Unfinished Business: “Elephants never forget”

Slabbed is the current beneficiary of some good old fashioned elbow grease that is being applied to certain issues from the past. Those various tidbits from the past should make for a fun election season.

One fact that has been established with the help of Lana Noonan of the Hancock County Alliance for Good Government is the Administration was capable of running legal advertisements as she found an instance where the Water and Sewer Refunding Bonds were advertised by then City Clerk David Kolf back in 2014. Tuesday night Mayor Fillingame took the microphone to dispute the State Auditor’s Office Performance Review which first documented his refusal to discharge the duties of his office while instead blaming the City Council clerk for his Administration’s ineptitude in failing to publish the Zoning Ordnance as required by state law. Such a performance by Hizzoner can only mean the silly season is on in a big way.

So to set up tomorrow’s post what we need to do is circle back in time to the release of the FY 2014 audit with its multitude of major internal control and compliance findings. I put that link in the preceding sentence out on Twitter early this week and it garnered a good reader response. Those that remember those particular times in 2015 understand that part of Hizzoner defending his administration against terrible audit results included him saying the audit findings were bogus including one that involved the City’s property insurance lapsing during Hurricane Season. Slabbed was Johnny on the Spot to debunk the dishonorable Hizzoner’s media talking points and the rest is history…..well not quite as it turned out and that is fodder for the next post. Stay tuned.

Come out and meet Wendy while the meetin’s good…

In fact according to my calculations the event began 38 minutes ago. Cuz’s has great seafood for those of you not from South Mississippi who read Slabbed that haven’t yet been to the new location at Main and Beach Blvd.

Ad Pic Courtesy of a reader
Ad Pic Courtesy of a reader

Leslie’s law causes Hizzoner to continue waxing nonsensical

As most everyone learns by time they hit second grade, the problem with serial lying is keeping them all straight. With last week’s news that a Mississippi code section dealing with interim municipal appointments had been changed, specifically in response to Hizzoner’s abuses of same, the instant reaction was to try some spin with the local paper. Cassandra Favre’s story in the Saturday Echo on Leslie’s law is a must read because it lends clarity the Mayor’s missed school board appointment as well as chronicles the Mayor telling a whopper. Let’s start with the whopper:

In another matter, last year, the Bay St. Louis City Council questioned the validity of the city’s building official, Charles Oliver’s employment. Although Oliver has been employed by the city for years, since he was never actually certified by the state, council members consider him the city’s “interim” building official.The council referenced Senate Bill 2587.

Councilman Lonnie Falgout said at a July 2016 council meeting that any compensation paid to Oliver after July 1, 2016 was a “direct violation of the law.”

At a July 2016 council meeting, Fillingame said an AG opinion said that the new law did not relate to municipal employees.

Fillingame said Friday that Oliver is the “building official, not an interim and not in an appointed position. He is a city employee.”

And like I said at the beginning of the post, the problem with making it up as you go along is the budgets submitted by the Mayor which have been adopted clearly shows the real story with respect to Oliver:

Screen Capture: Bay St Louis Personnel Budget
Screen Capture: Bay St Louis Personnel Budget

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. ~ Mark Twain

For former Bay St Louis School Board member Maurice Singleton the news is just as bad. For the incestuous School District, some fresh blood on the Board of Trustees would be a good thing in any event.

Leslie’s law: Senator Harkins helps clean up Good Ol’ Boy politics in “Strong Mayor” towns

And why are we calling HB 51 Leslie’s law? Mainly because it cleaned up a questionable AG’s opinion that involved the City of Bay St Louis and its unqualified perpetually interim crony Chief Building Inspector Charles Oliver. Kingfish at Jackson Jambalaya has been all over this issue for two years now and his post yesterday on the topic is a must read for everyone in the Bay. The citizens in “Strong Mayor” Chartered towns throughout Mississippi owe Senator Harkins an Atta Boy for seeing this good government measure through the legislature to the Governor’s desk. Here is a snippet from Kingfish’s post:

The first challenge to this law took place in Bay St. Louis, where good ole boy politics reigns supreme. The Mayor fired the building inspector seven years ago and appointed a close friend who was not qualified to the job on an interim basis. He has never been confirmed by the city council and is not a certified building inspector. Such things mean nothing to Mayor Fillingame. Interim means eternal as far as he is concerned. The city council challenged his employment after the law became effective on July 1, 2016. However, Mayor Fillingame and city attorney Donald Rafferty went running to Jim Hood for some cover and he gave it to them. Earlier post with copy of opinion.

I’d posit this is also very bad news for Mayor Fillingame’s latest scheme involving the Bay Waveland School Board as he has failed to make an appointment to fill Maurice Singleton’s seat on the Board of Trustees. Singleton’s term expired in February and Fillingame has steadfastly refused to make a school board appointment to fill the seat, instead arguing that Singleton, who appears to be cooperative in the Mayor’s scheme, is now a 180 day interim appointment. With the State Auditor’s office now empowered to enforce financial penalties associated with this kind of abuse, it will be interesting to see if Singleton continues his role as the Mayor’s lap dog. Stay tuned.

Senior Fillingame Administration Official “feeling delighted” about potential cancellation of Hancock Library millage

Think about the kind of city you want and vote for the person who will lead you there. ~ Liz Zimmerman

I always thought the difference between living in a City or in the country boiled down to a quality of life calculus. For City dwellers, having a local library is a generally part of the quality of life equation.

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Maybe we’re math challenged but removal of the County millage would reduce the average property tax bill no where near $60 per that breakdown nor can we¬†see how the small library millage added to Bay St Louis taxes would bump the total to $60. In any event the name of the local tax collector was invoked: Continue reading “Senior Fillingame Administration Official “feeling delighted” about potential cancellation of Hancock Library millage”