A County Apart: The Hancock County Solid Waste Authority Budget

The HCSWA is the only local agency of its kind in Mississippi. In the other 81 Counties, the Board of Supervisors manage to handle Trash collection matters without another layer of bureaucracy and the associated extra cost to the taxpayers.

Worth noting is a mantra of the Republican party these days involves smaller government and repeating foolishness about drowning babies in the bathwater. In a County Apart, the local Republicans are making money so nary is heard the discouraging word, until now that is.

A quick perusal of the budget reveals the taxpayers are paying for code enforcement, engineering and legal services which all duplicates current county expenditures for the same services. There is more that I’m not going to reveal just yet, but to the extent certain elected officials have suggested this topic is worth of examination here on Slabbed, we are happy to oblige. Screen captures of the current Hancock County Solid Waste Authority two page budget are below the jump.

Screen Captures Courtesy of Lana Noonan - Hancock County Alliance for Good Government
Screen Capture Courtesy of Lana Noonan – Hancock County Alliance for Good Government
Solid Waste Budget2
Screen Capture Courtesy of Lana Noonan – Hancock County Alliance for Good Government

57 thoughts on “A County Apart: The Hancock County Solid Waste Authority Budget”

  1. So is Thursday Pork Day here at Slabbed?

    Might need to get me some!

    Vincent Price: Vincent Price – Cooking Lesson – Roast Pork With Prunes

    “Let me tell you the smell of this roast cooking should drive the most complacent family wild with desire.” (hear for yourself starting at about 1:25- Vincent had a way with words.)

    A few more interesting links:

    How Pork Smells Genetically Determined, Says Study

    If you find the smell of pork revolting, it could be because that’s how you’re genetically programmed to perceive it, according to a new study.

    Scientists found that there’s a gene responsible for how a compound in pork smells to humans. The gene determines whether pork smells like ammonia, urine and sweat, or if it smells more like vanilla.

    The smell of pork can be revolting?
    Who knew?

    Also this:

    How To Tell If Pork Is Bad

    Use your smell sense. The tell-tale sign of how to tell if pork is bad is simple: the pork smells bad!

    I’ve heard that before.

    I’m still trying to decide if I’m smelling that bad revolting smell right now.

    Now back to the regularly scheduled programming:

    There is more that I’m not going to reveal just yet, but to the extent certain elected officials have suggested this topic is worth of examination here on Slabbed, we are happy to oblige.



  2. the pork on the HCSWA smells bad. The stench will lighten when Bobby and Les get their hand out the till. The meeting is held each month at the BSL Council Chambers during normal business hours and Les n Bobby were first in line to get paid. Bobby would say I agree to whatever Les said. Give me my check. Is there any candy the drawer!

  3. Several have been wondering exactly why they exist, even after attending their meetings. Aside from using the two phrases “that being said” & “due diligence” a mind blowing number of times this group, at the last meeting, discussed the uproar about Tommy Kidd’s pay & then approved his payroll without really knowing what his job is.

    1. I know I am repeating myself, but 2 of them ( and I am convinced it would be unanimous) admitted to me they had approved minutes they had not read, and had not read the contract they approved with the Enforcement Officer.
      What was really mind blowing got me was when I first called in April and asked what the procedure would be for me to review their minutes.
      I was told by the Secretary that I could see all if the minutes except the most current BECAUSE THE ATTORNEY HAD NOT APPROVED THEM YET??!!
      I asked why the Commission did not approve their own minutes, and she, of course, did not know. Just said that is the procedure. Holy Cow!

      1. wOW!

        What do the minutes show concerning the approval of the minutes?

        Is this an item on the consent agenda, or a separate agenda item?

        They do show on the agenda and a recorded vote each time… don’t they?!

        Almost enough to make one wonder if they read the agenda items they vote on…

        1. The information I have comes from Commissioners and the secretary stating the attorney approves the minutes and Commissioners admitting they approved them without reading them.
          Perhaps they rely on the attorney to ” approve” and they just vote to accept.
          A mess.

  4. everything comes down to a lack of leadership, legal guidance and integrity to protect the public which is why they are all supposed to be there to start with. Like all things around here the appointees want to spend no due diligence or time to get their check.

  5. they want a get out of the meeting quick card. But other than that there is nothing to do. It needs to be abolished for being non functional. The supervisors can renegotiate the contract every five years and Tommy can do volunteer work if he chooses.

  6. Big money and dumb politicians is a recipe for disaster. Kidd should have been fired long ago for triple dipping. We was on solid waste, BSL and Cures payroll at the same time doing the same thing. They also waste a fortune with Ritchie’s dump, they just pay without ever questioning or auditing his service. A very questionable character, just got caught again intercepting payments without his partners knowledge, he may be in trouble for embezzlement. And just told Charles Oliver was convinced for the DUI that happened, two years ago. The Les legacy is just getting started.πŸ˜‚

  7. He has been trying to sell the dump saying it was because he is going blind. Now we know he was hearing footsteps. He knew it was a matter of time.

  8. Attorney once a month approximately 1 hour month– 15,000 yearly, That is probably the highest paid attorney per hour on the Coast. Who is the attorney?
    Administrator 12,000 same amount of time??
    Thank you Lana and Doug for sharing. This really does need to be abolished. All Pork, not Kosher…..

    1. Football season coming soon!

      Woooo! Pig Sooie!

      β–ͺ Administrative Law
      β–ͺ Government Relations
      β–ͺ Governmental Litigation
      β–ͺ Public Utilities
      β–ͺ Real Estate Development and Finance
      β–ͺ Office of Governor Haley Barbour, Legal Counsel.
      β–ͺ Pearl River County Utility Authority, Board Attorney.
      β–ͺ Hancock County Utility Authority, Board Attorney.
      β–ͺ Hancock County Solid Waste Authority, Board Attorney.
      β–ͺ Mississippi, 2011



  9. I don’t like to millage going to that fund. It’s a user based fee and should be completely funded by it. Large land owners or businesses that have their own service are supplementing homeowners trash. Cut the waste of an authority and charge the appropriate fees.

    1. Glad to see someone else noticed that tax millage covers around 42% of the costs of trash service. I’m curious now to know to what extent other Counties in Mississippi do that.

  10. Doug, most people do not know about the mileage break down or what it means. I feel that there needs to be more transparency on the property tax bill. This to include the Library as well. Most people do not realize the Library is not really a function of government along with other things like the chamber of commerce etc… the have so closely aligned themselves with government only transparency can separate them.

  11. Watch this closely. Why in the name of God would any county need a so called Solid Waste Authority to handle a public service like garbage collection? Does Hancock County own its own landfill or is the garbage in the county taken to a private landfill? Does Hancock County have a long range plan to divert municipal solid waste generated within its jurisdiction by implementing various diversion programs like curbside recycling, yard or woody waste recycling or composting? There’s gold in garbage.

      1. True, and there’s even more gold in the collection contracts and the disposal contracts. Watch those closely and pay attention to how and to whom they are awarded.

  12. Oh Well Lana, guess you will be busy. Lets see who gets the contracts. We as taxpayers in Hancock County should see where our tax dollars are going with the millage? Then we should see what % this covers the budget… We need answers for the taxes we pay.
    Doug can we research other counties to see where their millage goes to what entities?
    This should be interesting…

  13. With regard to garbage collection and disposal many counties will use different methods to cover the costs. Some will use millage money, some will pass the charges on to the users on monthly utility bills. Some counties will use a combination of both. I believe that the City of New Orleans pays for garbage/trash collection from their general fund. Although individual users are charged on their water bills for garbage collection, my understanding is that monies collected from the accounts go into the City’s general fund. I don’t know if what they collect is enough to actually cover the costs for the entire system, but this method is not without problems. In adjacent Jefferson Parish, garbage collection is handled as a pass through charge on water bills. Monies to run the Parish owned landfill come from a millage. I suspect that most counties in Mississippi pay for solid waste collection and disposal using one of the above mentioned methods. Millages generally come up for renewal every 10 years. Millage moneis can be redirected and rededicated when they come up for renewal, watch the language in the renewals.

  14. A hearing has been scheduled for June 22, by the Board of Supervisors to determine the status of the County Library System.
    Perhaps the Supervisors should conduct or request a study to consider the feasibility of continuing the $2 million to operate the Solid Waste Authority. There may be some savings there that would free up the County and municipalities as they all struggle with their own budgets this coming fiscal year.
    Supervisors President Blaine La Fontaine has already expressed concern over the fact that Hancock County is the only county in the state to operate a Solid Waste Authority within the county.
    The PEER COMMITTEE–Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review Committee of the State Legislature would be where I would suggest President LaFontaine and his fellow Board members start.

  15. I understand there was a $500,000 donation made to the Waveland Library? I hope the Board of Supervisors don’t use this as the budget and continue to give the Solid Waste Authority the continued support they don’t need. It needs to be shut down… This is a one time gift and not part of a yearly budget. This is a mistake many make and want to adjust budgets to add this to the bottom line. Let’s use this money wisely to put back to Library for educational and other needs that will be beneficial to the people of Waveland. That was the purpose, not a budget line item. I hope there were stipulations attached to the money from the benefactor.

    1. I was there when Courtney Thomas made the announcement at the Aldermen meeting last night. She did not stipulate the use until later in the evening on Facebook saying the money will be in $20,000 annual increments and cannit be used for operations?! Maybe there are laws that govern donations like this. I don’t know. I haven’t seen the letter. But if it can’t be used for operations, what can it be used for? That is a broad term and the whole issue right now is ” how are we going to continue to OPERATE our libraries?!
      Some clarification as to the legal use of the money should be made by the Library Board and their attorney.

  16. Outraged,
    Get your wallet out and quit expecting the taxpayers to pay for your ideals. We pay for libraries in schools, we have free lunch year round, free medical, food stamps, housing, welfare, cell phones etc..on the backs of the taxpayer….do what nonprofits do and fund it yourselves. Libraries are relieved of property tax and revenue tax on the back of the taxpayer. It is out of control what nonprofits expect of government.

    No one wants to pay taxes to those who do not pay taxes.

    get it together or get out!

    1. Good points, Blue Eyes. Yep
      the taxpayer in Hancock County is especially
      strapped because since 2005, we have courted the tax user to settle here with the availability of too many taxpayer subsidized housing projects– 78% of kids in both school districts on free lunch, a hospital in financial distress, all indications that the taxpayer is out numbered by the tax user. The wake up call has sounded, but some of our elected officials will kick the can down the road and hit the snooze button—as long as all these folks get registered to VOTE😩😩😩

    2. The Library stacks up loads of property throughout the county tax free, as well they can raise money all without a tax burden. This is what is supposed to get them going. After that volunteers should back fill any manpower needs (the people demanding it to be paid for with tax dollars).

      Nonprofits were started to backfill where the government stops. If the government funds it, it is not backfilling anything it is just another government dole out.

      They need to implement user fees and raise money the old fashioned way, all untaxed. Libraries have kind of gone with video stores, obsolete.

      I will get a comprehensive list of properties owned by the Library Foundation in Hancock County to show that they are well funded by the taxpayer in untaxed properties throughout the county.

      1. This a quick list of the properties owned by the foundation tax free

    3. Not sure what you mean to me, but believe me I am tired of the freeloaders on the backs of the taxpayers. I work 7 days a week for what I have and don’t expect anyone to pay for anything for me. I hope they do implement drug testing for welfare recipients and other programs.
      You may have misunderstood my post. I am not in favor of tax payers paying for most of the costs in our county. I own property and pay my taxes accordingly. I don’t expect anything for free.

      1. Several states including MS have already done the “let’s drug test the welfare recipients because we know they mama with the 6 kids, each with different baby daddy drives her Caddie to the store, stacks the buggy full of T-bones and then sells them for drugs on the corner” program. It was an epic fail. I believe it was way below 1% in every state. But, splutter, but…..they so fat! Ain’t missin’ meals…. Very poor people will stretch food budget. The cheapest foods are white. Processed white bread, rice and potatoes are mainstays in many poor homes. And the Fed Lunch Program is a disgrace (but you probably think that’s another parasitic program)….I was a lunch lady, and although the food was 90% processed cheeseburgers, fries, pizza, super salty lunchmeats, and almost never apiece of fresh fruit but peaches in heavy syrup and steamed green beans. I never got fired, I never applied for unemployment, I went in sick, I busted my butt for 54 years too. I paid 28% many years as a single renter. And i WHINED ABOUT IT then I thought of my grandmother, any grandmother or small child going to bed hungry through NO FAULT of their own and I shut up. If I keep kids’ bellies full or a senior won’t be eating cat food on the 29th, I am good with that. It is called humanity. It is called doing the right thing. If you want to find waste in your local or fed govt, look to the Pentagon, or look at mayors’ with grandiose ideas of yacht marinas and pseudo-gaslights on streets where no one lives anymore……Stop blaming the poor for being poor, and stop your “righteous indignation”. I am retired now and the SSA is fully funded (or should be if The DOD ever paid back the 4.3 trillion plus interest for the bogus WMD war. I am being paid my and my employer’s money, and I still pay for my medicare and prescriptions. How dare you look down on people that worked as hard as you. I make less than $12k/year and I still donate my time and expertise. I am an activist that wants a better life for ALL of us. Too many Americans sing one song all day: “ME me me me!’

  17. The library staff spends countless hours meeting with politicians privately and lobbying at government meetings for funding. Politicans that are easily intimidated. It’s all about the big salaries and benefits, take that away and see who cares. Any money the city’s pay will be double taxation. The folks in the city’s pay the same country taxes as the unincorporated areas, it’s the majority of your taxes. The county needs one small millage and make them cut back on travel, staff and operating hours.

  18. Citizens who live in BSL, Waveland, & Diamondhead pay the same county taxes as those who live in the county. Therefore, anytime the municipalities match or contribute to county funded programs they are double taxed. Fact not fiction. As well as many other things we pay for in the county. I.e. Culverts across drive ways in the county are paid for by us but in the municipalities the home owner pays for it as it should be. This is just one of many things that we pay for in the county and don’t get in the cities. The citizens in each city largest tax bill paid is to the county tax.

  19. The Chamber of Commerce is the same. They collect contributions from multiple state agencies, county, Port Bienville, Cities other taxpayer funded nonprofits etc and the money comes from the same tax source the citizens just different entities. Like most nonprofits their biggest expense is top heavy payrolls.

  20. Simple solution by Supers! Set millage for ALL of County people! Period! Give to Library period, let them supplement rest with donations, grants, fundraisers and their Foundation. NO legal reason citizens of BSL and Waveland must be taxed twice…..

  21. Hey Gang!
    I took a long break from social media, instead careening around the S curves of Bayou LaCroix with my furry co-pilot.
    I come back to panicked chatter about Trash Doctors being approved (unilaterally) by Bd of Supervisors to collect, and process infectious medical waste at the Port. You remember the Port….sits oh maybe 9.3 inches above sea level and is surrounded by more flat marsh lands and is a part of the Pearl River basin. With hurricane season upon us, it kinda made me crazy.

    I talk with Division Chief Williams at MDEQ and he fills me in a little more. Not just infectious medical waste (IMW) but animal carcasses and waste from international ports, global AND Gulf ports who get their share of strange shit.
    The Board already approved the application and sent it to MDEQ. Mr Williams was very helpful in explaining the process and where clueless folks like me might be able to intercede. For one, any citizen can call Solid Waste at MDEQ and register their opinion, though if approved, there is not a lot they can do. Your Supervisor….put him on speed dial. I am a forced annexee of BSL Ward 6, but I will still bird dog this. Complain to MS Dept of Health, all 17 employees left (IDK how many)

    I think this is an insane and dangerously near negligent of the Supervisors to approve this. Public is supposed to have a 30 day comment window but I don’t know when that was. I told Mr Williams that the port is water with some fill and saw grass and will swamp before Lagan Drive does. And after Katrina and BP, we are feeling a little beat up.

    Thoughts, rants, anyone?

    1. Chris Lagarde gave it his best shot at both Solid Waste Authority & both Public Hearings for the Supervisors. I called my Supervisor & attended the solid waste meeting to no avail. Dead animal carcasses are not in the contract that was approved but infectious medical waste, cruise ship waste, & other crap will be trucked in from 7 states, processed & ,supposedly, trucked out for disposal. An unknown, unnamed company will be responsible if these transport trucks get into an accident & there needs to be a hazardous waste clean-up.

  22. Letters to the editor of Sun Herald and Echo with the info you shared here using the name of the DEQ official so it is official info, not just your opinion.
    Be at the Supervisors meetings until this is voted on.
    Whose idea was this anyway? Does anyone know? Solid Waste Commission was quick to pass it. So, don’t stop with calling and writing Supers. Call the 3 Mayor’s– Mike Smith in Waveland- Schaefer in Diamondhead, Favre in the Bay. Then call the other members of SW COMMUSDION– Jeremy Burke, Greg Shaw, and whomever replaces Compretta and Diamondhead Councilman.
    Exposure and Transparency is the key.

    1. I have done extensive research into the cozy habits of BoS and PHC. They rammed this thru, bid proposals for lumber concrete etc are due Aug 3rd.

      The project is being funded thru $10 RESTORE funds and as yet undisclosed Katrina CDBG HUD grant. These funds are not benefitting the community, just the privately owned Port, getting all new docking, ramps, berths and tie ins to rail…..I’ve already met with one advocacy group who may help with getting news out. Doug has offered a spot for my case. AND, I will be on WQRZ on August 2nd from 5-6 to discuss the insanity of this plan. If you hear anything, let me know. I will be in touch with MS Center for Justice, maybe a legal loophole for the good guys!

        1. And missed that durn Council of Govts.next Bd meeting is Aug 7th, I will ask to be put on agenda ….Sierra Club folks are disturbed too, my source at STEPS tells me…..but me I’m just backwoods Shoreline gurl so Sierra and I don’t hang at the same spots-lol

  23. The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away. (Ronald Reagan)

  24. Dumb politicians, cheap land, uninterested citizens create bad decisions. Library over staffed, giving money to 501c’s that have more benefit to the employees than those that it is supposed to bring service to. 501c’s are not part of government!

  25. Maybe it was all done by Les. His last Hurrah !! Then if it gets passed they can hire him to run it. I doubt very seriously anyone else would hire him. If you think garbage stinks you haven’t smelled anything yet if this takes place. !! it is so amazing that there is always a job for a defeated politicians for previous paybacks. Some deserving, some not.. Can’t wait to see the outcome…

  26. The solid waste authority is a big waste. Les was the chairman for 8 years and used it to punish his adversaries by denying contracts and permits, and enriched himself with campaign donations and no telling what else. He had Deuce McAllister signing football’s for kids at MLK park for his election parties. Deuce was a sales rep for Waste Pro and they were bidding on contracts with the authority. The echo storey this week is also a joke, they interviewed two individuals in favor of keeping it going and both appear to have personal interest. Mike Smith the full time paid mayor goes to the meetings in the Bay in a city car with city paid for gas at 3:00PM on city time representing waveland and collects another checking. About $1000.00 or so a year. And why did Jimmy Ladner comment, he has no vote in the decision? It’s up to the supervisors,councilman and alderman. He just collects what they set. But his daughter is the attorney for the authority and therefore he had to downplay the 100k plus savings to $2 per household to keep her from losing money. Come on sea coast echo, tell the whole story.

    1. Mike Smith appointed Rachael Yarbrough to represent waveland on the Library and her husband represents the county. Wow what a deal for everyone. Conflict of interest never ends. The tax payers always suffer due to inside jobs! When will it stop? Is she being paid or just doing civic duty? Same as jimmy Ladner. His daughter is legal council on the Solid Waste Authorituly and he down plays getting rid of it as not enough savings. They all need to get off the trough! The Sun Herald and Wlox are aware of it. We need muller back or AJ Giordino on it.

  27. Well I would like to them save the money, put it towards grass cutting. I’m in ward 5 and my street looks like hell. It hasn’t been cut since before the election? Look at main street. sidewalks close to Hwy 90, they never looked so bad at tourist season. We may have went backwards at the polls this year.

    1. Les left it for the new administration. A month of no grass maintenance and beau coup rain has made a quandary of this but it will get straightened out. One of the best attractions we have is the community center. Attracts weddings county wide and state wide. It is virtually un maintained by the previous administration. The police cars and police station are the same condition. I believe our new administration and council are up to the task! A little time and support will go a long way for them to budget and organize a lengthy priority list.

  28. Follow up. The council needs time to meet a few times to understand each other’s particular issues and help the administration. They can’t meet out of session so results take a bit time. Government works 2 weeks at a time.

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