Time to Call It: The Dysfunctional City of Bay St Louis, a Municipality Apart….

I could write a treatise in real life failed local government from closely observing the workings of the Bay St Louis City government over the past three years but I’m not. I am ready to call it like I see it and can do so in a fairly short post. The overarching principle here is municipal government is dysfunctional because that is exactly the way the Mayor and City Council want it. And yes last night again saw a City Council divided on what I see as a fundamental issue: Council access to the legal services the cost of which is born by the City’s taxpayers. The vote was for more of the status quo.

To blame the financial catastrophe that has befallen the City solely on Mayor Fillingame would be misplaced. Over the past three years I’ve attended meetings where the assembled crowd knew more about operating within the four corners of the state statutes than those charged with governing. A cynical man would automatically think such public displays of ignorance from elected officials could only mean a hidden, self interest based agenda had to be present. The bottom line is don’t hold your breath waiting over the next year for things to improve as the administration is certain to ignore the directives of the City Council that it doesn’t like and the Council lacks the collective political will to force the administration to play nice, for lack of a better term. Even worse, with its current Ad Valorem levy about 33% low compared to its sister Cities here on the coast the problems can only continue. On the other hand given the fiscal mismanagement that’s occurred over the past seven years there is no way I could ever justify recommending giving the current Mayor and this City Council any more tax money to squander. Its a classic catch 22.

By my rough count there are about 11 months before the City’s voters go to the polls and it will take more than a simple house cleaning to cure the structural problems with a municipal government that does not levy enough general fund taxes to fund the delivery of basic city services across the entirety of the City. Politically, the council districts have been pitted against each other competing for the delivery of basic city services. The divide between Ward 6 residents, who are now relying on the County’s good graces to maintain the public rights of way there and Ward 2 residents that sometimes exhibit the attitude the City limits do not extend past the intersection of Washington St and US 90 was on display as recently as this past Tuesday’s regular meeting. Continue reading “Time to Call It: The Dysfunctional City of Bay St Louis, a Municipality Apart….”

“These people do not know what they are doing” Part 2: Port n Harborgate – The Docs

But first we’re going to put a bit more meat on the bones of the Hancock County Development Commission fiasco:

Questions surfaced concerning who would represent the city on the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission. In December, Council Chairman Joey Boudin – apparently without anyone else’s knowledge – wrote a letter to the governor’s office recommending local businessman Danny Johnson for the position. Johnson stood up in a public forum asking for other council members blessings as a nominee stating that “a recommendation is not a vote for or against anyone.”

However, the latest iteration of the commission was sworn in last month, so the point may be moot.

The four returning members are Robert Kane, Realtor with John McDonald Realty; Charles Gallagher, retired Navy captain and Ingalls Shipbuilding engineer; Rocky Pullman, captain of marine resources at Stennis Space Center; and Sherri Carr Bevis, the South Mississippi service coordinator for Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. New commissioners are Daryl Cornell, CEO of Triton Systems, the ATM manufacturer; Paula Jordan, office manager for Jordan Chiropractic Center; David Malley, contractor and real estate developer; and Realtor Jon W. Ritten Jr. of Coldwell Banker Coast Delta Realty.

As I mentioned Tuesday the legalities were not at all clear but after speaking with a couple of folks and finding the right Mississippi Code Section it appears the Board of Supervisors has the five appointments with the Governor having the other two ostensibly, as recommended respectively by the Cities of Waveland and Bay St Louis.

This being the case logic would dictate that someone that has never been appointed to the Board can’t be sworn in unless there is a bums rush exception in the law to which I am unaware but that would be for the lawyers to straighten out I guess. In any event who gives a shit if we just make up the Governor’s appointments ignoring the enabling legislation  in the process and this brings me back to this continuing series of posts and the quotation in the post title from Monday night’s meeting that sums it up on so many levels:

These people do not know what they are doing

But that is OK folks because Bay St Louis is the coolest small town in the entire Milky Way Galaxy, cooler even than Rigel II. Let’s go ride the trolley, drink, sing songs and pretend none of this matters.

Continue reading ““These people do not know what they are doing” Part 2: Port n Harborgate – The Docs”

Joeygate: Never a dull moment here in the Bay (UPDATED)

When a man loves a woman….

Bay councilman Joey Boudin thought his wife was being ‘held against her will,’ ~ Wes Muller

Mr. Shiyou evidently changed his mind and decided it was best that he speak with Wes Muller as the rumor mill has gone into overdrive locally:

Steven Shiyou, victim of alleged assault, says he was discussing home lease with councilman’s wife ~ Wes Muller

Breaking News: Sean Anthony reportedly indicted

Utility Authority contractor S.H. Anthony charged with conspiracy ~ Anita Lee

In other news tonight’s city council meeting should be interesting:

Bay councilman Boudin arrested for assault, trespassing, malicious mischief. ~ Dwayne Bremer