To the Editor: Accountability Needed for Those That Waste Public Money

At my presentation to the Bay St. Louis City Council on November 7, I asked for a commitment from the new City Council, the new guardians of our tax dollars. I as them to hold ACCOUNTABLE anyone who misuses our public money, not use us as the bail bondsman for the behavior of our elected officials and employees.

From 2013 to 2017, the taxpayers were strapped with loans, audited by the State Department of Revenue, and Department of Justice, which revealed late sales tax fees to the state, and the illegal co-mingling of a Federal Department of Justice Police Grant into the city’s General Fund by the former Mayor and City Clerk.

This total of over $872,000 was passed on to the unsuspecting taxpayer, who has been doing without city services for a very long time. When I think of what this $872,000 could have bought for citizens, it makes me sick. And we still don’t know what the missing money paid for.

So, I boldly asked for a commitment from those who are now managing our tax dollars—go after the incompetents, unethicals, and illegals. Stop passing the bills for all of this on to the taxpayers just because we are here. Use those surety bonds you purchase with our tax dollars, or quit buying them.

ACCOUNTABILITY NEEDS TO BE THE NEW NAME OF THE GAME IN THE BAY. WITH A TAX HIKE AND INCREASE IN UTILITY RATES, WE WON’T SETTLE FOR LESS.

DAVID WELLS
BAY ST. LOUIS–WARD 6

16 thoughts on “To the Editor: Accountability Needed for Those That Waste Public Money”

      1. It was legal, Michelle. It was announced at the previous meeting, advertised, and Council doesn’t get paid per meeting. They are salaried, with benefits except Seal, who does not take the city insurance, to his credit.

  1. election recap:
    1. Voted out majority of the council
    2. Voted out the Mayor

    They have changed:

    3. Changed who we give away money to
    4. Changed who we give favors to
    5. They have Raised taxes 4 mils
    6. They have Raised service fees

    In fact nothing has changed except raising taxes and fees and who we do favors for and give money to.

    It’s amazing how it works!

    1. Mr Rod, 5 months in? What’s up? Your taxes up, Utilities up, no new equipment? Flouride still in?? Still don’t know about vote! Is any thing getting done? Police D in shabbles! Nothing being said by Ms. Lana, so nothing being done!!!!

      1. Fact,
        You evidently did not watch last night’s Special Meeting by remote.
        The meeting was called to discuss the use of cargo containers (which are really trailers, according to Councilman Seal) for use as dwellings in residential neighborhoods.
        One is already under construction on Chantilly Terrace. This did not go through the Planning and Zoning Commission because the materials meet the code.
        The real issue here is going to be DESIGN.
        Several citizens spoke on the pros and cons of things such as the difficulty in wiring, roof attachment, etc.
        But the bottom line that is of concern to several Councilmen and, of course neighbors is:
        DESIGN.
        The architect, Jon Anderson, was asked by Council if he had a rendering of his design of the finished product with him for them to see. He said “no.” Now, come on, if you want to sell an idea you bring the rendering. We might have all been born at night, but it wasn’t last night!!!
        When asked about the roof, his answer was it would be “sort of attached.” That’s who you want to live next door to– someone whose roof is “sort of attached.”
        When my turn came to address Council, I simply asked them what they considered their most serious and important responsibility to the taxpayers. Not one of them had an answer. Not one. So, I had to tell them it is to protect the ad valorem tax base by not doing anything that will lessen the value of the property of their constituents. Without that ad valorem base being secure, they will lack funds to provide the people with the services they deserve like the basics–safety through police and fire, and decent, well maintained streets.
        The good people of Chantilly Terrace were hammered by Katrina, but have had enough faith in the city to build back. They don’t deserve this risk to their property values, in my opinion.
        Gene Hoffman, Ward II Council, said that he is a real estate attorney, and he sees the rise and fall of real estate values all the time. Well, that is what I would call a cavalier attitude toward the issue. He is speaking from the perspective of a private sector professional. Has he forgotten that he now wears another hat—that of a public official who, at the very minimum, should avoid contributing to the fall of the value of his constituents property values. Please.
        The end result of last night’s meeting was that Council is going to author some Design Regulations in an effort to protect property owners who, after all, were there first. I understand these things are getting ready to pop up all over town.
        One resident who watched the meeting last night from home on Facebook, called me this morning to say their house is going up for sale, this is the last straw. They feel like the Bay will not come to grips with sound building regulations, and they want out of the city.
        Remember, gentlemen, your first responsibility is to the taxpayer, not an architect who won’t even bring the rendering of his final design ( what everyone will look at everyday in that neighborhood) to the meeting for all to see in advance.
        Wish at least one of the Council had asked Mr. Anderson if had plans for one of these cargo container dwellings for the 4th block of Main St. where he lives……..

  2. One big waste is having seven councilman with one or more always absent. The excuse should be public and part of the minutes. They should loose a paycheck if they miss. It’s stealing of tax money, if you don’t care or have time to serve then don’t take the check.

  3. Factsnotfiction,
    Raising Taxes and fees and then implementing give aways to needy and connected non profits never go good with the tax payer or his money. This had been cleaned up and then they are restarting it after raising taxes and fees, not much can be said in support of that.

    We give nonprofits tax free status to help with the things that they each feel are important. If they are unable to get enough support from the individual public and members it is not appropriate to go to their elected representatives to get it from those who do not support that particular non profit.

    Tax Payors support common needs and endeavors for
    Tax payors!

    Non Profits made a charter to fix social problems or issues on things they feel are important . Tax Payers let them (give them) a non profit status to raise money untaxed. Then if their ideas start foundering for lack of individual contributor support or member support they want taxed dollars to float their ideas. Then they give allcolades to the elected officials along with gifts and free tickets etc to thank them publicly and individually for giving away their constituents (tax Payer)money.

    To give a non Profit $10,000 they (elected officials)have to take tax diversions from over $800,000. In other words businesses have to generate and report $800,000 of direct sales to the tax commission and approximately $10,000 (.18%)comes back to Bay St Louis as our local tax diversion. You not only have to follow the money but you have to count it to! We already learned that from Filingame

    If they do not correct this the really needy organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and others will come back to the trough and with good reason to do so.

    Who are elected officials to pick and choose who gets tax payer money?

    Otherwise, a lot of good things are being done. I’m hearing they are cleaning up a few departments and Lots of
    Other positive things. They just need to keep public and private money separate!

    The Ship ain’t sinking yet but the tax payor needs to keep the shoring and emergency pumps ready at all times! Otherwise we will start bailing the bilge again.

    Let’s support them to do the right things!

    1. Wow.. who did they give $10k to? Didn’t see that one! This Councilgives ran R, acts conservative, raises taxes and fees then do what? Mr. Rod, sounds like Waveland. Talk it, walk it, nothing done…. oh $500 mo. for art Bldging? Who’s on first? Tks Ms Lana too!

  4. This is the most liberal city council we have had in years. Lets give all away, come back to the troff, Tish, habbatat, radio station, casa, battered people, oppresed people, boy scouts, brownies, hart association, cancer association all lives matter, animal freeks, everyone. Raise taxes then give it away, smart. The good thing is they are too stupid to stay out of trouble. Favors and perks gets politicians in trouble all the time. Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power to tax.

  5. City Council has large task ahead of them and little time to do it—
    Trent Favre, City Attorney, has accepted the appointment of Governor Bryant to the position of Judge for the newly created County Court System.
    Congratulations to Trent!!
    All the best to the Council in this search for a new City Attorney to be seated and in place for the January 2, 2018, Council meeting.

  6. Maybe it’s a reason to increase my taxes again, to pay a new attorney. Just received my taxes, went up $400.00 that sucks. And for what so some people can get a speed bump in front of their house. This is going to be a long term.

  7. Speed bumps can be argued but giving money away to nonprofits or anyone else should never be in the discussion.

    1. Over Taxed,
      You also have to have money to give away, which means you are meeting all of your obligations and pledges to the taxpayers who send that money to City Hall every month.
      That is what really counts. No give- aways until that criteria is met.

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