It would help if Mayor Dane would whip the other City Council persons in line so they could keep a consistent story:
This comes after Mayor Maxwell revealed last week the city is facing a $14 million budget deficit, and that the city and state are reviewing spending from 2012-2017. The city has already turned over financial records to the State Auditor.
“The misconception out there in the social media world is that we should have known this coming in,” the mayor said.
Maxwell took office in July. The budget had to be adopted by October. He said the city passed a budget based on the current numbers.
It was a common practice in years past to move money from the utility fund into the general fund to balance the budget, Councilman Scott Tipton said Wednesday.
The only reason it wasn’t done in the last two years is that, “there was no money left in there to do it,” Tipton said.
So who are we to believe, Mayor Dane who claims not to have a clue but who had the September 30, 2016 audit which showed the general fund was broke waiting for him when he assumed office in July, 2017. Mayor Dane actually submitted the audit which showed the general fund was broke to the Office of the State Auditor in October, 2017. Or should we believe the City Councilman that just admitted raiding the Utility fund for years until it ran out of money. The financial mismanagement here crosses into the realm of malfeasance IMHO folks because Mayor Dane and Councilman Tipton were clearly mining money from the lemonade spring area of Big Rock Candy mountain. Continue reading “Bless Their Poor Hearts, Which Suddenly Now Thirst for Knowledge”
Folks, I thought Mayor Dane and his band of Trumpies had all the answers. Maybe he should have been paying attention to the City’s checkbook instead of grandstanding for headlines in the press last December because the topic of the City being broke should have been publicly discussed way before now:
The story is instructive in the respect that Carter recounted the events Joe Friday style but as you’ll learn reading this post, when the City Attorney is involved in ‘splaining the annual audit, there is going to be a certain level of dishonesty bandied about because it taketh not a lawyer to explain numbers, though lawyers can certainly spin them. Here is an example of some of the bigger whoppers told a few days back:
The auditor and council agrees that this was not an issue from the previous council, but an issue spanning multiple past administrations.
Per the audit reports on file at the Office of the State Auditor there was $4.5 million dollars cash in the General Fund at September 30, 2015 and the General Fund was owed $5.3 million by other City Funds. By September 30, 2016 the City’s General Fund had no cash and was owed a whopping $14.2 million by other City Funds. The General Fund also owed other funds $8.861 million in money it had taken from them in the City pooled bank account.
Anyone with half a brain, including those who purport to be the City’s leaders that balance their own checkbooks could recognize the red flags. The audit report, dated June 29, 2017 was certainly a rude gift to the new City Council and Mayor but the City’s bleak financial picture was certainly no secret. According to the date stamp by the Office of the State Auditor the 2016 annual audit was received by them on October 3, 2017, which means the audit was submitted over 3 months late. I did a cursory search of the Mississippi Press’ on line story archive and do not see a story about the presentation of the 2016 audit to the City Council but I did find a few nuggets: Continue reading “About Pascagoula Being Broke and The Copious Amount of BS Being Bandied About by Mayor Maxwell”
The news cycle has been kinda slow here on the coast which is good because I’m buried in paying work. The benefit to covering a two state region however is things are almost never slow to the west in the great state of Louisiana especially when it comes to sexcapades so Monday’s bombshell that newly minted Duck Dynasty Congressman Vance McAllister has been carrying on with the wife of a long time very close friend signaled the start of a very lively feeding frenzy. I thought about the departed Nowdy and one of my favorite Slabbed post titles of all time because it just seems to fit the situation so well:
In any event I immediately discounted the politically based conspiracy theories being bandied about as to the source of the leak, mainly because in my career as an auditor I’ve spent sizable amounts of time onsite at a multitude of entities including a couple of times at places where the big boss / owner was messing with the hired help. I can guarantee you folks that two things were true in McAllister’s Monroe Congressional Office, which news reports have now pinpointed as the source of the leaked video:
Everyone that worked in that office knew exactly what was going on between McAllister and Melissa Hixon Peacock.
The other women in the office to the person likely despised Peacock for carrying on with the boss.
Worth noting in Broach’s report is this tidbit that is well worth repeating now:
Besides Broussard and his attorney, Robert Jenkins, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten and Metropolitan Crime Commission President Rafael Goyeneche were also in the courtroom. Letten has credited commission with helping the investigation.
This is today. But what were the Goatherders telling a gullible Canadian public days after their SLAPP suit against me was made official by Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Suzanne Hood on the Trout Point Lodge Blog (now deleted)? It is an interesting compare and contrast:
On January 6, 2010, in what appears to be a classic example of gotcha journalism, an investigative reporter for New Orleans Fox 8 TV News named Val Bracy arranged to interview Broussard on camera related to the investigations. What she did not tell Broussard was that the President of the Metropolitan Crime Commission–a state-funded Crime Stopper Organization–provided Bracy with access to a complaint letter against Broussard that the Commission was sending that day to the Louisiana State Ethics Administration, which oversees the conduct of public officials.
One of the larger post Katrina rebuilding stories here on the coast was then Governor Haley “Boss Hogg” Barbour and his economic development people diverting over $500 million dollars of recovery money meant to build housing for displaced storm victims to build “The Port of the Future” at the State Port in Gulfport. Wild promises of the port’s potential were made and I highlighted some of those promises in this post way back in 2008 where coastal residents were promised sunshine in the process due to the doubts many local area residents were harboring way back in 2008 when the money was diverted.
I mention all this because while I have been neck deep with my gabby cousin Slabb O’Leak, Anita Lee over at the Sun Herald blew the port’s BS out of the water this week because it turns out those plans Boss Hogg so publicly touted have been revealed to be BS and the locals are furious. This could well grow into a major scandal and it is my hope the OIG from HUD and possibly the Office of the Attorney General take a peeksie at how the recovery money was diverted, based promises that have since proven to be fictitious since the federal government may well have been misled.
That said I hope it is lost on no one the same political power brokers out of Jackson that brought us the port disaster have already annointed career politician and legacy political hack Billy Hewes as the next Mayor, almost a full year ahead of the election. Now for some links to various stories by the Sun Herald’s Anita Lee on the subject:
A bit over a week ago a print journalist familiar with Slabbed’s coverage of the post Katrina insurance wars sent me this link to a National Underwriter top 10 insurance living legends piece that featured Dickie Scruggs (one notch above true living legend Karen Clark) at the 7 spot. We used to feature the NU a good bit on Slabbed but that ended after they ignored the insurance industry getting its ass kicked in Corban v USAA where Nationwide Insurance’s lawyers made particular asses of themselves asserting wind coverage was properly denied if, after the wind 99% destroys the covered property, storm surge destroys the other 1%. The industry contends in such a scenario taxpayer provided coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program was the proper source of coverage and that is exactly the way they adjusted their claims here after Katrina tendering flood insurance policies pretty much sight unseen and denying any wind coverage that would come from their coffers.
For those of you folks still wondering why the country is broke after figuring out it is not the union pipe fitter that goes to work everyday for 6AM at the shipyard, or school teacher unions or Mexican ditch diggers, I’d submit if you multiply the above scenario 1000 times and you’d find the answer as most of the politicians that matter on any level are owned by some special interest. To illustrate the point allow me to update several insurance business world stories Slabbed covered in years gone by and start with that NU story I linked above.
A few weeks ago word filtered out the Rigsby sisters false claims act complaint against State Farm would be moving to trial on the exemplar claim known around the blogs as McIntosh v State Farm. State Farm is PR savvy and when that case heats up, invariably David Rossmiller, a partner at the Portland Oregon insurance defense firm of Dunn Carney pops up like a fly on shit regaling us with his knowledge of the minutiae of insurance contract law. Since Rossie, as he is known on Slabbed, surfaced blogging on Hurricane wind water cases of the type he has never tried in Oregon, it naturally aroused suspicions locally that he was an adjunct of State Farm PR, a view now widely shared in the local print media in South Mississippi. Back in the day Rossie was a darling in local insurance defense circles and on the Hard Line GOP political resource YallPolitics in the blogosphere, which still features the insurance litigation here on the coast in a section termed Scruggs scandal and it is indeed a popular insurance industry meme that the wind damage down here was all a figment of Dick Scruggs imagination thus the lumping. Scapegoating trial lawyers in still popular in GOP circles folks but that stands to reason since the GOP is the party of big business special interests but I’m getting ahead of myself.
So here is the story folks, Congressman Steven “Party Animal” Palazzo is sinking fast and needs a cheap PR gimmick to generate some positive buzz and distract weak minds here on the coast so today he announced the following:
U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo is declining to accept his congressional retirement benefits and is helping sponsor a bill that would eliminate pensions for members of Congress.
“South Mississippians are tightening their belts, and so should the federal government,” Palazzo said in a statement.
“That’s why I wrote to the chief administrative officer for the House of Representatives stating I would neither apply for nor accept any pension or retirement benefits derived from my service as a Member of Congress. That’s also why I support the EPIC Act.” The End Pensions in Congress Act, also known as the EPIC Act, would eliminate pension benefits for members of Congress in the futhre (sic), not those currently serving or retired.
So not only is Palazzo stinking up DC partying the nights away while using his staff as paid babysitters, he appears to be on the fast track to becoming as popular with his collegues as John Labruzzo was in the Louisiana Legislature.
So while Palazzo grandstands and hides out in Washington DC his constituents are still waiting for him to have his first town hall meeting. File this one under light and fluffy.