The number one complaint I hear from politicians is how unfair, ugly and viscous social media can be towards those in public service. Fair enough because there is a kernel of truth in that notion but it is also true that a politico acting like an 8 year old can do much more reputation damage to themselves and their community. That is certainly true of Diamondhead and its Mayor fighting Tommy Schafer after last week.
My suggestion to those that were horrified to see the town in the national news would do well to elect folks with a temperament for the the trade.
A vote that will determine the continued existence of the Diamondhead POA is on the horizon. With the sheer number of Louisiana expats living there who hail from a far different political milieu, bareknuckle jackassery potential is off the charts.
The good word came down on Tuesday when Judge Ozerden ruled on a Rule 41 voluntary dismissal motion filed by Reed after he settled with the City of Diamondhead’s insurer. I frankly never understood why the private citizens were included by Reed in his Section 1983 lawsuit against the City and once that count was settled it opened the door for the Court to punt the entire case, which it did. Reed could in theory refile the libel action in Circuit Court but he’d be throwing good money after bad based on his federal court complaint. Slabbed’s archival post on this topic can be found here. Judge Ozerden’s order of dismissal is embedded below:
Reed v Diamondhead Doc 47 by Slabbed on Scribd
Moving right along since the archival post also covered the Marquar Section 1983 lawsuit against the City of Bay St Louis, Mike Favre and Lonnie Falgout I took a peek at the docket of that matter while I was on PACER. Motions to Dismiss were filed late last fall and there has not been a docket entry since. I suspect a ruling on those Motions will be forthcoming shortly.
The streets of Hancock County turned a bit meaner last month when former Sea Coast Echo Journalist Dwayne Bremer was sued in Federal Court along with a bevy of Diamondhead City Officials and community activists by former City Manager Clovis Reed. When I saw the news of the suit last Friday night my initial thought was sue Double D? Why in the hell sue Double D? Luckily for everyone I took a peek at the case via PACER and I found two things:
- I’m still wondering why in the hell Double D has been sued because I did not see any specific allegations against him in Reed’s complaint as he was simply lumped in with Tommy Scafer and the rest like he was a City official. It won’t take Perry Mason to get Dwayne out of Reed’s Section 1983 civil suit.
- How much money did or will Reed or his lawyer spend using a process server to get the defendants their copy? Some defendants essentially waive service so a process server isn’t needed but with this many defendants I never understand why the local bar doesn’t use the Rule 4(d) waiver process more often. A defendant that waives service of a summons would certainly sign the Rule 4 Waiver and get a bit more time to respond while those that don’t get stuck for the cost of not playing nice.
Moving right along its beginning to look like all the chatter about multiple victims coming forward against local contractor Keith Marquar is the accurate assessment while public speculation that Marquar’s first arrest was somehow retaliation for his Civil Suit against the City of Bay St Louis evaporates. Geoff Belcher did a very good job for the Echo here: Continue reading “Monday Miscellany: I wonder if the local bar has heard of Rule 4 plus Contractor Keith Marquar arrested again”
We’re having a high time visiting with Tank and setting up the rest of the month. It is good to get a break.
Meantime we have a City Councilman in Diamondhead nominating Water and Sewer Board members he was conflicted from voting upon with the nominating being read from his cell phone, ostensibly with a third party texting the fella exactly what to say. The video on Facebook was clear about that part of the last meeting being a clown show but there is more in the Inspector General Review underway at the Diamondhead Water and Sewer District, which may be why the Councilman was trying to nominate a buddy, despite being conflicted. And yes, the larger story even has an in flagrante delicto component but we already knew Diamondhead was a boiling cauldron of lust, sex and avarice.
If all this sounds like a big tease it’s because it is a tease but in order to dissect an OIG report DMR style we have to have an OIG report to dissect so we patiently wait and collect muck (and take a break).
Consider this an open thread.
And why is this?? Simple junior, anytime more than three residents are gathered in the same room trying to make public policy, a fight is going to break out. The third grade classes at East Hancock Elementary gets on better than the folks in Diamondhead, especially the elected officials on the POA who are the biggest bunch of self appointed blowhards to grace a Mississippi common interest realty association that I’ve personally ever experienced. Going after Michael Shaefer’s widow was particularly bad form IMHO.
All that said I’ve received several requests to cover what is going on in Diamondhead City government. Doug Walker was around yesterday for WLOX as was Double D who is always around Diamondhead City Government. Poolman was around to fill out the peanut gallery yesterday and was quoted both in Dwayne’s piece and Doug Walker’s report.
The long and short of this is the Mayor and the City Manager/City Council are battling each other which as I pointed out above is the norm in Diamondhead. Allegations of malfeasance have been leveled and there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth. One thing everyone agrees on is that Sam Atkins of the Performance Audit division of the State Auditors Office needs to come do a Performance Review like the one being finalized for the City of Bay St Louis, because according to Press reports (and despite the fact the City Attorney is a State Legislator), no one in the City seems able to read and comprehend the Mayor-City Manager section of the “Home Rule ” section of the Mississippi Code thus they do not know if they are doing things right. Worth mentioning is the City has been audited three times by local firms since it came into existence and the last report contained eight findings which laid out in detail the internal control problems in City government. Continue reading “I normally try to keep Diamondhead off my mind….”
Hell hath no fury like an ex-husband scorned.
First of all, a Happy New Year to all–hope your holidays were all you wanted them to be and the New Year will be successful for you. This year will be a year of “elections” or “decisions” if you will. Waveland will hold their municipal elections in the Fall, and if that seems far off, just wait. It will be here before you know it. Certainly the announcements and campaigning will be here soon. The Alliance will sponsor a political forum as we do for all the elections, so stay tuned if you are a candidate or simply a voter.
Events that have unfolded since the Bay St. Louis officials took the oath of office last July indicate that the Bay City Council needs to “elect” to see that their city’s bills get paid whether or not the Mayor does. They may have to “take the checkbook” away from him if need be. This is, of course, a figure of speech, but they do have the legal responsibility for seeing that the bills are paid, which could be to refuse to approve any more dockets until he pays the Solid Waste and Hancock County Utility Authorities what the city owes them. After all, these folks have dockets to pay as well. And using the excuse that they fell behind because they didn’t charge enough for utilities is ridiculous. That’s not the fault of the Utility Authorities. By the way, what happened to the $500,000 line of credit that was supposed to cover these utility bills? And, most importantly, what is the administration doing with the money the users are sending to city hall to pay these bills? The city does’t own any garbage trucks or employ any garbage workers. So what makes them think they can keep funds for a service they not only do not, but cannot perform? Amazing. Who knows what the list of delinquent bills looks like? Now we are hearing that Lowe’s has cut the city off for non payment; and heard it from RELIABLE sources.
Let’s hope the ad valorem taxes in the Bay are enough to take care of these problems what with the Harbor coming on board between March and May–built by the Feds, but to be maintained by the locals. The continuing long list of foreclosures in the paper each week is very disturbing. Continue reading “Guest Post | Hancock County Alliance for Good Government: 2014—-A Year of “Elections” and “Decisions””
HANCOCK COUNTY ALLIANCE FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT OCTOBER 2013 NEWSLETTER
For those of you familiar with the Broadway musical, “Cabaret” the local, state, and national news is beginning to sound like a refrain from one of the shows numbers: “Money.” This past month has been a numbers game for those of us studying all of the figures.
For example there are $259,955 in delinquent utility bills in Bay St. Louis. Seven of these delinquent accounts were city employees until we published the list, then one paid. Shedding light can sometimes have positive results.
There is $187,000 delinquent utility bills in Waveland which includes a former Police Chief and Mayor. We hope these accounts can be cleaned up so the rest of us don’t have to continue to carry the burden because many on these lists are more than able to pay. And, it is only going to get worse now that both cities have increased rates. For those who just will not pay, there is a remedy, if our public officials will use it, and that’s cutting them off. They sure wouldn’t get by with this with Miss. Power, Coast Electric, or Cable TV. To review the complete lists of delinquent accounts go to Slabbed.org.
Thousands of parcels of property in Hancock County have been abandoned by the owners which results in a loss of ad valorem taxes when they are returned to the state. The latest hit to the ad valorem tax base in the county is the new formula for assessing taxes on the Section 42 and Section 8 housing complexes. According to Jimmie Ladner, this loss could fall in the laps of the rest of us to make up the difference. We may not like the news, but at least Jimmie will always tell it like it is. Continue reading “Guest Post: Hancock County Alliance for Good Government October 2013 Newsletter”