The Lying King and the Burglary Ring
One of the great philosophers of our time, Judge Judith Sheindlin, always says, "if you tell the truth, you don't need a good memory." Either our mayor has a problem with the truth or a bad memory. The other week, in the Hattiesburg American, there was an article about Budget Plans In Place for Lamar Cities in 2014-2015. The article outlined the budgets for Lumberton, Purvis and Sumrall and there were quotes from each mayor about the budget process, the raises that were given (non were given in Lumberton), the improvements that were planned for each city (not are planned for Lumberton), and the millege rate (Sumrall is the only city that had a millage rate increase but that increase will allow the City of Sumrall to make some needed improvements and give cost of living raises to their employees). It seems that the City of Lumberton is continuing to make cuts. The board does not seem to have any interest in finding a way to generate revenue. It amazes me that the board listed to a consultant that said the water and sewer rates needed to be increased so the WSOM department could sustain itself but the board did not think it was necessary to raise the millage rate to sustain police protection; despite the peak in the number of break ins in the city limits. But since the majority of Winston's supporters own the majority of the property in Lumberton, I could see why he would be against a millage rate increase. Keep in mind, the City of Lumberton does not have a revenue base and the board is being very closed lip about their increase in pay and insurance coverage. I wonder why they're trying to keep that under the rug. We're in a budget crunch, but somehow, the city has enough money to pay for more insurance coverage and a pay raise for the mayor. Intersting! And let's not forget about his plans to swander $22,000 on a software program to help the bumbling idiot we call the city clerk. This new software program is not capable of doing anything the current BBI program can do. It's just a matter of having a person in place with the wherewithal to enter the information into the correct areas. We have a shortage of police officers, an increase in break ins and the city wants to spend $22,000 on a software program. Please note, the City of Lumberton is still under contract with BBI, and will have to continue to pay the $7,000/yearly maintenance fee until they are released from the contract with BBI or buy out the contract they currently have with BBI. In other words, they will have to pay more money. So, I wonder where did this grand idea for getting a new software program come from? Could it have been one of the recommendations of embattled, former city manager of Diamondhead, Richard Rose?
Richard Rose was secretly brought in by Winston and McGraw to look over the books, make a new budget for the city and he was supposed to do this for $1,200. Well, in the recent article in the Hattiesburg American, Mayor Winston referred to Rose as an "unpaid consultant." Heaven's to Betsy! We have a minister/mayor that's lying, on record. Lord Have Mercy! What's that's scripture about a liar and a thief. There was this shroud of secrecy about the hiring of Rose. He was never put on the agenda. As a matter of fact, his name was never mentioned until after he completed the budget because I am sure McGraw knew I would Google him and find out about his troubles in Diamondhead. So, for about a month or two, he was referred to as a "good friend." At one meeting, they were discussing the payment to Rose and Jay was about to lie and say Rose did that work for free when Mayor Winston interrupted him and said he did the work for $1,600 and a motorcycle. The auditor made the City of Lumberton retrieve the motorcycle because it was purchased with grant money and cities cannot donate items; it's a violation of the law. I don't know about you, but a payment of $1,600 would void any claims that Rose is working as an unpaid consultant. Keep in mind, the mayor of a code charter municipality has the ability to authorize payments without the approval of the board; this is within their discretion. However, in the City of Lumberton, the maximum amount that can be paid by a mayor is $1,500; anything over that amount has to be approved by the board. I looked over all my agendas and I haven't spotted an item requesting the hiring of Richard Rose or the payment of Richard Rose. Now, Winston, McGraw, Crider, Dukes and C. Rogers may have had discussions about this matter behind closed doors but it was never put on an agenda and that's why it's a violation of the law. There are those that say Winston has plans on running for District 2, Supervisor. I can't see why he would think he's qualified for that position. He's not looking out for the best interest of his hometown, what makes him think he would serve well at the county level? If he was doing such a good job when he held that position, he would still be in office. IJS.
Tomorrow the board will hold its regularly scheduled meeting for the month of October. I know a lot of what I said will probably go in one ear and out the other but hopefully, citizens will show up and hold their governing body accountable. The City of responsible for the safety of its citizens and Lumberton is failing at this job. One of the clerk's positions was vacated, they still have the court clerk working part time and they're looking to waste $22,000 on a software program that is no different than the one they currently have but they're constantly crying "we're broke." Use that money you're trying to earmark for a software program and the money from the vacated clerk's position and make sure we have adequate police protection. Another lie that's being told over and over again is that the city is in it's current condition because of the previous board. That's is noting but a bold face lie. Mayor Holder constantly reminded the board of the cushion they had to have in place for the new board. As a result of her instruction and attention to details, the board stopped all unnecessary purchases to make sure the new board had ample funding to attend training, to have police protection, and funding to receive a salary. The current board had the funding and any shortages that arose during this administration was the result of this board not the previous board. The board meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. Hope to see you there.