What we know so far about Jolynne Trapani’s nomination to the CMR

The last time Slabbed visited with Ms. Trapani, she was jonesing for free, taxpayer paid dumpster service for her Old Town Bay St Louis restaurant. Now Ms. Trapani is Governor Phil Bryant’s head scratching pick to serve as environmental representative to the CMR. The environmental community does not claim her as one of their own based on what I am being told by representatives of both the CCA and the Sierra Club, who both feel this pick makes a mockery of the law specifying an environmental representative sit on the CMR. This is what I’ve been able to ascertain:

  1. She is not active in the CCA, though she is a member.
  2. She was not the person recommended by the CCA to serve as the Hancock County Environmental Representative on the CMR nor was she the person recommended to the Governor by State Senator Phillip Moran.
  3. Her friendship with Mike Cure is well known in Bay St Louis.
  4. Mr. Cure met with Governor Bryant within the last three weeks.
  5. There is a widespread expectation in the environmental community that she will vote on the CMR exactly as she is told to by Cure and Richard Gollot.

There is more to come folks.

Commission on Marine Resources again overrules DMR Scientific staff

This is what happens when, by design, the oversight board for an agency is structured to be captured out of the gate and people with an economic interest in specific outcomes allow their personal financial interests to trump the public interest:

CMR to allow limited oyster dredging season ~ Steve Phillips

Of course the people with the economic interest in specific outcomes were the same people who brought the public Billy Walker and his reign of thievery.  That said there is one person on the CMR who is actually looking out for more than just himself:

Those same concerns were echoed by DMR scientists, as the CMR considered a limited dredging season this year.

“The areas where there’s a high recruitment and a good spat set, I think we need to look at limiting those,” said the DMR’s chief scientific officer, Dr. Kelly Lucas.

Commissioner Ernie Zimmerman said he couldn’t go against that recommendation.

“What scares me to death is letting these fishermen go make a dollar today and take two dollars out of their pocket next year,” said Commissioner Zimmerman.

And those that are only looking out for themselves: Continue reading “Commission on Marine Resources again overrules DMR Scientific staff”

A DMR employee speaks, says Jamie Miller sourced article all wet

Today I received a communication from a current DMR Employee. Following is an edited version of what Slabbed New Media was sent.

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The was submitted to the DMR hotline as well in response to Miller cleaning house at Department of Marine Resources by the Sun Herald.

I’m going to point out some of the discrepancies and inaccurate statements Jamie Miller has made to the media:

  1. There are in fact a few people still working in the finance office that were here during the Walker era. Jamie Miller has these remaining employees set up to be outcasts and potentially making them feel unwelcomed, driving them to the point of quitting. Since the new hires in the office, Bill Feidt included, have no clue as to what is going on, this is a terrible idea as the agency is going to crumble without these people. As a non finance department employee, I do no feel welcomed here at all and the overwhelming majority of those I speak to have the same feelings. This agency is seemingly more corrupt and crooked than it was before. Jamie Miller has brought in a culture that resembles a Middle Eastern dictatorship and the only ones reaping the benefits are himself and the select few he has hired in and/or contracted services.
  2. There is no tighter control over spending. We have overpaid for numerous services and for items that the administrations wants but the DMR has no need for. Some examples include the new sod in the boat yard/compound. There was no need to landscape this area and the sod that was put in place is dying due to lack of care and maintenance. Others include multiple new vehicles for the administration to use as their own. Also, DMR has too many unmarked cars that are being used as personal/work vehicles. That needs to be corrected.
  3. Grants and spending for most employees is being monitored. Purchases that are for the administration seemingly aren’t. I’m sure they are being reviewed but no one is questioning them. Equipment for the agency takes way to long to get through because Bill Feidt doesn’t look at them for months. Aside from the administrators parading around in their renovated offices and new vehicles, it is becoming increasingly harder for the agency to do it’s mission due to the lack of proper equipment being purchased in a timely fashion. Money is still being misspent and moved around.
  4. Some of our new administration hires are a joke. Four people now do Joe Ziegler’s old job, about three too many as Ziegler didn’t really do anything to begin with. Dr. Kelly’s hire is seemingly the only one that was really needed and she has been a welcomed asset to the agency.
  5. Commissioner Richard Gollott has been made aware of the ongoing problems within the agency for a while now. He does nothing but cheerlead the others commissioners into overruling the scientific staff.
  6. Turnover has not just been in executive staff and management. There has also been way more turnover than what was implied in the article.
  7. The complaints hotline is for show. I understand the administration has been seen laughing over some of the hotline reports. Also, when reports come in about our director and other administrators, they are rumored to discuss who turned these reports in for possible retaliation against those employees. Complaints also don’t go to the CMR unless they are about Jamie Miller and then they sometimes go into executive session regarding these issues. Nothing seemingly happens but it’s nice to think that they at least take things into consideration.

Continue reading “A DMR employee speaks, says Jamie Miller sourced article all wet”

Guest Post: Regulatory changes at Mississippi DMR not good for the fisheries or the little people

The DMR has been in the news lately concerning the tendency for connected, influential people to get special treatment or special opportunities. After extensive federal and state investigations there have been turnovers of some personnel and the promise that things would change for the better.

The recent rule changes that the Commission on Marine Resources and that the DMR staff have worked on lately to put more fish in the hands of fewer people, suggest that the DMR is still looking to make marine resources more available to some and to make the resource less available to unconnected, “little” people.

Increasing the speckled trout quota so that more speckled trout are funneled into the sea food markets which are better-connected and more influential than the “little” people who go out on public piers to try to catch something or go out in boats on weekends is funneling the resource into fewer hands.

Changing the hook and line license so that those who can’t or won’t produce at least 10% of their income off the sale of fish is cutting out those struggling to live on retirements and who appreciated supplementing their income by 5% or even 9%. Leaving the hook and line rule so that anyone who is determined enough, skilled enough or desperate enough to catch hundreds of pounds of speckled trout, for example, in a single day while others are limited to 15 per person or in the case of redfish 3 per person, is seeing to it that those more favored individuals get a bigger piece of the pie than the average “little” person. If the DMR had changed, they would have fixed the bad rule that said recreational people have daily limits while the hook and line license holder can catch the entire yearly allotment of a species in a single day if a rod and reel had that capability. Continue reading “Guest Post: Regulatory changes at Mississippi DMR not good for the fisheries or the little people”

Squirmmmmmmmmmmmm

Meet Jamie Miller, Executive Director of the Mississippi DMR:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ2LCDH9vr0

DMR posts notice four hours ahead of special meeting in Biloxi ~ Paul Hampton

I wonder how many hours of notice the CMR received.

Senate Bill 2579 a small step forward for a deeply troubled DMR but is Miller Time a good time for the agency

Jamie Miller came to the Executive Director’s job at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources with a reputation as a no nonsense hatchet man and he has lived up the PR in his first 10 months on the job. In true Mississippi political fashion the surviving, politically connected finalist was also hired on with the agency as well so as to minimize blowback potential, Joe Cloyd got another do nothing sweetheart state contract and all was declared well with the world.

Mistake not the fact that Miller was Phil Bryant’s man from the start as there was never really any competition for the Executive Director job in the wake of Bill Walker’s departure from the agency. Miller Time reigns supreme at DMR and so it is natural the local legislative delegation would be pushing reforms that give even more power to the executive director and that is exactly what Senate Bill 2579 does.

Like most legislation it contains things that people would judge to be good and bad.  I personally like the fact the agency will be required to have an annual audit performed.  That said on these pages commenters have decried giving the Executive Director even more power and when I read the bill I wondered why there is even such a thing as a Commission on Marine Resources given the Executive Director’s sweeping power to hire the top positions with no oversight. More on that in a bit. Continue reading “Senate Bill 2579 a small step forward for a deeply troubled DMR but is Miller Time a good time for the agency”

Hehehehe | LOL: Wonder if Ernie saw this coming

SUN HERALD | Editorial: Does CMR appointment meet the spirit of the law? ~ Sun Herald Editorial Board

While the Op-Ed makes some good points the gang loses me very early in the piece.  Here it is:

Zimmerman’s presidency of the nonprofit Coastal Conservation Association’s Bay St. Louis chapter and his membership in the Mississippi Wildlife Federation are pluses, but there is an important question that needs further examination: Does Zimmerman meet the conditions of state law that this seat is to be filled by a member of a nonporfit (sic) environmental organization?

Are they actually suggesting being an active member of the Coastal Conservation Association and MWF aren’t “nonporfit” enough to meet the plain language of the CMR’s enabling statute?  It smacks of elitism folks and that is exactly what it is.  Fact is the average bubba down here much more identifies with environmental groups like the CCA and MWF than Sierra Club or The Audubon Society and I believe it is from those circles the criticisms above are emanating. They are very misguided.

Slabbed will not hold the fact that Ernie likes to be in a relatively pristine outdoor coastal environment where he can hunt and fish and then eat what he hunts and fishes against him.  As I said yesterday he is a fine appointment to the CMR.  Ernie is honest, motivated and active in the community. He comes from a family of such people.

Editorially Slabbed is against any form of fossil fuel extraction in the Mississippi sound.  That said you can’t hold the fact Ernie has not formed an opinion on this issue against him, mainly because he is brand new and certainly has much to learn.  I’d submit that an open mind is a good thing in fact as I’ll remind everyone of Nowdy’s classic post circa December 2009, A mind is like a parachute. If it doesn’t open, you’re f#@%*d! because it applies here. Continue reading “Hehehehe | LOL: Wonder if Ernie saw this coming”

Ernie nabs spot on Commission on Marine Resources

You go Ernie!

Governor Bryant Appoints Ernie Zimmerman to Commission on Marine Resources ~ Governor’s Office Press Release

BILOXI—Gov. Phil Bryant today announced the appointment of Ernie Zimmerman of Waveland to the Commission on Marine Resources.

The Commission on Marine Resources steers the vision of the Department of Marine Resources. Zimmerman has been a member of the Coastal Conservation Association since 2002 and currently serves as president of the Bay St. Louis chapter, a position he also held from 2002-2007. He also is a member of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation.

It is my hope the 4 commissioners that were asleep at the switch while former executive director Bill Walker and his family were looting out the agency that are still on the CMR don’t ruin Ernie, especially those such as Commissioner Jimmy Taylor, who personally benefitted from Bill Walker’s Conprofit Yacht scheme. How those guys are still on the CMR defies the imagination.

Regardless congratulations to Ernie Zimmerman from his peeps at Slabbed.