Time to go, know what I mean Vern?

For the second time the Sun Herald has called for a complete house cleaning at the Commission of Marine Resources, a subject which Slabbed has reserved judgment upon until very recently.  With the release of the Horne CPA Group report on the internal control structure of the very troubled Department of Marine Resources it is abundantly clear the very people charged with overseeing the agency and its governance were completely derelict in the discharge of that duty. The taxpayers will get stuck with the bill.

Since the scandal broke the consistent theme from the Commission on Marine Resources has been a Sergeant Schultzian “I know nothing” and I think the gang is being 100% truthful saying that.  It betrays the fact they were simple rubber stamps for Bill Walker.  Later they continued in their role of lackey, this time for Phil Bryant as they conducted the charade of an open hiring process for DMR Executive Director that landed Jamie Miller at DMR.

Another word for a rubber stamp board, Godfather style, is “buffers” and that is the real purpose of the Commission on Marine Resources which is to give the man really responsible for the operation of State Government, the Governor, cover when his cronies are caught with their hands in the cookie jar.  The Board members will point to the fact they are essentially volunteering their time to this state agency and that is true enough.  However it is equally true they are an expensive bunch of volunteers to support with the taxpayer funded freebie deep sea fishing trips and all the other toys that also come with the turf.

This goes way beyond a money issue though money to fund the agency is certainly the topic de jour.  The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, as it is currently structured, is constructed to fail. Since the Governor is really calling the shots, the Commission on Marine Resources should be eliminated, or a new board constructed and empowered to provide proper oversight free from political interference from Jackson save for the power of appointment.  I am not so naive to think the latter will ever happen so the chop shop it is.  There is no way this bunch of bumbling lackeys will ever regain the public’s trust.

Finally I’m certainly aware there is huge uncertainty among the worker bees at DMR, the vast majority of whom are still discharging their job duties at a high level despite the circus show like atmosphere iternerate to hosting monthly an oversight board of know nothing stooges.  At this point in time there should be no reason the agency should not have a firm grasp of exactly where it stands financially.  This needs to be clearly communicated to the employees so the uncertainty is minimized.

12 thoughts on “Time to go, know what I mean Vern?”

  1. According to the Sun Herald website, it stated that Jamie Miller said that saving money on fuel, books, and pencils was not going to get it. Ok, I understand these things may not save the DMR but they should be explored because possible waste may exist. Perhaps this may be in the works or may have already started.

    Here is what I would like to see as a tax payer. Since the DMR seems to be in a financial bind I think I would not be unreasonable to see a complete breakdown of every expense or purchased product made by the DMR. In addition to this breakdown I feel it would be a great benefit to the public if a complete analysis was performed and what can be possibly cut. Here are a few things that could be could be included and one could see from an in depth analysis:

    a) fuel and vehicle usage–are employees and departments equipped with the most economical vehicles needed? Are personnel utilizing large gas guzzlers for general transportation? Are there any vehicles that may be under utilized? Are vehicles being used to transport personnel for anything other than official government business?

    b) clothing–other than law officers does the DMR furnish clothing for employees? If so, what and is there a real need?

    c) supplies and supply management–what supplies are absolutely needed for mission accomplishment? How are supplies managed within each department? Are there excessive piles of supplies laying around?

    d) misc. expenses–does the DMR purchase anything to aid with employee quality of life? IE: water, coffee, snacks. If so, could this be an area that could save costs but not adversely affect employ moral and performance?

    I think I have made my point and these are just examples of what I would expect to see if an analysis was performed. For me to actually believe cost savings are a concern for the DMR I would have to see a detailed spreadsheet which outlines all costs past and current and for it to display what management is going to do to cut unneeded costs and practices. I am not formally requesting or implying anything. I would just have to see something presented that shows that areas were examined and some thought was put into it. Who knows. Maybe we will see something like that in the near future.


  2. I thought for sure there would be more comments on this section. Well anyway, I’ll post something for the readers to laugh at.

    I have been thinking about Doug’s post and the letter to the editor. Although, I am not going to go totally soft on the CMR, but I do get the feeling they are being used as a possible excuse for not catching a lot of things that allegedly happened at the DMR. I understand that there are a lot of people who are unhappy with their performance. Additionally the findings in the report also outline short comings with the CMR.

    So what does all this lead to? I really have no idea but here are some things to think about.

    1) If the current CMR staff stays in place then the worst one could assume is a continuation of the lack of over site. At best, they may start intervening as long as it doesn’t piss off the governor to much.

    2) If the CMR abandons ship and a new staff is installed then exactly how much power are they actually going to have to oversee and make sure things are done right?

    3) If the CMR is removed then there could be a risk that they air more dirty laundry.

    4) If the CMR is removed then who would replace them? I am personally convinced that Miller was a political hire so what is to say he would not have influence on a selection of an entirely new CMR staff.

    Anyway it happens I strongly beleive that the new ploy (almost rhymes with cloyd) is to throw the CMR under the bus. I will stress that I am not defending them 100 percent but I really wonder how much influence and control they really have. In my own opinion, I think their oversight is restricted behind the scenes.

    1. Thompson firm? Curious to know if anyone at that firm is related to the former Public Affairs Director, Lauren Thompson.

  3. I would think at this point the CMR members want to stay so they have some access to information about the ongoing investigation. They must have some liability for not doing the job the were appointed to do. The pay or lack there of does not get them off of the hook. They allowed thru there inaction the complete ramsacking of this agency.On top of this we have members using boats,planes and god only knows what else. So why else would they stay? I cannot come up with anything except to cover their ass.

    1. That is the conclusion I have reached.

      This is no juke and jive on my part calling for the resignations of the entire CMR. The disaster Bill Walker visited upon the DMR was not entirely of his own making and the Horne report made that clear. You can’t fix willingly clueless so they gotta go.

      I understand politics will not be removed from the DMR equation – this is Mississippi after all. If the Gov is gonna run the agency you don’t need the CMR.

      I absolutely agree with the assertion the worst is yet to come. I also opined early on Jamie Miller was a hatchet man and he is living up to that prediction.

      Coast Rat has the political lay of the land pegged as there is lots of competing self interests in the GOPers that comprise our local group of GOP political types. The same was true when everyone in Mississippi was democrat.

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