Guest Post | Lana Noonan: Congratulations to the Local Public Officials that made Restructuring the Bay Waveland Schools Possible

The Hancock County Alliance for Good Government would like to offer our congratulations to those public officials who made possible a restructuring of our local Bay St. Louis-Waveland School Board.

We’ll start with former Mayor Les Fillingame, who last February, 2017, did not re-appoint Maurice Singleton, leaving that appointment to the new administration. Current Mayor, Mike Favre, and the new Bay St. Louis City Council replaced Singleton with Vicky Arnold, and most recently replaced Joan Thomas with Ann Latrop.

Those of us who regularly attend School Board meetings, review claim dockets and test scores could not be more pleased in the new Board. We will hold them accountable for their opportunity to make the long overdue improvements to the School District.

One has been accomplished, that being the resignation of Superintendent Vicky Landry, which ends the nepotism arrangement in the School District Business office between her and her brother, Business Administrator, John McCraw. The Director of the Miss. Ethics Commission and the Attorney General both advised against this arrangement last year, and it has finally been accomplished. Sadly they prevailed for 12 months in violation of state law to the tune of $217,000 in salaries for these two. We feel those funds could have been better spent on the students and their teachers.
Next, and actually, most important on our list of challenges for the new Board is to address the academic conditions of our two elementary schools. North Bay dropped from a”B”rated school to a”C” and Waveland from an”A”to a “D”as reported by the State Department of Education.

We will continue to attend the School Board meetings, and hopefully witness some long awaited leadership that will result in the most important goal for our community–putting the kids first, and developing a personnel roster that can make that happen.

Lana Noonan, Chairman
The Hancock County Alliance for Good Government

PSA: Hancock County Alliance for Good Government Political Forum for Bay St. Louis Municipal Elections

On Thursday, April 20, 2017 the Hancock County Alliance for Good Government is sponsoring a Political Forum for all candidates who have qualified to run in the 2017, Bay St. Louis Municipal Elections.

While The Hancock County Alliance for Good Government does not endorse candidates, since 2010, the organization has provided Political Forums for City, County, and State-wide elections as an opportunity for the voters and candidates to meet and debate the current issues of their government.

The Forum will be held at the Old Town Community Center in the Depot District on Blaize Avenue from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Candidates can register to participate by calling—228-493-4358 or 228-363-9395.

The Hancock County Alliance for Good Government has released the following letter to the Bay City Council

Lonnie Falgout, President
Bay St. Louis City Council

Dear Councilman Falgout:

On behalf of the Hancock County Alliance for Good Government and in view of the recent and tragic events in the city of Bay St. Louis Administration, we feel a Special Called Meeting of the Bay St. Louis City Council is in order, and are requesting you poll the Council for a Special meeting for the following:

Mayor Les Fillingame in recent statements in the local news media has confirmed that he suspended without pay, late Bay St. Louis Chief of Police Michael De Nardo, because the Mayor had been informed by the Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam that De Nardo, was the subject of an investigation.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department has now confirmed that the City of Bay St. Louis Payroll Department is the subject of a Federal investigation for Payroll Fraud.

Using the same premise under which Mayor Fillingame suspended Chief De Nardo without pay, we are asking the Bay St. Louis City Council to request Mayor Fillingame, Payroll Clerk Pat Tice, Acting City Clerk Paula Fairconntue, Comptroller Sissy Gonzales, Human Resource Director Gus McKay, and any other city employees or elected officials who either prepare or present payroll and benefits for Council approval, to step down without pay until the Payroll Fraud investigation by the FBI is concluded.

If the aforementioned publicly compensated individuals will not voluntarily step down, we are asking the Council to call a Special Meeting and suspend their pay and remove them from their positions immediately and until the investigation is completed.

Lana Noonan, Chairman
Ron Thorp, Co-Chairman

Other Voices | Lana Noonan: Its a new game in town for Bay-Waveland School District

If the rest of the meetings of the Bay St. Louis-Waveland Board of Trustees are anything like the first one of this calendar year, which took place Monday night, you can safely say “There’s a new game in town!” And newly elected Trustee, Mark Kidd, representing Waveland, threw the first pitch.

Transparency, accountability, and communication are what he stated he is interested in moving forward, and move he did!!

On a motion by Kidd and seconded by the other Waveland representative, Mike Bell, Bay St. Louis representative, Casey Favre was elected Board President.

On reliable source, this was not the plan of some other Board members going into the meeting!!

The Superintendent then gave a report on the latest Test Scores with emphasis on the ACT test results. This ended up being an almost 15 minute monologue that excluded any real data on how the students actually performed with the exception of the Superintendent saying that she “thought” they came in somewhere around 4th Coast wide out of the 16 school districts tested . Trustee Kidd corrected that statement to reveal they came in 4th from the bottom or 13th with an average ACT score of 17.8. Does the Superintendent really expect the public to believe she didn’t have those results? Continue reading “Other Voices | Lana Noonan: Its a new game in town for Bay-Waveland School District”