On Tap Tonight: A New School Board Trustee

The Lady that will be appointed – her name was dropped a couple of time in comments here, I’m sure she will make a fine trustee.

As for outgoing Trustee Joan Thomas, her goose was cooked by her own hand, almost one year ago to the day:

Siblings working for Bay school district an ethical concern, says commission – Justin Vicory

Either the superintendent or the business manager of Bay St. Louis–Waveland School District — who are brother and sister — should resign from office to avoid the appearance of nepotism, a Mississippi Ethics Commission opinion says.

Yet the majority of Bay–Waveland School Board members disagreed, and recently voted 4 to 1 to approve an additional 18-month contract for business administrator John McCraw, as well as a contract for Superintendent Vikki Landry, his sister.

And the so called Chinese firewall the high priced lawyers constructed to rationalize and prettify such nepotism? It is bullshit, or put another way if it weren’t, the exchange where the lawyers advised the school board in an official meeting would not have been purposely omitted from the record and the business manager would to this day not be presenting cash balances to his sister for the School Board to approve. It’s sad folks:

At the February meeting, board attorney Ronnie Artigues and James Keith, a longtime education attorney with the North Pike and Pearl River County school boards, told the board it was acceptable for them to appoint an employee other than Landry for McCraw to report to. In response, the board appointed Kristen Ladner and Cherie Labat as assistant superintendents.

School board meetings are open to the public, and an audio recording is normally taken and saved. But when Lana Noonan, a member of political watchdog group Hancock County Alliance for Good Government, contacted the central office secretary to get a copy of the February recording, the conversation about McCraw and Landry was not on the tape.

The flawed decision making that created a mess in the district’s elementary schools, along with multiple assistant superintendents to go with the family at the central office has to be fixed folks. Tonight’s school board appointment will flip the Board majority away from those that would disregard state ethics opinions.

One of the last Bay Police Brutality Suits filed one of the first to settle

It’s for true folks and sources with knowledge of the settlement indicate the cost to the City to get rid of this lawsuit was frightfully high. I hope all of the officers involved in terrorizing Mr. Koenann have been shown the door though I do not believe that is the case here.

Koenenn v Nelson Et Al Doc 45 by Slabbed on Scribd

So MDE was Down Investigating Bay Waveland School Board Trustee Casey Favre……

Folks I could go three for three posting quotes from Macbeth but not today. This past weekend I almost felt like we were treated to some old news and in a way it was old news:

Bay-Waveland School District retains accreditation status after MDE investigation – Cassandra Favre

A preliminary report of an investigative audit dated Dec. 4 from MDE to Superintendent Vikki Landry and BWSD School Board President Mike Bell – provided by BWSD board attorney Ronnie Artigues – stated that MDE found the district in violation of “Process Standards 1 and 1.1.; a board member is acting individually and outside of the role prescribed by law by giving directives to district staff members.” According to Standard 1, “the local school board’s responsibilities shall pertain to matters of setting policy and shall not interfere in the day-to-day operations of the school district that include, but are not limited to, such duties as those relating to personnel and management decisions.” 1.1 states that “the school board assigns all executive and administrative duties to the superintendent.”

And for all the lurid things found by MDE auditors late last year all it took was a response from School Board Attorney Ronnie Artigues supported by the minutes to cause MDE to withdraw their recommendation that the district be placed on probation.

On Jan. 30, MDE issued its response – also provided by Artigues – where MDE withdrew its recommendation for probation.

However, Office of Accreditation Executive Director Jo Ann Malone said in the letter that MDE “still has concerns regarding the allegations made that prompted the investigative audit” because the superintendent and other board members did not provide information in the district’s response that “confirms or contradicts MDE’s findings.”

“Therefore, the MDE will continue to monitor the actions of the board member(s) of the district throughout the 2017-2018 school year or until such time the Office of Accreditation determines the district is fully compliant with all process standards of the Mississippi Public Schools Accountability Standards, 2017,” Malone said in the response.

It took me a couple of reads of Cassandra’s story for everything to sink in and the bottom line is it appears some elements of school board, my guess being the faction that will soon find itself in the minority after Mayor Favre makes his pick top replace School Board Trustee Joan Thomas, dropped a dime on Mayor Favre’s son Casey and blew a whole bunch of smoke up MDE’s hiney about him and that brings us to the old news quality to Cassandra’s story because it was alluded to here on Slabbed in comments last October on the post Bay Taxpayers, Utility Users Stuck paying Excessive Post Katrina Engineering Firm Fees by commenter SuperStar. Starting with this comment and reading down it is clear SuperStar had no use for Casey Favre. Continue reading “So MDE was Down Investigating Bay Waveland School Board Trustee Casey Favre……”

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: The Country Wants a Real Fight

Posted on February 14, 2018

That’s what a real Presidential Election is supposed to be. When it’s over the country should feel a sense of cleansing and accomplishment. The winner invariably enjoys a job approval rating over 50% on Inauguration Day.

In the the ten elections from Carter versus Ford in 1976 to Obama versus Romney in 2012, the country got the benefit of competent candidates giving it their best shot. You could say we got the benefit of a good fight in those campaigns and a sense of finality, at least for a little while.

Trump-Clinton 2016 was a horse of a different color…a tremendously dissatisfying affair. It seemed as though each candidate represented the only person that the other candidate could possibly beat. Many felt like me: Trump was a totally unqualified liar who was impossible to not watch; Hillary was an intelligent grating deceiver who was impossible to watch.

Trump entered office with a 45% job approval, topped out at 46%, and presently sits at 40%…which means he remains unpopular but Impeachment Proof and very dangerous.Trump’s 40% number represents his base’s taunt to Trump Resistance…”you ain’t got game.”

His base is right. The Resistance is diffused and, in some cases, counterproductive. Trump is given the luxury of choosing who to counter-punch against. Not good.

Time to go to Plan B. Continue Reading……..

Bay St Louis Civil Alert: Break out the Hip Waders, It’s getting deep

We have this from the last Bay St Louis Council meeting:

Bay residents urge city to keep Joan Thomas on school board ~ Stacey Cato

I watched the last Council meeting live stream and Stacey’s story was short a couple of paragraphs because not everyone that spoke was highlighted in her coverage. For example one of Ms. Thomas’ former students speak on her behalf which is a testimony to how well respected she is by her former students and that speaks well to her time as a teacher in the Bay Waveland Schools.

Another of the public speakers on the topic of the school board appointment was David Wells, who I thought did exceptionally well making his points in a way that most respectful of Ms. Thomas. For those that are uninitiated in the ways of a Facebook live stream is the audience gets throw cyber-rotten tomatoes in the form of emojis such as angry emoji, the ‘rolling on the floor laughing my ass off’ (ROTFLMAO) emoji etc and sure enough when Mr. Wells started his remarks so did the rotten tomatoes. Then something happened about half way into his time when the assembled audience in the Council chambers were told of the declining, abysmal accreditation scores at the elementary schools and let out an audible gasp. Mr. Wells spoke to nut and bolt issues and never in fact mentioned Ms. Thomas once by name in his remarks. It was very well done.

The point I want to make is a bit over a week ago I predicted there would be a change on the school board and I stand by that prediction. Here Slabbed has no inside intel, no leaks as to who Mayor Favre is appointing other than knowing it will not be Ms. Thomas. Somehow though, things have gotten nasty. As we have this public service alert from Facebook:

Chenaey Beaugez Cody, please change your settings so that we have the ability to share the post. Better yet, make it public.

Enter Ms. Courtney “Cody” Thomas, Trustee Thomas’ daughter with new information that Ms. Beaugez thought needed to be seen widely:

So, apparently, someone paid to spam the residents of the Bay-Waveland area with a text in attempt to disparage my mother, Joan Thomas. I will say three things:
1. It is disgusting that these people are using the school board to push their own political agendas.
2. Every vote that my mother cast was done with the best interest of the children of the BWSD in mind.
3. I challenge them to put the resume of ANY applicant next to Joan’s resume. Not lies, nor innuendo, but a side-by-side comparison of qualifications.

Councilman Smith offered his sympathies:

Larry Smith oh I am so sorry this has happened..i know it happened to you too! My heart goes out to you and your mom.

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage…

Sorry folks that was last post. What I mean is the Ca Ca is getting very deep. Continue reading “Bay St Louis Civil Alert: Break out the Hip Waders, It’s getting deep”

There was indeed wailing and gnashing of teeth…

Sure was folks, exactly one week ago there was drama aplenty at the last Bay St Louis City Council meeting. Let’s start with a drive through:

‘No drive-thrus in downtown’ — BSL citizens show up in droves to protest zoning changes ~ Stacey Cato

This location must be cursed, rumor holds by an undiscovered poltergeist type of Native American burial ground for all the controversy it has caused. For instance it seems like just yesterday…..

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

The irony inherent to this whole drive through dust up was not lost on Miss Kathleen Johnson:

“They” did not want canopies and artists down town. The replacement a corporate drive thru they find totally unpalatable. KARMA

Social media has been buzzing and there is talk of an organized boycott of 200 North Beach Restaurant, one of developer Jim MacPhaille’s portfolio of old town properties. The ‘busy-body’ aspect to this latest dust up amuses. See folks, by my reckoning the MacPhaille train left the station several years ago. They’re to the executing phase of things and a PJ’s on those near corner properties will enhance the entire area. Old Town Bay St Louis is changing and the pace of change is quickening. The worse news is the real estate shakeout is not nearly done. The people I speak with whose opinions I value told me years ago the number one issue coming to Old Town was parking. Population density trends there are no where near the peak given the development that is currently on the books not counting what Mr. MacPhaille plans for the old middle school on Second Street. Parking in Old Town Bay St Louis will only get worse. Continue reading “There was indeed wailing and gnashing of teeth…”

Guest Post: Politics Trumps Public Safety and Being a Good Neighbor

Is it too high of an expectation these days for the concern for public safety and being a good neighbor to trump politics and personal agendas for just one day out of the 365 that the Good Lord blesses us with this year?

WLOX reported Friday that Bay St. Louis Mayor, Mike Favre, has decided not to assist the City of Pass Christian with 4 off duty Bay Police Officers for crowd control at the St. Paul’s Carnival Association Mardi Gras Parade.

Mayor Favre contends he needs all of his force in the Bay to protect their citizens. Mayor Favre may want to consider the fact that a very large number of his citizens will be in Pass Christian tomorrow for the infamous “Pass Parade” which draws the largest crowd of any parade on the Coast, and is historically the most volatile.

Year before last two people were shot and killed at the parade, and this was not the first time violence was an issue for this event.

Former Bay St. Louis Police Chief, Matt Issman, told WLOX that he has access to two text messages from Bay Officers saying Issman’s suit against the Bay and Mayor Favre was the reason given to the officers as to why they are not allowed to assist the Pass, coupled with Issman’s position as a Reserve Officer with the Pass PD. Continue reading “Guest Post: Politics Trumps Public Safety and Being a Good Neighbor”