A funny thing happened on the way to the proposed Medical Waste Dump in Hancock County

Those of you on the other side of the news business would be shocked to understand how much major news is brought to light by pure happenstance or in the words of Jill Abramson:

I admit that I am hopelessly hooked on the printed newspaper. I love turning the pages and the serendipity of stumbling across a piece of irresistible information or a photograph that I wasn’t necessarily intending to read.

And sometimes the stars align just right to help create some of that sweet serendipity.

Whatever the case, when I look back over the last 9 years plus doing Slabbed, some of our biggest topics came to us exactly that way. Now the Hancock County Solid Waste Authority, a governmental entity unique in Mississippi local governance, has presented itself for us. Last week Slabbed wrote about how the Les Fillingame Administration manipulated elections horse trading City jobs in exchange for a candidate leaving the Ward 6 Council race. The virulent reaction it caused among what I would term the supporting cast to the larger story was an important clue that a sore spot had been hit. What we quickly found out was the time documentation submitted by the contracted Solid Waste Enforcement Officer Tommy Kidd has been a continuing source of controversy within the Solid Waste Authority for the past 18 months. Far from being some sort of ghoul that rises from the dead every election cycle to serve as click bait as was suggested this is a prime example of a story that has been under reported.

Every instinct tells me the Hancock Solid Waste Authority is fertile ground for examination, especially after last night’s Solid Waste Authority Board meeting. Tomorrow we examine the reactions to Slabbed’s initial post, give some additional details that I purposely omitted from the first post, post Mr. Tommy’s contract for everyone to see and plus make a connection to an old story Slabbed covered several years ago.

To go back and read the post and comments gives me goosebumps

Its the type of magic that makes Slabbed unique: Community sourcing. First up is a current link from Richard Thompson over at the Advocate and then the Slabbed post from 2013:

The decline and fall of First NBC Bank: What happened?

Reached by phone last week, a combative Ryan blamed The Advocate’s reporting at the time for the bank’s troubles, saying the news coverage sowed more unease than the bank’s admissions themselves.

Asked about First NBC’s collapse, he said only, “I’m not going to talk about it,” adding that his role at the bank had “diminished substantially over the past six months.”

But he stressed that he didn’t blame his successors for the bank’s demise. “I’m not going to second-guess anything people did to save the bank,” he said.

When Uncle Sam loses a cool billion sometimes someone goes to jail. Judging from the email hitting my inbox many are suggesting Ashton Ryan could be such a candidate. Now the archival link here at Slabbed:

Excuse me Mr. Chairman, I have a question. ~ Douglas Handshoe

I think a few commenters and I will now take a well deserved victory lap. I’m going to keep an eye peeled on this story.

Comment bumps: Nunn Yabidnez

Those of you not reading Nunn’s comments are missing out. When the man speaks of the opposition organizing, he is talking about a model that has proven results.

Back in 2015 with the Singing River pension meltdown dominating the news there was also state and county elections. I was invited by the SRHS retirees group along with other select members of the media to a meeting that organized the opposition in the 2015 Jackson County election, both to observe and as a member of the media who was seen as sympathetic to their cause (which we were). Out of that meeting came a strategy for targeting certain incumbent supervisors for defeat as well as supporting other candidates that promised to help advance the retirees cause.

At the time of that meeting I already had this post conceptualized. Without going into details we let the retirees know we had some material coming that would be explosive, it would be up to them to make sure word got out when the time came. I would invite you good folks from the Bay to read the comments to the post I linked because Nunn is talking about Citizen activism like this: Continue reading “Comment bumps: Nunn Yabidnez”

Bay 2017 Primary Elections Part 2: Rachael Ramsey, Kingmaker

All you gotta do is look at the numbers to see that those who voted for Rachael Ramsey have the power to make the biggest difference in the coming Mayoral runoff election.

Conventional wisdom would hold that Hizzoner, being an incumbent and a known quantity, reached his maximum potential vote share last Tuesday night. The key in a runoff is continued turnout for those that voted the first time around plus maybe expanding the electorate with those that didn’t bother going to the polls in the primary.

Ms. Ramsey’s endorsement could well be the difference in two weeks thus all eyes are on the former Candidate.

How the Fillingame Machine Manipulates Elections…. (Updated 2X)

This morning, Lana Noonan of the Hancock County Alliance for Good Government nabbed the following work notes from County Enforcement Officer Tommy Kidd, which are attached to the minutes of Hancock County Solid Waste Authority. The promise of a job was evidently enough to get former Ward 6 GOP candidate Hunter Adam to drop out of the Ward 6 GOP race, clearing the field for Josh Desalvo in his challenge against Ward 6 incumbent Councilman Lonnie Falgout:

Source: Minutes of the Hancock County Solid Waste Authority
Source: Minutes of the Hancock County Solid Waste Authority

File this one under your county tax dollars at work for Hizzoner.

Update: Since this post was first published Lana Noonan of the Hancock County Alliance for Good Government made another trip to the solid waste authority to examine the County Enforcement Officer’s work logs. You wonder what was going through the minds of those that sit on the authority’s Board approving payment for attending Christmas parties and a Bay City Council meeting on the future of the Bay PD. Is Waveland Alderman Jeremy Burke an active member of the solid waste authority’s board or just a waste taking up space there? Same goes for Waveland Mayor Mike Smith. You gotta wonder exactly what those guys were thinking. Continue reading “How the Fillingame Machine Manipulates Elections…. (Updated 2X)”

Bay 2017 Primary Elections Part 1: Interesting Numbers

I put together a spreadsheet with the Mayoral vote totals broken down by votes cast in person and the absentee ballots. Then I calculated “common size” vote shares.

BSL Democrat Primary Mayoral Vote[5.2.17]

What are the chances the absentees would so radically diverge from the in person results?

Additional background here.

PSA: Bay St Louis Primary Election Polling Places

Polls open at 7 a.m. tomorrow and close at 7 p.m.

In Bay St. Louis, there are six polling places:

• Ward One: Bay High School, 750 Blue Meadow Road.
• Ward Two: The Bay St. Louis Library, 312 Highway 90.
• Ward Three: The Senior Citizen’s center at 601 Bookter Street.
• Ward Four: Christ Episcopal Church 912 South Beach Blvd.
• Ward Five: The American Legion at 645 Green Meadow Road.
• Ward Six: The Bay St. Louis Fire Station at 9998, Highway 603.

(H/T Mayor Rachael on Facebook)