Lana Noonan | Hancock Republican Women Sponsored a Statewide Candidate Forum

The Hancock County Republican Women delivered a great event for the voters in Hancock County last night at the Diamondhead City Hall presenting the Republican candidates for office for the August 6, primaries and November General Election, for those who survive August.

The format was very good; the questions were very good, and you just can’t be Joe Gex as a moderator. The only thing lacking was pre-event publicity. So, we’ll do some post-event coverage today.

For the most part the State Officials sent representatives to speak on their behalf. The State level candidates appearing to speak for themselves were:

Public Service Commissioner:

Dane Maxwell, current Mayor of Pascagoula, who said his number one promise to the voters would be to incarcerate all RoBo callers. Maxwell pointed out that he took the lead in DC on the Miss. flooding issue meeting with the Corps of Engineers. He said that he is also the only candidate who has ever actually worked with the PSC.

Kelvin Schultz said if he is elected to PSC, his first priority would be to establish a full time Complaint Department because his experience has been that PSC does not return phone calls or take any interest in the needs of the people they are supposed to be serving. He would also do everything he could to monitor and keep down rates for the public.

The two candidates speaking on their own behalf for Transportation Commissioner, Southern District, were Tom King (I) and Tony Smith. Continue reading “Lana Noonan | Hancock Republican Women Sponsored a Statewide Candidate Forum”

Bill of Exceptions Update: Boudin Environmental v Hancock Sups

There is nothing like a good ol’ fashioned landfill controversy to keep the news mill filled. Let’s start back at the beginning with Cassandra Favre’s account of the April 2, 2019 Board of Supervisor’s meeting for the Sea Coast Echo:

The Hancock County Board of Supervisors on Monday voted 3-2 to deny Boudin’s Environmental Waste’s request to upgrade the dump site on Rifle Range Road to a Class One.

On Feb. 12, the Hancock County Solid Waste Authority hosted a public hearing and later, unanimously approved the application and amendment to the solid waste management plan.

What’s interesting here is the fact that Board of Supervisor President Blaine Lafontaine voted to allow the Class One Rubbish site as a then member of the Solid Waste Authority. He would late change his point of view on the issue when it came before him again at the Board of Supervisor’s meeting. There are a couple of other snippets that need further color:

According to an MDEQ report, LaFontaine said, statewide there has been a 22 percent increase in out-of-state rubbish in the past five years.

King Landfill is the only current active site in Hancock County, LaFontaine said. Over the past five years, the site went from receiving 22,000 tons to 18,000 tons and 11,000 from out-of-state down to 5,000, he said.

LaFontaine said that the question before the board is, “is there a need in Hancock County?” He said that maybe the only thing the board could look at as a “need” would be competitive pricing.

MDEQ recommends there be two Class One sites in the county, one in the north end and one in the south end. The site Boudin wants to operate is close to the south side, LaFontaine said.

Gotta give Cassandra props here because her account of the political crawfishin’ is a good depiction of the events that day. First Lafontaine bobs by citing a statewide factoid that, even if true, is not an accurate picture of the reality in Hancock County, which has seen a pretty steep decline in out of state trash. The third paragraph tells the tale because the three Sups that voted against the recommendation of the Solid Waste Authority were really more interested in protecting the existing landfill monopoly in Hancock Parish than fostering price competition and creating new jobs. District 1 Sup David Yarborough summed it up: Continue reading “Bill of Exceptions Update: Boudin Environmental v Hancock Sups”

Why Hancock County Can’t Afford Nice Things Part 3: Sups Refuse to Hold Tax Collector Accountable

Reader Submitted Photo of Front Gate of the Bay Waveland Yacht Club
Reader Submitted Photo of Front Gate of the Bay Waveland Yacht Club

Paul Hampton’s take on the Yacht Club tax exemptions is worth reading because it tells the story of two tax collectors, Tal Flurry and Jimmie Ladner. For lack of a better term the wordsmithing was artful but it is also clear Flurry reads past the comma in the tax exemption statute:

Pass Christian, he said, is chartered as a for-profit business. Biloxi’s clubhouse is exempt but its marina, where it has slips for rent is on the tax rolls.

Lana Noonan suggested in comments that Ladner get a seeing eye dog pronto because he is fooling no one following this story:

The Biloxi Yacht Club officials get it. They pay taxes on their Marina because, as he said, “we receive revenue on the Marina slip rentals.” I like Jimmie personally, but does he need a seeing eye dog? Read past the comma on that statute. In fact, Jimmie said to the Sun Herald, “do we want public officials who interpret the law anyway they want?” No, Jimmie, but that is what we have right now. Allowing the poor to subsidize your fun is about as low as it gets.

For the taxpayers in Hancock County this is a simple matter of fairness. Continue reading “Why Hancock County Can’t Afford Nice Things Part 3: Sups Refuse to Hold Tax Collector Accountable”

What I see is an elected official in deep denial: How much is a money losing community hospital worth?

And how much federal tax money will have been pissed away on construction that will never fetch more than 20 cents on the dollar in the real estate market.

Lafontaine: Selling hospital is ‘not viable’ ~ Dwayne Bremer

Last month, a consultant told the Hancock County Hospital Board that he believed HMC was worth between $14 million to $22 million.

Hancock County Board of Supervisors President Blaine Lafontaine said Friday that he believes that number is “very low.”

According to Lafontaine, HMC received much more than $22 million from the federal government to rebuild the hospital.

“I don’t have the exact figures, but it could be between $80 million to $100 million,” Lafontaine said. “Selling the hospital is not a viable option at this time. Our conversation needs to be on how to enhance the hospital.”

The truth is $14 million may be too high when you factor in the consistency of the 15% operating losses which can’t be sustained unless one subscribes to the Mayor Fillingame theory of economics. Further, any valuation that is a function of earnings or cash flow indicate a money losing business is worth exactly zero. Worse is the fact the supervisors are fooling themselves thinking the problem can be solved by growing the population of the county. Continue reading “What I see is an elected official in deep denial: How much is a money losing community hospital worth?”