I feel compelled to comment on Mayor Fillingame’s latest “political theme” ad recently published in the Seacoast Echo: “PROVEN LEADERSHIP!”
Actually, Mr. Fillingame has certainly proven his “ability to lead”. The results are in……….
It has been “proven” that with no notice to city employees, he failed to pay their insurance premiums, leaving them in the lurch regarding medical expenses.
It has been “proven” that he misappropriated the citizens’ utility payments (Seacoast Echo, Oct. 12, 2013) and then stuck those same citizens with an illegal loan to cover up his actions. (Nov. 25, 2013, Council minutes and 2014 Audit)
It has been “proven” that in 2011, he illegally “unrestricted” the Department of Justice Police Fund, forcing the DOJ to demand that these funds must be repaid. This forced the DOJ to make the determination that in the future, those funds are to be spent exclusively by the Police Chief, after the approval of the DOJ and the City Council only. (2014 Audit and Department of Justice Report)
It has been “proven” that he continues to insist on a Building Department with uncertified management, who apply the building code selectively to citizens. (City Council minutes, chock full of citizen complaints)
It has been “proven” that during his term of office, the city has been faced with over 20 lawsuits. (Documents from City Clerk, prepared by City Attorney)
It has been “proven”` that his refusal to abide by state and federal laws, and his repeated denial of audit results, forced the city to pay thousands of unnecessary dollars for additional audits and attorney fees. (City claim dockets and Council minutes)
It has been “proven” that he allowed the Police Station to get in such bad condition that the new Police Chief had to make a request to the Council to move his officers and employees out of the building due to mold infestation and other problems. (City Council minutes)
It has been “proven” from the Mayor’s own spread sheet, given to the City Council in 2016: From 2009, when Mayor Fillingame took office through April of 2017, he has cut over 2,000 working hours from personnel in our Police and Fire Departments. Hours “cut” from those Departments of Bay St. Louis has surely compromised safety for the citizens of Bay St. Louis.
More recently the City Council, working with both Chiefs, has led the way to increase personnel in both the Police and Fire departments. This will help insure our safety, and also assure that the Fire Station on Hwy. 603 will be manned full time!
It has been “proven” that when Mayor Fillingame took office, the prior administration left the city with $3.8 million dollars in cash. At the beginning of the Mayor’s second term, he stated that the city was in the best financial condition it had ever been! Yet, four months after the inauguration of his 2nd term, the new Council had to borrow $500,000 to make payments to the Solid Waste and Wastewater Authority in order to pay back his misspent money. Records prove that during most of Mayor Fillingame’s “leadership”, the city has been forced, time after time and year after year to have to continually borrow money!! Yet 4 years ago, the Mayor stated that “We’re in the best financial condition we’ve ever been in”! Not so! The real truth is a matter of record!
Fellow citizens and taxpayers, please don’t lose sight of the fact that we are all picking up the tab for the results of this “proven” leadership! $$$$$$ Leadership, in this case doesn’t mean taking all the credit for the good things that happen, and not holding yourself responsible for the bad! Running a city takes teamwork, and true “leadership”.
As one who has read and studied the aforementioned documents, and attended meetings for the past 11 years, in my opinion it has definitely been “proven” that our city cannot endure, nor afford another 4 years of Fillingame’s style of “leadership”.