

  17. Well I googled “Nunn Yabidnez ” and I discovered all you do is post and criticize on Slabbed. You attack every area from Nola to Pascagoula. Blue Eyes seems to be right. You are a big talker but not doer. You have made posts about every area, yet you say you don’t vote here. Your name says it all None of your business. If you are not familiar with the area or candidates, then you can not comment on their qualifications. Qualification? What did it matter with Les? he has been a total disaster in office. Wendy with all of her degrees? She doesn’t even come to meetings for 8+ months, yes she was in an accident, but socializes all around town but can’t attend, now wants to bring economic development and jobs. She has been there 8 years. She is a rubber stamp for Les. AT least Mike F. has shown leadership the last 4 years and has accomplished a lot in regards to the finances and running our city government the way it should be done and not the “LES” way.
    Since you know so much about running campaigns, maybe you should volunteer in one of them and show the people how to do it….

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