Jackson County Supervisor John McKay and his unwavering support of Bill Walker during the DMR Scandal was certainly enough to put him on Slabbed’s radar screen back in the day. Since then we’ve all gotten to see McKay in action once again in the Singing River Meltdown beginning with the demise of his appointed trustee, Morris Strickland. No one news story better encapsulates John McKay the elected official than the saga of the folks in Vancleave up on McGregor road that were McKayed by McKay and his political family during the construction of the new Ocean Springs High School. I can think of no better place to start telling this story than with Jackson County Spokeswoman April Havens in early December 2009:
A Kiln man who won a $3.1 million contract to supply dirt for the new Ocean Springs High School was granted permission by county supervisors Monday to construct two 10-acre catfish ponds on his Vancleave land despite local resistance.
Tommy Cobb bought the McGregor Road land in June 2008, he said, to use for hunting and catfish ponds.
In October, the Jackson County Planning Commission voted 6-1 to allow Cobb to construct his ponds and haul off the dirt, but resident Louis Fortenberry appealed that decision to the Board of Supervisors, which heard the appeal Monday.
Fortenberry claimed Cobb hadn’t received the proper permits for digging the ponds, among other problems.
Supervisors, however, said the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality confirmed that Cobb received his necessary permits for the ponds, which will be 8 feet deep.
And indeed Cobb did have Catfish Pond permits, which are far easier to obtain from MS DEQ than a permit to extract dirt as we continue:
Attorney Michael Watson said Cobb would not maintain a dirt pit, but rather haul the dirt to the new Oceans Springs High School site, for which his company, G&C Construction, won a contract.
G&C Construction won a $3.1 million contract to supply the high school with 260,000 cubic yards of dirt, he said.
To some, that plan might “look fishy,” Supervisor John McKay said, noting some are upset that Cobb was able to “lowball” the bid because he’d be using his own dirt.
“I haven’t liked the way this has been handled, but we allow other people to dig ponds,” McKay said before making the motion to deny the appeal.
“I think you have a legal right to do what you’re doing,” he said.
Watson said Cobb bought the land in 2008 with the intent to construct a hunting camp and the ponds.
“He’s been open and honest,” Watson said. “He’s had the same intentions from day one. I’m sure some folks are going to say he worked one over on the system, but it just worked out for him.”
So here are the players per Haven’s press release, Tommy Cobb, Supervisor John McKay and now State Senator Michael Watson. Mr. Cobb sure was lucky Continue reading “Nothing fishy here, what’s a hole in the ground between friends. Slabbed takes a trip down memory lane with Jackson County Supervisor John McKay”