Bay Council again becoming interesting to watch

What I am getting right now are accounts of last night’s meeting but I feel safe in saying the taxpayers of the great state of Mississippi could well save money if the Ethics Commission would open a branch office at Highway 90 and Main Street in Bay St Louis.

I want to see the show for myself before I comment further but it appears these gatherings of City Council members that have respectively included developer Jim MacPhaille, former Mayor Les Fillinagme, former City Attorney Don Rafferty and current Mayor Mike Favre have gotten out of hand. It seems like yesterday…..

Unanimous Mississippi Supreme Court Decides Columbus Mayor and Council Violated Open Meetings Act ~ Mississippi Justice Institute

Today [9/7/2017], the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that the Mayor and City Council of Columbus violated the Open Meetings Act when they previously met in prearranged, non-quorum size gatherings to discuss public business, intending to circumvent the Act. This is the first time the Supreme Court has ever addressed the issue of whether meetings of public officials in less than quorum numbers violate the Open Meetings Act. The Mississippi Justice Institute represented The Commercial Dispatch in the appeal.

“This is a huge win for the citizens of Mississippi and for open and accountable government,” said Mike Hurst, Director of the Mississippi Justice Institute. “People are tired of backroom deals and secret agreements by government officials that affect their lives. The Supreme Court’s opinion puts public officials and bureaucrats on notice – you cannot circumvent the law and do the people’s business behind closed doors anymore. Today’s decision is a monumental victory for transparency in government.”

[Link] to actual decision Continue reading “Bay Council again becoming interesting to watch”

Cancer in the locker room……

I’ve had this post title conceived for several weeks now, ever since MDAH shut down the new PJ’s Coffee House project, a story which was well reported in the local media but which Slabbed actually broke on Twitter. Given those events as well as more recent ones it seems appropriate for the post title to cover multiple topics there in the Bay. First up was Monday’s special called school board meeting. Lana Noonan attended and she sent in a short report:

After a 33 minute Executive Session, the Bay St. Louis-Waveland School Board took action to go forward with advertising the position of Superintendent of Education.

In addition to advertising on their website and several educational entities in the state, the board voted to notify all 33 applicants who had applied in the previous search that the position is open again.

Two more Special Meetings were scheduled for April 2, and April 4, to begin interviewing those applicants who respond to the District’s ad. Those interviews will be conducted in Executive Session after the meeting opens in open session as required by the Miss. Open Meetings Act.

The Board also accepted the resignation of the Athletic Director, Vernon Powell, effective March 16.

A way to the inside observation but I do not think Bay Waveland is ready for a swinging Superintendent so lets make that 32 instead of 33.

Moving back a few weeks in time does everyone remember MDAH shutting down the construction of PJ’s Coffee House? Here is the 4 paragraph refresher from Casandra Favre: Continue reading “Cancer in the locker room……”

There was indeed wailing and gnashing of teeth…

Sure was folks, exactly one week ago there was drama aplenty at the last Bay St Louis City Council meeting. Let’s start with a drive through:

‘No drive-thrus in downtown’ — BSL citizens show up in droves to protest zoning changes ~ Stacey Cato

This location must be cursed, rumor holds by an undiscovered poltergeist type of Native American burial ground for all the controversy it has caused. For instance it seems like just yesterday…..

Ward 4 Councilman’s Interference in Ward 2 dispute between shop owners the talk of the town ~ Doug Handshoe

The irony inherent to this whole drive through dust up was not lost on Miss Kathleen Johnson:

“They” did not want canopies and artists down town. The replacement a corporate drive thru they find totally unpalatable. KARMA

Social media has been buzzing and there is talk of an organized boycott of 200 North Beach Restaurant, one of developer Jim MacPhaille’s portfolio of old town properties. The ‘busy-body’ aspect to this latest dust up amuses. See folks, by my reckoning the MacPhaille train left the station several years ago. They’re to the executing phase of things and a PJ’s on those near corner properties will enhance the entire area. Old Town Bay St Louis is changing and the pace of change is quickening. The worse news is the real estate shakeout is not nearly done. The people I speak with whose opinions I value told me years ago the number one issue coming to Old Town was parking. Population density trends there are no where near the peak given the development that is currently on the books not counting what Mr. MacPhaille plans for the old middle school on Second Street. Parking in Old Town Bay St Louis will only get worse. Continue reading “There was indeed wailing and gnashing of teeth…”

Wednesday links

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Handelsman to join Advocate ~ The NOLA Advocate

Walt Handelsman has been a Slabbed tweep for a while now and I’m happy to hear he is back coming home from the north east.

The Jefferson Parish Hospital debacle takes another twisted turn as the BS is freely flowing:

Don’t split hospitals without public vote, West Jeff board says ~ Jeff Adelson

Perhaps the power brokers should not have stripped the public of that right to begin with but what’s done is done. Yesterday a reader noted even the Jefferson Parish coroner chipped in his two cents on this man made disaster:

Jefferson Parish should start over on hospital lease search ~ Gerry Cvitanovich

Next up is Maybury on the Mississippi Coast:

Bay violated open meetings law ~ Seacoast Echo

The sentence for this violation is 40 lashes with a wet noodle.

Next up is developer Jim MacPhaille and the old Second Street Elementary School Continue reading “Wednesday links”

I hear A. J. Giardina was in town today

And the legal fight brewing between the Bay Waveland School District, New Orleans developer Jim Macphaille and singer Rochelle Harper is gonna make the local TeeVee News. The subject is complex and comes with requisite cronyism and incompetence. Hopefully Giardina does not butcher it.

One naturally wonders why Hancock County beat reporter Al Showers does not have this story for WLOX but maybe he took the day off to pay his severely late water bill. More on that later today.

I am hearing disturbing things about another Bay Waveland School District real estate deal…….

Here is the setup via the Seacoast Echo:

The sale of the old Second Street Elementary property in Bay St. Louis has been slightly delayed, but the prospective buyers have put up $100,000 to sweeten the deal.

At a special meeting on Friday, the Bay-Waveland School District Board of Trustees approved an amendment to its commercial real estate contract with New Orleans developers Jim and Catherine MacPhaille.

The deal was expected to close on May 2, but the amendment extends the closing until May 20. School board attorney Ronnie Artigues told board members that the delay is necessary because the MacPhailles are in the midst of another real estate transaction.

Once again doing research on a topic leads me to a St Chas mansion via the Times Picayune social pages:

Queen Anne-style house matches the grandeur of the Uptown park it overlooks ~ NOLA.com

So these cats live in a multi million dollar mansion with a view of Audubon Park and yet they are jonesing on a $786,000 steal in the heart of Old Town Bay St Louis? After all these are the same folks that shelled out $2.45MM on a historic school in NOLA just for the heck of it. Continue reading “I am hearing disturbing things about another Bay Waveland School District real estate deal…….”