Mayor Les Fillingame admits until this week, nobody at Bay St. Louis City Hall knew the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company canceled that policy.
Fillingame said he first learned employees lost their supplemental insurance coverage about 24 hours ago.
Far as I can tell there is only one place Hizzoner could have learned about this “Calamity” and that would be the website that broke it right here at Slabbed. Slabbed knew about the insurance calamity before it was broke on this website but I shall not disclose specifics in order to protect sourcing. Speaking of that and virtual real time coverage of the happenings at City Hall: Continue reading “It’s getting screwy in Bay St Louie!”
Alternate post title: There is no such thing as a secret in Bay St Louis:
I can confirm Poolman’s comments with respect to Dental, Disability and Employee Life Insurance. That which is unfolding will likely be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
A reliable source has told me that from 9-30-2015 til 12-1-2015 the City of Bay St Louis was without health insurance, disability insurance, dental insurance, for the employees or the family members whom pay the city for this.
According to sources familiar with the operations of Bay City Hall that are not authorized to speak with the media, City employee claims under the voluntary benefits policies have been denied due to the lack of payment, the arrearage totaling over $10,000 for the months of October and November 2015.
With the news bubbling up of the policy cancellation complete with denial of employee claims due to nonpayment of the premiums, this topic is certain to come up at Tuesday’s City council meeting.
So here I find myself this Saturday working on the day jobs including trying to arrange the massive amount of information I still have to present on the new Jackson County Adult Warehouse Detention Center when off in the distance I heard a sound (ooops wrong sound this one), which is the sound of the local spin cycle starting.
Rest assured I am paying very close attention to this matter. Even better coming soon Slabbed will do something we’ve never done and that is present an actual audit workpaper because the proof lies in the contemporary documentary evidence, not after the fact spin or self-serving backfill.
The Fillingame Administration has made a major mess. The exercise of finding out who is taking ownership of it is quite enlightening.
And if you narrowly define the term “dishonesty” to cover criminal activity such as the conversion of municipal assets, embezzlement of funds and the like I completely agree with Mayor Fillingame because Slabbed has found no evidence of such wrongdoing and believe me when I say if I thought there was some hankey-pankey going on Slabbed would be on it.
That said there are two active investigations underway at City Hall including one by the gang at the United States Department of Justice. When asked by Councilman Favre last night about the active investigations involving misspending of Drug Forfeiture funds City Attorney Donald Rafferty indicated that he thought the Administration would be vindicated and that brings me to another word in “misspending” “misspend” “misspent”, terms I have used to describe the problems in the City’s financial management. The Mayor made it clear in his remarks he thought the term was too strong. I took the liberty of looking it up for everyone during last night’s meeting posting same to Slabbed’s twitter timeline:
Meantime Wes Muller over at the Sun Herald wrote a pretty good account of last night’s meeting correctly framing the root problem of audit recommendations contained in bad audit report after bad report being roundly ignored by the Administration.
Here is a sampling of some of the seriously overdue water bills per the following Aging report obtained from the City of Waveland by Lana Noonan of the Alliance for Good Government:
Habitat for Humanity—-$473.59
Oak Park Apartments- over $16,000
Gulf Grove Apartments–$13,987.50
A few weeks ago someone knowledgeable of the operations of the City of Bay St Louis indicated to Slabbed the city was not being diligent in collecting past due water bills and this is important because of cash flow problems the City is experiencing overall. Cash flow problems in municipalities is not unusual per se as the majority of the property taxes come in from December through February and taper off greatly from there. The general subject gets arcane and technical very quickly but the City needs cash to pay payroll period and it’d be nice to have enough left over to pay the bills too.
Lana Noonan of the Hancock County Alliance for Good Government did the PRR work along with some analysis and this post would not be possible without her contribution and that of the Hancock County Alliance for Good Government to the effort. First up is the list of major delinquent accounts and note that WLOX’s Al Showers in on that list owing over $500. Al, my best advice is to join The Advocate’s Richard Thompson and follow Slabbed immediately on Twitter because if I had to guess, those $100 water bills you are getting come partly from a leaky toilet and today I just happened to post on twitter a handy Youtube video on how to make the repair. Just guessing but I think Thompson has been close to militant on this issue because he covers folks like Jefferson Parish Councilman at Large Chris Roberts, a man that can make that repair in under 5 minutes at 5AM blindfolded with one hand tied behind his back. True dat Richard!
For the second time the Sun Herald has called for a complete house cleaning at the Commission of Marine Resources, a subject which Slabbed has reserved judgment upon until very recently. With the release of the Horne CPA Group report on the internal control structure of the very troubled Department of Marine Resources it is abundantly clear the very people charged with overseeing the agency and its governance were completely derelict in the discharge of that duty. The taxpayers will get stuck with the bill.
Since the scandal broke the consistent theme from the Commission on Marine Resources has been a Sergeant Schultzian “I know nothing” and I think the gang is being 100% truthful saying that. It betrays the fact they were simple rubber stamps for Bill Walker. Later they continued in their role of lackey, this time for Phil Bryant as they conducted the charade of an open hiring process for DMR Executive Director that landed Jamie Miller at DMR.
Another word for a rubber stamp board, Godfather style, is “buffers” and that is the real purpose of the Commission on Marine Resources which is to give the man really responsible for the operation of State Government, the Governor, cover when his cronies are caught with their hands in the cookie jar. The Board members will point to the fact they are essentially volunteering their time to this state agency and that is true enough. However it is equally true they are an expensive bunch of volunteers to support with the taxpayer funded freebie deep sea fishing trips and all the other toys that also come with the turf.
This goes way beyond a money issue though money to fund the agency is certainly the topic de jour. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, as it is currently structured, is constructed to fail. Since the Governor is really calling the shots, the Commission on Marine Resources should be eliminated, or a new board constructed and empowered to provide proper oversight free from political interference from Jackson save for the power of appointment. I am not so naive to think the latter will ever happen so the chop shop it is. There is no way this bunch of bumbling lackeys will ever regain the public’s trust.
Finally I’m certainly aware there is huge uncertainty among the worker bees at DMR, the vast majority of whom are still discharging their job duties at a high level despite the circus show like atmosphere iternerate to hosting monthly an oversight board of know nothing stooges. At this point in time there should be no reason the agency should not have a firm grasp of exactly where it stands financially. This needs to be clearly communicated to the employees so the uncertainty is minimized.
I watched this morning’s Toolman Interview segment on the WWL morning news with Chick Foret and Sally Ann and openly wondered if TeeVee News is the media format that is most responsible for the dumbing down of America. Yes, Channel 4 is famous for putting spectacularly hot women on the air in a tasteful, non-Faux News like manner but are the viewers actually getting any useful information outside the Traffic and Weather segments? After watching this morning’s 5 minute plus segment on the recent Louisiana Legislative Auditor Performance Audit of the SNAP Program, formerly known as Food Stamps the answer is no. To get a flavor of the inaccurate, sensational journalism being trumpeted by Eric Paulsen and Chick Foret let’s visit with Tania Dall’s report on same for WWL TeeVee.
Eyewitness News has learned more than $1 million worth of food stamps intended for people in need wound up in the hands of convicted criminals.
That is just one type of fraud and abuse that was discovered in Louisiana’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program known as SNAP.
Folks if this JPAS deal isn’t a complete alignment of all the stars I don’t know what is but time is short and I am still processing information. Yes, the internal audit is absolutely devastating but there is more to this story than meets the eye so a quick explanation is in order.
I noticed something was not right when our own Prince Charming, a commenter not known for showing any mercy to those featured and especially commenting on this blog exhibit some toward JPAS executive director Dennis “Maestro” Assaf. Prince was not alone. Yesterday afternoon I received a communique from a reader pointing out that Assaf’s recently deceased father is a member of the tribe, a somewhat legendary one at that. Both these readers knew what was fixing to happen here on Slabbed thus the additional information.
And what was fixing to happen to Maestro on these pages? Allow me to illustrate:
And why would I draw steel, slice and dice? Simple, a concept known as heuristics:
Heuristic (pron.: /hjʉˈrɪstɨk/; or /hyoo-ris-tik/; Greek: “Εὑρίσκω”, “find” or “discover”) refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery. Where the exhaustive search is impractical, heuristic methods are used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution; mental short cuts to ease the cognitive load of making a decision. Examples of this method include using a rule of thumb, an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, or common sense. In more precise terms, heuristics are strategies using readily accessible, though loosely applicable, information to control problem solving in human beings and machines.
Brought to you by Dennis Assaf and his family as underwritten by the taxpayers of Jefferson Parish and the State of Louisiana.
Behold the politically connected pests that brought the state taxpayers the Performing Arts Center boondoggle as Mini-me Roberts leaked a copy of a preliminary audit report on the Jefferson Performing Arts Society to Travers Mackel at WDSU and the I Team ran with it. I gotta get me a copy of dat report!
That said I have docs on JPAS in Slabbed’s document archives because one thing I learned going through the archival material from the Goatherderian reign of terror was Dennis Assaf and company over at JPAS were world class pests about getting taxpayer money to support their lifestyle. Throw a consummate BS artist like Aaron Broussard in the mix and them guys sparked off each other like nobody’s business. Here are a couple of examples from TheRiot era (click the pic to nab the pdf):