Guest Post | Lana Noonan: Did the Bay St Louis City Council Violate the Mississippi Open Meetings Act?

At the outset, let me say that The Hancock County Alliance for Good Government has no interest in the personalities involved in the Bay St. Louis Historic Preservation Commission.

What we do have an interest in, as per our Mission Statement, is keeping the political process clean, regardless of the individuals involved in the execution of the public’s business.

On the evening of May 8, 2018, at their regular meeting, the Bay St. Louis City Council, after exiting Executive Session, acted on a item of business that was NOT on their advertised Agenda. That item of business was the dismissal of a Commissioner from the Bay St. Louis Historic Preservation Commission.

During the course of the meeting, at the second Public Forum of the evening, Ward II citizen, Teri Velardi, asked Council if they were going to take any kind of action that evening regarding the Historic Preservation Commission. She actually polled the Council one by one. All said “no.”

Council President Gene Hoffman who represents Ward II, said that there could be some issues with the Commission, but not that night. Velardi pressed them with the possibility of an Executive Session on the issue, and all either said they had no issues that night with the Commission or as Ward IV Councilman, Larry Smith said, “he had no opinion at that time on the Commission.”

When Council President Hoffman entertained a motion to consider going into Executive Session, City Attorney, Heather Smith, was the only one to say she had a property purchase and 4 or 5 litigation issues to discuss with Council. The motion by Councilman DeSalvo, and seconded by Councilman Smith passed unanimously to go into closed session. Continue reading “Guest Post | Lana Noonan: Did the Bay St Louis City Council Violate the Mississippi Open Meetings Act?”

Guest Post | Hancock County Alliance for Good Government: Openness in Governing

In the state of Mississippi the efforts of some public officials to exclude the taxpayers from their deliberations on the expenditure of public funds has reached epidemic proportions. The sad thing is that the weak laws in this state don’t offer much relief for the taxpaying public.

In one day we get to observe a state official, State Auditor Stacey Pickering, and his staff admit under oath their efforts to hide information not only from the public, but from a Judge.

Then the Bay St. Louis Mayor and City Council call a “special” meeting to finalize the purchase of a new fire truck that will come in at slightly over $500,000. The notice of the meeting went out the morning of the meeting. This doesn’t give John Q. Public much chance to make arrangements to listen or participate in the discussion of the purchase of this equipment with our hard earned tax dollars.

No one is questioning the necessity of the equipment, but the urgency of the meeting is what is suspect. Continue reading “Guest Post | Hancock County Alliance for Good Government: Openness in Governing”

Wednesday links

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Handelsman to join Advocate ~ The NOLA Advocate

Walt Handelsman has been a Slabbed tweep for a while now and I’m happy to hear he is back coming home from the north east.

The Jefferson Parish Hospital debacle takes another twisted turn as the BS is freely flowing:

Don’t split hospitals without public vote, West Jeff board says ~ Jeff Adelson

Perhaps the power brokers should not have stripped the public of that right to begin with but what’s done is done. Yesterday a reader noted even the Jefferson Parish coroner chipped in his two cents on this man made disaster:

Jefferson Parish should start over on hospital lease search ~ Gerry Cvitanovich

Next up is Maybury on the Mississippi Coast:

Bay violated open meetings law ~ Seacoast Echo

The sentence for this violation is 40 lashes with a wet noodle.

Next up is developer Jim MacPhaille and the old Second Street Elementary School Continue reading “Wednesday links”