Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Serena and Bannon: Unite the Aggrieved

Posted on September 12, 2018

A Serena Williams tennis match in New York City brings out the aggrieved…those deeply sensitive, politically correct, and permanently pissed individuals ready, willing, and eager to get even for offenses real and imagined from time immemorial. They wait, expectantly, for a signal from Serena for something (anything) to happen that is not totally respectful of Serena’s womanhood, motherhood, and all around personhood so they can join with her to bring down their collective wrath on the disrespecting party…often a hapless male official who is doing his job but has had the bad luck of being on duty when Serena is in danger of losing a tennis match.

If Serena doesn’t win, somebody has to pay.

The braying mob was in full froth last Saturday Night. It wasn’t pretty. Serena lost in the Finals of the US Open and made a big stink. The “offending” umpire was strict but correct at every stage of the proceedings. Serena wasn’t having it. Shaking her finger at the umpire saying…”you will never work a match of mine for the rest of your life.” Implied message: “You are nothing; I am Women’s Sports; you do not exist.” The Sports Commentariat was cowed. The Serena Approved “position” required commentators to compliment Serena for showing “Class” in defeat. Most complied.

The question is: Are you going to believe Serena or your lying eyes?

Phew, got through that. Let’s relax and talk about Mr. Mellow, Steve Bannon. Bannon can’t catch a break. Unlike Serena, Bannon can’t bring the wrath of the aggrieved down on anybody. He has, however, united them in their contempt for him. Bannon has been run off the reservation of polite company by those who are blessed with “correct think.” Why? Because he exists. Reasons aren’t necessary. The man looks like an unmade bed…or as one of the less charitable commenters said, “like a plague ship.” Continue Reading………..

And now its time for a Pascagoula Financial Disaster Update……

Slabbed has been keeping one eye peeled on the machinations in Pascagoula, where property taxes are set to increase a whopping 34%, to make up for the financial mismanagement of the current administrations ($9 million of the $14 million dollar total deficit in 1 year) and the prior administration ($6 million of the $14 million dollar deficit over 4 years).

For those catching up, current Mayor Maxwell dropped the budgetary bombshell in late July and blamed a bookkeeper and the former Mayor for the $14 million dollar deficit. Slabbed was the first media outlet to call BS and for good reason as the math didn’t add up the way Mayor Maxwell claimed. Soon the forensic audit report was made public and the more traditional media outlets caught on quickly. Here is the evolution of Tyler Carter’s coverage for the Mississippi Press:

Budget numbers show overspending may be to blame for Pascagoula deficit

Reports show current Pascagoula city leaders have overspent by $9 million

Now for the more recent stories, which are very good, the first containing a nice summary of the events that got the City to a very bad spot:

Pascagoula was nearly broke in 2015, according to forensic audit

It was pretty clear to me that the first set of budget cuts Maxwell announced was little more than window dressing on the administration’s part. Buried in the pre-labor day holiday “bad news Friday” news cycle was this informational nugget: Continue reading “And now its time for a Pascagoula Financial Disaster Update……”

Why Hancock County Can’t Afford Nice Things Part 2: Back Room Deals, Lack of Sunshine

Reader Submitted Photo of Front Gate of the Bay Waveland Yacht Club
Reader Submitted Photo of Front Gate of the Bay Waveland Yacht Club

It is safe to say the Yacht Club’s tax exemption has reverberated around the county a time or two so now it’s time we put everything together and illustrate both how the process under which tax exemption was given is fatally flawed, lacking any semblance of transparency and what the elected officials can do to fix it.

There has been lots of information posted already and then Geoff Belcher’s article for the Sea Coast Echo proved as an invaluable resource because the players behind the events made on the record comments. First things is to emphasize the update to the first post because we did get a fact wrong and the correct facts need to be emphasized:

Slabbed has been contacted by the Department of Revenue in response to communications from Jimmie Ladner’s office. Jeff Foreman of MDOR indicated this this type of tax exemption does not require MDOR approval:

As I understand from ……. below, the Bay Waveland Yacht Club is claiming exemption as a “perpetual or fraternal and benevolent organization”. As you have already established in this thread, such an exemption is clearly authorized under Miss. Code Ann. Section 27-31-1(d). Under current Mississippi law, case law and guidance from the Mississippi Attorney General, the duty to determine eligibility for such an exemption lies solely with the county. The Department of Revenue plays no role in the approval of such exemptions and, as such, there is no requirement for any information regarding such exemptions to be filed with the Department.

The takeaway from Mr. Foreman’s very important clarification needs highlighting because it drives the inescapable logic that follows:

Under current Mississippi law, case law and guidance from the Mississippi Attorney General, the duty to determine eligibility for such an exemption lies solely with the county.

Mr. Foreman’s word are precise and he didn’t say the duty to determine eligibility for such an exemption lies solely with the tax assessor/collector, rather he was referencing the County Board of Supervisors and the Tax Collector. Lana Noonan of the Hancock County Alliance for Good Government asked the follow-up question to confirm with Mr. Foreman his very precise remarks. This is what he said: Continue reading “Why Hancock County Can’t Afford Nice Things Part 2: Back Room Deals, Lack of Sunshine”

For those that have been wondering about Ashton…..

AROD is a budding radio personality now appearing several times with WGSO NOLA Jeff Crouere. The transcript of Ashton’s August 29, 2017 interview is here courtesy of the Bernofskys at TulaneLink. His last interview with Courere on Tuesday is here beginning at 3:05:00 or there abouts.

“It’s deja vu all over again”

Photo Courtesy of David Wells
Photo Courtesy of David Wells

A quick PACER sweep indicates there are two active civil suits against the City (Marquar and Issman) with three suits resolved within the past year or so. The docket at the local Circuit Clerk’s office would have the rest of the active cases involving the City.

Just a thought, but it seems like just yesterday the Bay City Council took some very bad legal advice and got in trouble with Ethics. When the opinion came out the lawyer that gave the bad advice got none of the blame as 100% of that went to the elected officials. Deservedly so I might add.

As the coming weeks unfold I’m probably going to be bringing that concept back up.

Other Voices | Rod Ward: Paying Property taxes is a Civic Duty

In response to the headlines in last Friday’s paper, it is everyone’s Civic Duty to pay Ad Valorem/Property Taxes. There are certain exceptions and that is the elderly, the incapacitated, churches, CASA, Hope Haven etc… What we have now is a system of Rewards for those organizations that claim all this Civic Goodwill and yet they are not wanting to pay their Basic Civic Obligation on property taxes. There are plenty of them not to just pick on a few. They need to get Awards not Rewards. Awards are Recognition and Rewards are financial Gifts.

Property Taxes pay for all the things we need as a civilized society. Public Safety to include Fire and Police Protection, Ambulance Services, 911 Services, Roads, Drainage, City and County Employees deserve a livable salary, Public Works, Schools, Street Lights, Parks, Walking Paths, Crime Prevention, Grass Maintenance, Jails, Public Buildings, Public Litter Control and other amenities just to name some of the obvious things as there are many others.

Non Profits are coming here faster than Businesses. There a few organizations that say they promote businesses but they are bringing Non Profits in faster than businesses. The County and City Taxing Authorities can’t keep up with these type of back door leakages with Tax increases.

The next time you see a tax increase don’t say what am I getting for it say where did it all go and to who? Question organizations you feel should not be exempt from the Basic Civic Obligation. That is also another basic Civic Obligation to be Involved.

Rod Ward