It would help if Mayor Dane would whip the other City Council persons in line so they could keep a consistent story:
This comes after Mayor Maxwell revealed last week the city is facing a $14 million budget deficit, and that the city and state are reviewing spending from 2012-2017. The city has already turned over financial records to the State Auditor.
“The misconception out there in the social media world is that we should have known this coming in,” the mayor said.
Maxwell took office in July. The budget had to be adopted by October. He said the city passed a budget based on the current numbers.
Bless their hearts this is what Councilman Scott Tipton told Karen Nelson:
It was a common practice in years past to move money from the utility fund into the general fund to balance the budget, Councilman Scott Tipton said Wednesday.
The only reason it wasn’t done in the last two years is that, “there was no money left in there to do it,” Tipton said.
So who are we to believe, Mayor Dane who claims not to have a clue but who had the September 30, 2016 audit which showed the general fund was broke waiting for him when he assumed office in July, 2017. Mayor Dane actually submitted the audit which showed the general fund was broke to the Office of the State Auditor in October, 2017. Or should we believe the City Councilman that just admitted raiding the Utility fund for years until it ran out of money. The financial mismanagement here crosses into the realm of malfeasance IMHO folks because Mayor Dane and Councilman Tipton were clearly mining money from the lemonade spring area of Big Rock Candy mountain.
Now, in an attempt to cover his own ass, Mayor Dane would seek to blame the secretaries and bookkeepers and yes folks, he called in the FBI on them to create more smoke. Such a strategy has risks though people because it is normally the State Auditor’s Office that terrorizes low level employees while letting the politically connected skate and new State Auditor Shad White may not like the competition from the FBI. Then again the FBI people probably went back to their office laughing and giggling at the self serving political hacks running things in Pascagoula.
Now a few observations since the Coast media is fully engaged here:
Yesterday at 6 the WLOX Anchor termed the problem in Pascagoula a “budget miscalculation”. We giggled like school girls hearing that. Luckily the Coast has Slabbed and we can explain things so that even an 8 year old can understand:
A second grade kid has $1 in his wallet to buy candy and also has saved $2 saved in a piggybank. The child sees a commercial advertising a big bucket of candy for $20. While his dad is sleeping, he takes Daddy’s credit card and skillfully orders the $20 bucket of candy. After Dad sees the credit card bill, how much money does the child still owe his Pops for the $20 purchase after Dad confiscates the child’s $3?
If you answered $17 you are correct. If you couldn’t figure it out you were probably watching WLOX last night.
Mayor Dane keeps throwing around the term “forensic audit” like it is somehow meaningful. Has anyone in the media taken the time to wonder if there is actually such a thing a forensic audit in professional standards? A good follow up would be is there a major implication for the City if, at this late date it hasn’t had it’s annual “Single Audit“, which was due to the Single Audit Clearinghouse on June 30, 2018?
Perhaps Mayor Dane is using the term “forensic audit” to deflect from his own culpability here by spreading blame as far back as he can and claiming he was somehow misled.
The fallacy in logic here can be illustrated courtesy of the Dominican nuns. If Pascagoula’s previous Mayors and City Councils had gone to the Great Southern Club and jumped out of the window would Mayor Dane have done the same or would he have used his brain to figure out that self preservation would be the wiser course? In my mind the current administration bears the most blame because they tried to hide the sorry state of the City’s finances for months. After all wasn’t it just this past December when Mayor Dane made such a big deal of meeting his hero Donald Trump up in Jackson?
Pascagoula Mayor Dane Maxwell says there’s some big things in store for the city, following his meeting with President Donald Trump.
The encounter took place while the commander-in-chief visited the state for the the grand opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights and History Museums.
“I had good conversation with them on the tarmac when they got off air force one, I road in the motorcade with them,” Maxwell said.
He says he was able to catch up with Trump.
“I told him about our infrastructure issues and I told him about the damage we received from the hydrostatic pressure from the surge from Hurricane Nate,” Maxwell said.
Maxwell was also able to secure some time with Secretary Dr. Ben Carson. of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Great conversation, invited for me to come to his office come look at let me sit down and look at what we’ve put together our consultants as far as infrastructure repairs and and the capital projects report so we’re gonna do that after the first of the year,” he said.
As we reported, Maxwell is asking for $1.1 billion dollars to renovate and repair the city infrastructure. The money would support major projects like the relocation of the waste water treatment plant, the a new city hall complex and a complete re-haul of the city’s water lines and pipes. He says he is feeling optimistic after this weekends talks.
“Will we get 1.1 billion, 2.2 billion? I don’t know, maybe not on the first one, probably not on the first supplement. What if we get 10 percent of the 1.1 billion? I mean it’s better than what we have now, and anything that they give us I’m going to be appreciative of,” Maxwell said.
Mayor Dane seemed like he had a handle on the City’s finances last December. Makes one wonder if he fell and hit his head sometime after because now he is supposedly ignorant of the fact the City was broke. Maybe he is just another classic Jackson County lying, sack of shit politician?
Finally, in all the yammering in the media, one would hardly know that Pascagoula has a Council-City Manager form of Government. In fact after Mayor Dane was elected the City would even hire an assiatant City Manager:
The city has hired former City Councilman Frank Corder in the position of assistant city manager, something that’s new for the city. Pascagoula hasn’t had one of those since the early 2000s.
The position for hire appeared on the agenda for the City Council’s first meeting last week, but they took it off, observers said, and announced a July 11 work session.
But by the end of the week, Corder was at work at City Hall.
He didn’t need a vote of the council. He was hired at the will of the new interim City Manager Mike Mangum, former Jackson County supervisor, whom the City Council hired for the next six months.
Mangum said filling the assistant city manager position “is a necessity at this junction, given the vision of the new administration and the volume of work facing the city.”
Corder starts at a salary of $89,900. Mangum’s is $134,000.
Newly elected councilman Stephen Burrow said he has gotten calls and comments about the hire, and as a councilman he agrees with Mangum’s choice of Corder.
Burrow said Corder will be more than a spokesman for the city. He said he has acquired contacts with state and federal officials that will be of value and he appreciated Corder helping lead the transition team for six new council members.
In other words they hired a political operative to gain access to his contacts. I haven’t seen much of Frank in his spokesman’s role here lately but I’m sure he’s working every free money tree he knows, especially since Mayor Dane evidently struck out getting billions for the City from the Trump Administration. I’m not sure either is much of a bargain for the taxpayers in Pascagoula, who will certainly be stuck with the tab. At least Frank brings some business experience. Maybe he can educate Mayor Dane what happens after you borrow, borrow, borrow and then spend the money like a drunken sailor because the concept is not very hard.
Finally if you are a current or former City Employee and you feel like Mayor Dane is going to throw you under the bus to save his own ass, don’t get mad, get Slabbed and drop me a line. We can’t change the players but we can do our best to make sure the process is conducted above board and if it isn’t expose it like we did with DMR and the Singing River Pension meltdown.