A few thoughts about last night’s candidate forum

After catching myself up on last year’s Bay St Louis election forum I was reminded of the differences between the two communities in terms of the political environment. Waveland’s political scene is far more laid back with the various aldermen candidates agreeing with each other more than a few times. Even better from my standpoint on the panel was that every candidate that appeared for the forum last night was prepared and knowledgeable of the issues in the community, something that was not true last year in the Bay.

Geoff Belcher of the Sea Coast Echo and WLOX’s Doug Walker rounded out the panel and again we didn’t toss out any softies. Doug kicked off the Mayoral portion asking about the heart of Waveland being left out of the newly created opportunity zones. To the extent Waveland is still redeveloping from Hurricane Katrina I focused questions to both the Mayors and Aldermen about their visions for development on the Highway 90 corridor, including a tie vote Mayor Smith broke allowing live oaks to be cut. There was no such thing as a right or wrong answer to these questions. My goal, as it was last year, was to get the candidates to differentiate themselves on the issues and I think the panel accomplished that.

Here are the candidates that attended last night:

Ward 1 Alderman: Henry Tebbe (R), Jeremy Burke (I)
Ward 2 Alderman: Laronne Lewis (D)
Ward 3 Alderman: Shane Lafontaine (D)
Ward 4 Alderman: Charles Piazza (I), Sara Cure Clark (I)
Mayor: Mike Smith (D), Tommy Longo (I), Jay Trapani (I)

No Shows:
Ward 1 Candidate Jay Fountain, Ward 2 Alderman Bobby Richardson, Ward 3 Candidate Don Siebenkittel, Ward 4 Candidate Brice Phillips, Ward 4 Candidate Mark Kidd Continue reading “A few thoughts about last night’s candidate forum”

Waveland City Elections Political Forum Set

Lana Noonan sent in the following:

The Hancock County Alliance for Good Government is sponsoring a Political Forum for the upcoming Waveland Municipal Elections on Wednesday, October 24, at 6:00pm at the Waveland City Hall Board Meeting Room on Coleman Avenue.

The moderator for this year’s forum will be Joe Gex, and a panel of local journalists will question the candidates on the issues Waveland has faced in the last four years, and plans for the City going forward.

The media outlets participating in the Forum will be the Sea Coast Echo, WLOX Television, and Slabbed New Media.

Candidates may bring campaign materials for distribution, and those wishing to participate should call Lana Noonan at (228) 493-4358

Imagine in November you had a choice……

Between a candidate funded by corporate and out of state special interests including “dark money” and one funded by a large number of individual contributions? Assuming the candidates have no political affiliations, which candidate would you vote for? I’ve asked this question to several people over the past few weeks and now I’d like to see what you guys think.

Why Hancock County Can’t Afford Nice Things Part 3: Sups Refuse to Hold Tax Collector Accountable

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

Paul Hampton’s take on the Yacht Club tax exemptions is worth reading because it tells the story of two tax collectors, Tal Flurry and Jimmie Ladner. For lack of a better term the wordsmithing was artful but it is also clear Flurry reads past the comma in the tax exemption statute:

Pass Christian, he said, is chartered as a for-profit business. Biloxi’s clubhouse is exempt but its marina, where it has slips for rent is on the tax rolls.

Lana Noonan suggested in comments that Ladner get a seeing eye dog pronto because he is fooling no one following this story:

The Biloxi Yacht Club officials get it. They pay taxes on their Marina because, as he said, “we receive revenue on the Marina slip rentals.” I like Jimmie personally, but does he need a seeing eye dog? Read past the comma on that statute. In fact, Jimmie said to the Sun Herald, “do we want public officials who interpret the law anyway they want?” No, Jimmie, but that is what we have right now. Allowing the poor to subsidize your fun is about as low as it gets.

For the taxpayers in Hancock County this is a simple matter of fairness. Continue reading “Why Hancock County Can’t Afford Nice Things Part 3: Sups Refuse to Hold Tax Collector Accountable”

More low level Denardo era rot at Bay PD bubbling up

As Rachael Ramsey remarked on twitter, the Lede was buried:

Developer aims to build boutique hotel on Bay beachfront ~ Stacey Cato

Smith gave each council member an information package which included details of a lawsuit where suspected drug money had been seized from an individual during an arrest, but a judge had ordered it must be paid back.

“Is this part of the FBI (police) investigation fund?” Mayor Mike Favre asked Smith.

“It is, which is why I don’t want to go into details on this now,” Smith said. “We can go into an executive session if you need a few to discuss the backstory.”

Why was this discussed in executive session? We have a final court order dating to March and I’d bet big money little new ground was broken in executive session that already wasn’t broke by the media well over a year ago.

Several police officers have either resigned or been terminated this week over a pending federal investigation of a “secret” discretionary checking account, City Councilman-at-large Mike Favre said.

Continue reading “More low level Denardo era rot at Bay PD bubbling up”

Its like a ‘high class’ version of the Springer Show…..

Reader submitted photo from Bill Walker's 2014 Sentencing Hearing in Hattiesburg
Reader submitted photo from Bill Walker’s 2014 Sentencing Hearing in Hattiesburg

I think by now everyone has heard that former DMR Executive Director Bill Walker is back in the pokey, after failing to make his court ordered restitution. Going back through Slabbed’s extensive archives on the Mississippi DMR friends and family scandal takes us all the way back to 2012 which is amazing. Time sure does fly! That said it was late last year when the public found out first hand exactly the type of boss Walker was during his days running DMR because this was no ordinary white collar crime scandal by any stretch of the imagination. Those interested in learning more can follow this tag for Slabbed’s archival coverage of the criminal investigation.

In any event the Sun Herald was there covering yesterday’s Court hearing where Bill Walker again ended up in shackles and it is a good read.

Some of the monthly expenses Bill Walker claims, according to the government:

▪ $3,322 for a mortgage

▪ $1,938 in car notes for a Mercedes Benz, a Yukon and a Land Rover that Scott Walker drives

So there you it have folks, Bill and wife have a $16,000 a month income and yet can’t afford to make his restitution payments. Even better we gotta now wonder who is lying, Bill to the government or Scott to the media? Continue reading “Its like a ‘high class’ version of the Springer Show…..”