Did Everyone Catch the Opening of the Aquarium Construction Bids?

Here is the skinny from Anita Lee:

The low bidder was Roy Anderson Corp. of Gulfport with a bid of $52.1 million, followed by Thrash Commercial Contractors of Brandon at $57 million and Wharton-Smith Inc. at $59.7 million.

The low bid came in almost at the budgeted price for the main aquarium structures, which is $52 million.

Sweet serendipity folks. I wonder what made up the 8.77% RA left on the table?

Now a damn good question from a reader. To set up the line of thinking we have another recent news story from the City of Waveland, which is still trying to rid itself of the albatross that is the “free” business incubator that was built with government money after the Hurricane. You see folks when it comes to maintaining “free” assets like a commercial building, there is no such thing as free.

Along those lines there is the “free” BP money and the new Mississippi Aquarium. Already millions have been spent on site prep with another $54 million on tap for construction of the structures. If we learned anything from Boss Hogg’s adventures in building rural water systems in northern Harrison County after Hurricane Katrina, the bricks and mortar are never the problem in Mississippi, its the pie in the sky economic projections that fail to materialize after that are the problem.

A good follow up question is who gets stuck with the bill if the new aquarium fails to attract enough paid attendance?

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

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Back to Basics

Posted on November 15, 2017

When things get crazy slow everything down and go back to basics. The great truths have not been repealed….ignored, yes…but not repealed. Consider:

NATURE (AND POLITICS) ABHORS A VACUUM (PARMENDIES, PHILOSPHER, GREECE, 485 BC)

The Office of President of the United States is essentially vacant. The occupant is happy to spend his days at parades and lavish ceremonial occasions. He has learned how to execute a handshake. Actual leaders like Merkel in Germany, Putin in Russia, and Xi Jinping in China allow him to mug and act like a boor. They smile in a tolerant sort of way. Then, they go about the business of filling the vacuum. Others have plans for “properly directing” an easily manipulated Empty Suit in the Oval Office. Sheldon Adelson has plans for the Suit. He didn’t kick in $35 Million to the Suit’s Campaign for good government. For that kind of money one ought to be able to vaporize a Country (like Iran) for Pete’s sake.

PRIDE GOETH BEFORE THE FALL (PROVERBS 16:18)

The Suit is all about appearances. Did the other leaders really look happy to see him? Are they “strong” leaders? The Suit likes leaders who kill their dissidents and opponents. People like Duterte in the Philippines and Putin in Russia are his kind of guys. He likes to huddle and “joke” with these guys and mug for the cameras giving the implied message “we’re special people, we’re killers. We know how to get our way, we never apologize, get out of our way we’re going to another parade in our honor.”

PATRIOTISM IS THE LAST REFUGE OF SCOUNDREL (SAMUEL JOHNSON)

Politicians love to wrap themselves in the flag. Nixon was a master. He represented the “silent majority”. The people who opposed him were not, in Nixon’s view, “real Americans”. To emphasize the point, he became the first President to wear an American flag lapel pin. Now, its standard attire for conservative politicians and FOX TV hosts. The threat from an “outside enemy” is fertile ground for a politician with sagging poll numbers to mine. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has done that for a long time. Continue Reading……..

Can anyone explain to me why….

GOP voters are so attracted to bible thumping hypocrites, perverts and self admitted pussy grabbers?

Folks, it seems like once the perv politician starts thumping on the bible, otherwise sensible, rational people take complete leave of their senses. In my opinion, the framers of the constitution were very wise to include the First amendment and its accompanying 6 freedoms in the Constitution, including freedom from state sponsored religion, not that 45% of Americans can even name that freedom let alone the other five.

Maybe one day people will learn to run like hell when a politician starts playing preacher man but probably not in my lifetime.

Ward 4 Councilman’s Interference in Ward 2 dispute between shop owners the talk of the town

Larry_Smith_Head
Ward 4 Councilman Larry Smith

He who rules his tongue is greater than he who rules the City ~ A Modern take on Proverbs 16:32

Early in October tongues were wagging in Old Town after Ward 4 Councilman Larry Smith intervened in a dispute between shop owners with Smith playing the Administrative role of code enforcement using the Bay St Louis police to harass a business owner on the first weekend of cruising the coast. This underlying dispute has been simmering between Kathleen Johnson and Yuki Northington for a while. Honestly folks I normally tune these kind of squabbles out, but when a City Councilman from a different Ward jumps in it certainly became Slabbed worthy, especially after Smith passed threats against Johnson recently on Facebook.

To set things up we go back to the weekend that Cruising the Coast 2017 began on September 29, 2017, when the merchants in Old Town began setting up for the influx of classic cars and people that would pack over the place the next week. This is what happened per Kathleen Johnson (Edited slightly for typos and clarity):

1. [Police] Report was originally filed Friday night for illegal canopies when we had a reception for two artists. Two canopies.

2. We had prior put in a Special Event application for that event. There was a followup phone call from Mary at City Hall and then a request for an office visit on the application from Charlene Black. Charlene expressed that she did not see any issue with the reception. She was concerned that a piece of art would be sold from under canopy. I told her that was the entire idea of business – to sell.

3. We were never advised if the permit was approved or not approved. Absolutely zero response by 5pm Friday. Reception was at six. We went ahead with our plans as there were other events in town using canopies.

4. Saturday Councilman Larry Smith called police from Sycamore House. Then he proceeded to stand on sidewalk and direct the officers for the next two hours through three visits. Finally officers came over requesting we take down the four canopies (three had art and one being used for shade for customers). Two on one property. Two on another. We refused telling them that we had done due diligence attending [townhall] meeting on 19th with Mayor, Chief of Police, Ordinance Officer, and (Ward 2 Councilman) Gene Hoffman followed up with private meeting with Hoffman, Mayor, and office visit with Charlene Black. Also a letter sent to Mayor and Chief of Police.

5. Meantime [another shop owner] called the landlord telling him police had been at our store all day because we did not have permits and that the City was going to start fining landlords for having canopies on their property. This shop owner was at public meeting on 19th and was well aware of the fact none of that was true.

6. The Owner’s response was to immediately call month to month lease holder and tell him I was to be removed from property by close of business Tuesday or he would cancel lease on 1st. Owner instructed the lessee to tell me I was banned from all of his properties on Main for not doing due diligence to have a canopy permit. He has also mandated that there will be no outside sales at any of his properties on Main – permit or not.

7. Gene Hoffman is “sorry that happened” and Gary Knoblock states they will “talk about it” at Tuesdays meeting. Gary also said it was clearly understood by all at City Hall that everyone was going to be able to use canopies for Cruising the Coast.

Kathleen’s bullet point seven is the one that is the most problematic because everyone did have canopies up that weekend. Lana Noonan of the Hancock Alliance for Good Government tells Slabbed that she counted at least 30 canopies that weekend on the first two blocks of Main street yet no other business was singled out for “special” code enforcement and as a result of the Ward 4 Councilman’s actions and apparently one of Ms. Johnson’s competitors, her business was destroyed. Continue reading “Ward 4 Councilman’s Interference in Ward 2 dispute between shop owners the talk of the town”