Holiday Bliss in A Place Apart?

Christmas falling on a Sunday has been good for the 24×7 news cycle, especially locally. The Rabble-Rousers are out in full force in the Bay ahead of next Tuesday’s workshop on the future direction of the Bay PD. A packed public workshop would be a good thing, especially if those that came out for the workshop at 4:30 stayed for the ensuing City Council meeting which starts at 5:30. Per the last workshop Councilmen Seal and Compretta are on record against consolidating services with the Hancock Sheriff while Councilmen Reed, Falgout, Favre and Boudin have yet to take a public stand on the issue.

Back on the 9th I wrote the following about the meeting with the United States Department of Justice in Jackson between certain City officials and the DoJ folks that are locally responsible for the Equitable Sharing Grant, which the Fillingame Administration co-mingled and misspent:

Speaking of rumors, one is swirling that Mayor Fillingame yesterday blamed the entire fiasco on deceased former Chief of Police Mike Denardo going so far as to claim that Denardo had forged his signature on the annual financial affidavits submitted to DOJ which showed the restricted funds were still in the bank despite the fact they had been comingled and misspent by the Fillingame Administration.

Let’s back up over a week and visit with Cassandra Favre’s comprehensive article on the last City Council meeting ’cause it is all coming out:

Probe at City Hall: Council wants answers in alleged forgery of Fillingame’s signature

Blame the dead man? A Classic and (classless) move as the Fillingame Administration passes straight through the twilight zone into the stuff of a cheap soap opera. Better yet was Cassandra capturing the nuance in the counsel provided to the City Council by City Attorney Trent Favre. To understand why we appreciated it is to understand that Slabbed earned its media card covering the post Katrina insurance litigation including the concept of double dipping coverages. In its most simple form in order for insurance coverage to kick in there had to be a loss and that loss could not necessarily be insured multiple times. Should the DoJ take pity on the City and not demand immediate repayment of the accumulated grant payments in favor of letting the City spend the money the way it should have been spent to begin with, then City Attorney Favre’s point about there being no insurable loss is valid.

There is a catch however and Cassandra picked it up: Continue reading “Holiday Bliss in A Place Apart?”

Way back in 2013 I made the analogy between BSL City spending and a compulsive gambler/alcoholic: The City is now out a cool million.

So now the official picture of exactly far in the hole Hizzoner has led the City comes into sharper focus the magnitude of the budgetary issues facing the City for FY 2016 also come clear. $450,000 in trade payables from the 2015 fiscal year sandbagged by the administration. An entire additional pay period due to leap year missed in the original budget for another $100,000. The total shortfall number I remember being mentioned last Thursday for the 2016 budget alone was $280,000. Some simple addition results in $730,000 with other financial skeletons still looming, most notably the $300,000 repayment demand from the United States Department of Justice which brings the total shortfall to over a cool million dollars. Imagine the disaster if the City council hadn’t belatedly taken steps to reign in Hizzoner, a compulsive spender/addict:

Mayor pays city back for raises, but budget shortfall still looms – Stacey Cato and Geoff Belcher

But those in attendance at Monday night’s marathon continuation of the week before Tuesday/Thursday Council meetings were treated to not only the Mayor showing up but also showing out, as he is prone to do when his spending addiction is threatened. The longer this drags out the worse it will get and worse it got as we found out last night:

Sheriff eyes allegation of ‘malfeasance’ in Bay ~ Geoff Belcher

You see folks while the Mayor decided to play hookie last week and skip the regular and recessed meetings Glenn Grannan from HCSO was there listening last Thursday to the Performance Audit Report presentation on behalf of Sheriff Ricky Adams. The reviews are coming in and they are not favorable on Hizzoner.

Is overspending and misspending a Municipal budget a crime in Mississippi? I would imagine it can be given certain circumstances. None of the peanut gallery, Slabbed New Media included, has accused Mayor Fillingame of illegal activity but the peanut gallery does not conduct criminal investigations for a living. But from a larger standpoint purposely steering the ship onto the reef “out of ego” can’t be tolerated. Someone has to stand down and something tells me it is not going to be the public that is now out a cool million dollars. Continue reading “Way back in 2013 I made the analogy between BSL City spending and a compulsive gambler/alcoholic: The City is now out a cool million.”

Superlatives can’t adequately describe Tuesday Night’s Bay City Council meeting….

Those of you following comments on the budget workshop Monday already know Mayor Fillingame gave out and paid employee raises without first seeking Council approval. This is what the Les Lovers United call “working together” except the City Council did not act the part of rubber stamp.

Personally I was stunned to hear of this latest turn of events and this topic deserves in depth analysis, which it will receive. Along those lines I wanted to get some official reaction so I dialed (407) 824-2900 and asked for State Auditor Pickering but the receptionist denied the State Auditor was in his office. If anyone can help me track Auditor Pickering down, perhaps even another phone number, I’d be much obliged.

Stay tuned.

Slabbed calls bullshit on Kim Davis and certain Christian denominations that want to impose their own version of Sharia Law on everyone

Kim Davis Mugger | Guilty of Civil Contempt of Court
Kim Davis Mugger | Guilty of Civil Contempt of Court

From a big picture standpoint the rhetoric you hear from Davis’ supporters could be easily mistaken for something you’d hear out of the Taliban because what is being couched as a defense of religious liberty is really an attack on the fundamental liberties that are guaranteed to every citizen under the First Amendment to the Constitution, an amendment we at Slabbed New Media know a thing or two about.

First I do not know who appointed the Apostolic Church as the spokespersons for Christianity because they do not speak for the Catholics and many other denominations that do not seek to impose by force of the government their personal religious viewpoints on nonbelievers and that is exactly what Kim Davis was doing by denying marriage licenses to the her constituents in Rowan County Kentucky because she did not personally agree with the Supreme Court ruling on Gay Marriage.

Even worse she openly disregards the very Oath of Office she swore before God but to the extent this lady and her numerous previous divorces that included infidelity well qualified her more to be a guest on the Jerry Springer show more so than local Clerk of Court I guess this should not surprise anyone.

Davis strikes me as a good ol’ girl with a weak mind that is taking some very bad advice from a special interest group closely affiliated with Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University that is now trying to spin Davis into some sort of martyr for refusing to discharge the sworn duties of her office denying access to everyone wanting a marriage license in Rowan County. Thank God we have more responsible public officials here in Mississippi.

Here are some links: Continue reading “Slabbed calls bullshit on Kim Davis and certain Christian denominations that want to impose their own version of Sharia Law on everyone”

The difference in managing by the numbers and being a slave to them

Once I advised a client that was planning their cash flow needs for the coming year that should the business achieve a DSO of under 30 days then it could reduce its Trade Receivables outstanding by over 40% in dollar terms. Because of the nature of the contracts and their terms, the subject business was able to reduce both its DSO and trade receivables thus the amount of cash required to finance “the turn” was greatly reduced.  This folks is called managing by the numbers and it not only works, but is typically the hallmark of the way best in class organizations are managed.

And by way of comparison we have this from the past weekend:

SRHS mess: Board minutes shed light on financial troubles, but meetings secret ~ Karen Nelson and Anita Lee

The hospital received a waiver from bond covenants and was able to finalize the audit June 21, according to the trustees’ minutes. The county did not receive the audit until July 9 — more than four months after the deadline. Crews told trustees he had negotiated a bond covenant allowing Singing River to have 55 days’ cash on hand, as opposed to 60, by Sept. 30. Crews reported to the board Sept. 25 that 56 days’ cash was on hand, but it was likely to decrease to 51 days when payroll was run later in the week.

So they would comply with bond covenants, Crews and Anderson suggested the board allow them to establish a line of credit for up to $5 million at Merchants & Marine Bank. Trustees unanimously approved the request. The Board of Supervisors also had to approve an increase in Singing River’s borrowing authority, according to a trustees’ resolution attached to the minutes.

This of course does not count the multiple refunding of bonds previously issued beginning in 2008 per my perusal of EMMA. So what was accomplished from a money standpoint by these gyrations? First off a local bank made some money because credit facilities are not free. So beyond paying a banker what did the financial engineering accomplish? Continue reading “The difference in managing by the numbers and being a slave to them”