Comment bump: Walkers continue to rent out East Beach Residence despite C&D

So reports Tommy Gordon:

I had a close encounter with an East Beach resident yesterday who told me that Scott and Trinity Walker do not care if the city approves their B&B request. They are currently renting the place out to all kinds of folks with different strokes and continue to take reservations.The will not cease and desist.This has me wondering why Mayor Moran make such a big deal about a fake KKK flyer produced by teenagers? She calls a news conference and claims this is terrorizing LGBT residents. At the meeting of the Mississippi Rising Coalition she told all that the city of Ocean Springs will not tolerate this type of activity. Why does the good mayor and other city officials not do something about the Walkers terrorizing their neighbors.Call a news conference and demand that this type of inconsiderate behavior displayed by this โ€œlocal businessmanโ€ be stopped immediately. Maybe a flyer about the Walkers illegal activities could be produced. I think if someone placed in the flyer in a Ziploc bag, then placed in the driveway of Doug Myatt for he and his fiance Brandon Hall to read, just might get city hall in gear. They could even get the Mississippi Rising Coalition involved. Just some Sunday morning thoughts about some real issues that deserve immediate attention

Time to Call It: The Dysfunctional City of Bay St Louis, a Municipality Apart….

I could write a treatise in real life failed local government from closely observing the workings of the Bay St Louis City government over the past three years but I’m not. I am ready to call it like I see it and can do so in a fairly short post. The overarching principle here is municipal government is dysfunctional because that is exactly the way the Mayor and City Council want it. And yes last night again saw a City Council divided on what I see as a fundamental issue: Council access to the legal services the cost of which is born by the City’s taxpayers. The vote was for more of the status quo.

To blame the financial catastrophe that has befallen the City solely on Mayor Fillingame would be misplaced. Over the past three years I’ve attended meetings where the assembled crowd knew more about operating within the four corners of the state statutes than those charged with governing. A cynical man would automatically think such public displays of ignorance from elected officials could only mean a hidden, self interest based agenda had to be present. The bottom line is don’t hold your breath waiting over the next year for things to improve as the administration is certain to ignore the directives of the City Council that it doesn’t like and the Council lacks the collective political will to force the administration to play nice, for lack of a better term. Even worse, with its current Ad Valorem levy about 33% low compared to its sister Cities here on the coast the problems can only continue. On the other hand given the fiscal mismanagement that’s occurred over the past seven years there is no way I could ever justify recommending giving the current Mayor and this City Council any more tax money to squander. Its a classic catch 22.

By my rough count there are about 11 months before the City’s voters go to the polls and it will take more than a simple house cleaning to cure the structural problems with a municipal government that does not levy enough general fund taxes to fund the delivery of basic city services across the entirety of the City. Politically, the council districts have been pitted against each other competing for the delivery of basic city services. The divide between Ward 6 residents, who are now relying on the County’s good graces to maintain the public rights of way there and Ward 2 residents that sometimes exhibit the attitude the City limits do not extend past the intersection of Washington St and US 90 was on display as recently as this past Tuesday’s regular meeting. Continue reading “Time to Call It: The Dysfunctional City of Bay St Louis, a Municipality Apart….”

Special Meeting of the Bay City Council set for Thursday

In order to succeed in reducing or eliminating such audit findings and improve the financial position of the City, over the
next year, the Council, the Mayor, and the administration will need to make some very hard decisions that may not always
be popular. In addition, the City will need to find ways to sustain the changes and cuts that it makes in order for these
solutions to be long-term. ~ Bay St Louis Performance Audit Report issued by the Office of the State Auditor

Those of you following Slabbed’s Twitter timeline got a taste of last night’s City Council meeting. Stacey Cato at the Seacoast Echo filled in many of the later gaps.

As the City winds down the 3rd Quarter of its fiscal year the above verbiage I quoted from the Performance Review of the City came to mind. OSA used a very specific term, “Deficit” to describe the City’s financial situation and in Mississippi there is no statutory authority to park accumulated deficits into bank debt. The only options are to raise more revenue or cut spending. There is not much that can be done from a revenue raising standpoint at the end of a municipality’s third quarter leaving one other option to get a budget into balance.

As for the MIA City Attorney, we found him: Continue reading “Special Meeting of the Bay City Council set for Thursday”

State Auditor releases City of Bay St Louis Performance Review, a Slabbed Musical Rendition

Folks I really don’t know where to start except to report the State Auditor has released the Bay St Louis Performance Review, a 42 page document which drills down on the root causes of each and every major finding contained in the City’s 2014 audit report that included the Mayor Les Fillingame committing the Citizens to bank debt without City Council’s approval, among many other major internal control issues including a general failure to follow the financial portions of the Mississippi Home Rule Statute.

That the City is cash strapped with major budgetary issues is a given for anyone that has followed the coverage of the financial meltdown here on Slabbed. Even more disturbing is Mayor Fillingame’s steadfast refusal to hire a competent City Clerk while the clock runs on the deadline for the City to submit its 2015 FY Audit to the Single Audit Clearinghouse as required by law. It is a certainty the June 30, 2016 deadline will again be missed by the City marking the third straight year the City has been seriously delinquent closing its books.

More disturbing is that sources with knowledge of the operations of City Hall that are not authorized to speak with the media have disclosed to Slabbed that the City’s new audit firm has experienced their first “run in” with Mayor Fillingame, who is attempting to limit the scope of the audit procedures being applied in certain audit areas. [See paragraph .11]

With that set up and given that Slabbed, along with the Seacoast Echo, The Sun Herald and WLOX all covered the Performance Audit Presentation a few months back I figured the best way to present the report would be to present the Mayor’s belated response to the detailed analysis of the audit findings, which he submitted three weeks late, in a musical format so without further adieu: Continue reading “State Auditor releases City of Bay St Louis Performance Review, a Slabbed Musical Rendition”

Profiles in courage: Ocean Springs Planning Commission Tables Walker B&B Use Permit

Folks if a B&B in Ocean Springs requires only a Use permit instead of a Conditional Use permit Walker family attorney Billy Guice is right. Wes Muller’s story quotes Billy Guice as saying “Use Permit” and if that is the case the people over on East Beach that will be impacted may well be screwed.

If all that is true the problem is not the Walkers, rather it is the City Ordinance. File this one under there goes the neighborhood.

Mississippi DMR and Oyster Council: ๐ŸŽถ M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E ๐ŸŽถ

There was a public hearing on the much promoted DMR Oyster Aquaculture Program in Pass Christian last night and although I did not attend Slabbed had someone in the audience taking notes that estimated attendance at around 100 people with 25 people addressing the assemblage of Commissioners and DMR employees. Not a single person spoke out in favor of the plan to allow an oyster farm in the Bay of St Louis between the CSX and US 90 bridges. Terese Collins and Chris Lagarde get singled out for the overall quality of their comments in opposition to the plan, which is the product of the DMR Oyster Council’s work.

But before I go any further we need to stop and point something out that was missing from the DMR public relations rollout of the plan that we saw in the local media a month or so ago and that would be section 49-15-315 of the Mississippi Code:

(1) It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to engage in commercial harvesting of crabs, oysters, shrimp, bait shrimp or saltwater fish in the marine waters north of the CSX bridge in the three (3) coastal counties, except for the following:

(a) A person may take any euryhaline species of minnow; and

(b) A licensed commercial oyster fisherman may harvest oysters from reefs approved by the commission.

(2) The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory shall study all estuaries and bays deemed to be nurseries. The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory may recommend the establishment of nursery grounds in the estuaries and bays if necessary to protect the state’s fishing resources.

(3) The department shall set the limits on all catches for noncommercial use.

It appears the DMR Oyster Aquaculture plan was conceived and sites were chosen without first checking the laws already on the books. Continue reading “Mississippi DMR and Oyster Council: ๐ŸŽถ M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E ๐ŸŽถ”

Slabbed explores the implications of the Stanford Sexual Assault Case: Prologue

Those that follow Slabbed on twitter have been teased enough on this topic. I can safely say after looking at the engagement stats nobody has figured out exactly where we are going with this series of posts but I’ll observe that few topics that I’ve researched has lead to so many different rabbit trails with each being worthy paths of exploration. That said I’m convinced there are two bad guys in the Stanford Sexual Assault case. It is also clear the national media is peddling copious amounts of bullshit in the aftermath of the very lenient sentence given to Brock Turner where emotional, knee jerk reactions have become the norm. Sadly some media outlets have stooped to the depths of yellow journalism. One such example involves going after Turner’s family for supporting him which I personally found particularly vile, exceeded only by Turner’s actions that precipitated this whole saga.

If there is any blame to be shared for what follows I’ll share it with New Orleans criminal defense attorney Craig Mordock, whose tweets convinced me there was more to the story than meets the eye. A second hat tip goes to Opinionated Catholic who jumped in on a twitter conversation among a gaggle of criminal defense types that provided me with the proverbial smoking Gun. The bottom line here is if you are the parent of a college age or soon to be college age son, the information Slabbed will be presenting is useful, indeed its vital. On a personal note, researching the issues exposed by the aftermath of Brock Turner’s sentence has included engaging my own soon to be starting in college son on the concepts not only involving showing women the respect they deserve (which we’ve done from an early age) but also the importance of being very choosy as to the type of girl he should date.

Now let’s identify the two bad guys.

First up is Brock Turner, who thought it was a good idea to fondle a dead drunk, unconscious female student. I personally agree with those that contend he should have gotten more than the six months Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky gave him for the sexual assault. That said I do not believe Judge Persky should be recalled and think the entire campaign to have him removed is both misguided and dangerous.

Next is Stanford Law Professor Michele Landis Dauber, who is using the Stanford Sexual Assault case to advance a broader, personal agenda. She is being presented uncritically by the media to the horror of many others in the legal profession, such horror being well founded based on what we’ve found. I thought the speculation that Dauber ghost wrote the victim’s 12 page letter the media and others gushed over for the better part of last week particularly disturbing because of the implications that what we are being treated to is not so much news as much as a sophisticated public relations push to further changes of Title IX sought by Dauber and other “dominance” feminists. You see folks in the entirety of this saga the system appears to have worked well yet Dauber is calling on Stanford to apologize to the victim and this despite the fact our Jane Doe openly violated Stanford’s Alcohol policy by drinking herself into an unconscious stupor. At least Miss Doe was of legal drinking age because Turner wasn’t. Young minds that are not completely biologically developed and alcohol are a dangerous combination. Continue reading “Slabbed explores the implications of the Stanford Sexual Assault Case: Prologue”

Other Voices | Wednesdays Wars: Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner: A Love Story

My favorite Muhammad Ali story was told by Chuck Wepner a, journeyman heavy weight boxer from Bayonne, New Jersey who fought and lost to Ali over 40 years ago.

Wepner, who is of German and Ukrainian descent, was nicknamed the Bayonne Bleeder for his tendency to cut easily and bleed profusely throughout his 14 year, 51 fight boxing career. He may have been a bleeder, but he was also a big, tough brawler who had beaten some of the best of his era.

Wepner’s career was handicapped because he was not able to devote his full time and attention to the business of boxing. He held full-time jobs to support himself and his family and trained early in the morning and after work.

In early 1975, a promoter was found who was willing to put up the money for a fight between Wepner and then Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali. The deal contained a $100,000 guarantee for Wepner and $1.5 million for the Champ. Ali agreed and the fight took place March 24, 1975 in the Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio where, at that time, the NBA Franchise Cleveland Cavaliers played.

Wepner trained diligently for the fight. He spent seven weeks in the Catskill Mountains. When he broke camp, he was in the best shape of his life. He was ready and confident. He was sure he was about to become the next Heavyweight Champion of the World.

On the day of the fight he went out and bought his wife a new nightgown and told her, “Wear this tonight because you’re going to be sleeping with the Heavyweight Champion of the World.” Continue Reading……..