All I know is that the Bat line here at Slabbed New Media is ringing off the hook on the Diamondhead Water and Sewer District, it’s capital project plans and it’s budget. These public records are what I would term basic and yet I am getting reports the Citizenry is being denied access. The Hancock County Board of Supervisors appoints the DWSD Board. Watch out for the Mississippi two step when the Sups and DWSD start pointing fingers at the other. Either way this topic has captured my interest.
Spring is trying to arrive, but looks like Old Man Winter just doesn’t want to let go this year. We will be dreaming of these cool temps come August when we are in the middle of a Mississippi summer and heated campaign for the 4th Congressional District Seat. Actually the run-off should be mild compared to the primary between Palazzo and Taylor. The negative flyers are already arriving in mailboxes. Sure hope this doesn’t turn into the fiasco of 3 years ago when the PACS were stuffing our mailboxes and TV screens with all of this nonsense. If this does start, we hope both candidates will step forward and denounce them and demand a real debate on the real issues, and tell the PACS to get packing.
The Hancock County Board of Supervisors is in a quandary over insurance coverage for the spouses of county employees. Claims are much higher than in the past, but on the other hand, employees have not had raises for the past 5 years. This is supposed to be hashed out at the Supers’ meeting on April 7. It would be so nice for the taxpayers of Hancock County to be able to sit at home on their own computers and view the monthly expenditures of the Supervisors, but alas that still has not happened even though District 3 Supervisor Lisa Cowand said at their Nov. 2013 meeting minutes and dockets would be online by April of this year. We checked on Friday, April 4, and their last published docket is still from April 2009, even though we requested this now 5 months ago.
They have been submitting them to the Sea Coast Echo for publication, but that is at the expense of the taxpayers. It would be so much easier and less expensive to just put them on their website. Enough of taking them at their word on this issue.
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.
In the state of Mississippi the efforts of some public officials to exclude the taxpayers from their deliberations on the expenditure of public funds has reached epidemic proportions. The sad thing is that the weak laws in this state don’t offer much relief for the taxpaying public.
In one day we get to observe a state official, State Auditor Stacey Pickering, and his staff admit under oath their efforts to hide information not only from the public, but from a Judge.
Then the Bay St. Louis Mayor and City Council call a “special” meeting to finalize the purchase of a new fire truck that will come in at slightly over $500,000. The notice of the meeting went out the morning of the meeting. This doesn’t give John Q. Public much chance to make arrangements to listen or participate in the discussion of the purchase of this equipment with our hard earned tax dollars.
I’ve been having some technical difficulties but finally knocked those out yesterday afternoon. I’ve also spent some time lately improving technical back office issues here at Slabbed including a better security perimeter as Slabbed has been subject to at least one denial of service attack in the past 6 weeks. The streets of information dissemination aka the news biz are mean indeed.
That has worked out OK though since the local news cycle has been slow but today the dam has broken and we have links galore. In the interest of time I’ll do this in one post so let’s start with Margie Seemann of the Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government. Margie, her sister and the gang at CFGG are true public servants and today the issues with campaign finance so often highlighted by CFGG go front and center in the NOLA.com series Louisiana Purchased. Let’s start with a video interview of Margie:
Hiring unqualified good ol boys to government jobs in Mississippi is nothing new as we’ve been reminded of late of that fact with DMR among other agencies but for a local plum appointment to go to an outsider in Hancock County is unheard of, especially when the board doing the appointing answers to the County Board of Supervisors. Yes, of late local politics has made for strange bedfellows with Supervisor Steve Seymour crossing party lines to cuddle up with Lynn Fitch over at Scott Walker’s house last year but plucking a Phil Bryant staffer for a $150,000 job that could (some would say should) go to someone with the Ladner surname? OMG!!!
“The defense counsel failed to argue that he (Ladner) had tried to quit the county prior to renting his equipment to various vendors,” according to the motion. “The county authorities wouldn’t let him and told him to go ahead and rent it out to people involved in the cleanup and it would all be just fine. The defense counsel failed to bring up the fact that the county attorney was the one who drafted the letter that the defendant signed telling FEMA he had no interest in the companies of his brothers. The truth is, the only thing the defendant did do was rent equipment to contractors that needed it. His supervisors told him to do it and that it would all be good. These are clearly mitigating factors that needed to be brought before the court that were not.”
The major problem I see is Roger Ladner is bringing this up wayyyyy too late. File this one under strung along and hung out to dry.
For those of you that have not been reading the commentary on the post on curious Harrison County property tax assessments, I highly recommend it as the community ties in the Utility Authority and the dreaded A word “Auditing”, something our own State Auditor no longer does much of.
Speaking of this I hope the lesson being offered here is not lost as the voodoo we do at Slabbed New Media is replicated across a myriad of topics, be it corruption at the highest levels of Jefferson Parish Government, here on the coast or a certain case involving a majorly well hung Tranny in Orange County Florida. Lest I digress. 😉
These Utility Authority deals cut across the entire expanse of the coast and may prove fertile ground for prosecution as the reasons the FBI have been visiting the local courthouses and annexes comes into much sharper focus.
I understand the court hearing is on Thursday here in Hancock County (Parish) April 16th in Judge Persons courtroom at the Harrison County Courthouse. I do not see this suit going far. I’ll add these public accommodations will greatly enhance the public beach that is already there adjacent to the legion’s property and improve sanitation. You good folks reading Slabbed from NOLA that visit the beaches here will immediately notice the dramatic improvement. See y’all soon.