Lies, Lies, and More Lies

I hope you have enjoyed the various activities going on in Lumberton over the past few days. But tomorrow, we're reminded of the fact that Mayor Ben Winston is trying to shut down the Lumberton police department. He, along with other aldermen, will plead with the Lamar County Board of Supervisors to take over the Lumberton Police Department. I wonder who will attend the meeting with him as they attempt to rid this city of local police officers. For those of you that want to support the Lumberton Police Department, the meeting will be at 9:00 am in the renovated couthouse in Purvis. Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the Lamar County Sheriff's Office or their officers but I have a problem with a mayor and board that want to pass the buck. They knew about the financial situation before they put their names on the ballot. If they can't handle the job, then they need to step down. They were not blindsided and every department was sufficiently staffed before the Winston administration took office. This board is trying to blame the previous board for the lack of funding but the prior board left this board with the financial cushion needed to keep the vital services needed in this city. But this board has admitted that the city clerk does not know how to prepare a budget. So how in the BBI can they say the money was not there if the person that's been serving as city clerk for the last two years, does not know how to access the budgetarty software? Another thing, when Stephanie Mullings was city clerk, and there wasn't an accurate account record, we, including myself, didn't hesitate to accuse her of doing something wrong, including but not limited to accusations of embezzlement. I don't know about others, but I apologize for my harsh jump to judgement. Since Merlene has been in office, insurance payments were not submitted, employee insurance has been canceled on more than one occasion,allegedly, there's still billing errors in the water department and unlike Stephanie, she can't use BBI; so basically, the city is operating blindly. One issue I'm having is the way Merlene is being handled opposed to the way Stephanie was treated. When money came up short when Stephanie was clerk, we immediately went to accusations of stealing. However, and I think it may be due to her age (since gray hair is supposed to be a sign of wisdom), Merlene is given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to blame her lapses in memory on senior moments. At the last meeting, when Merlene wasn't able to explain the budgetarty deficit, one citizen accused the mayor of throwing Merlene under the bus. Seriously? It is her job to know and if, after two years, she wasn't trained to access BBI for budgetarty,then shame on her; that is her job. The fact that a week has passed and no special called meeting was held to ensure she's trained before the new year; shame on the board.

Before going further, let me explain another point. There will always be problems with reading and/or not reading of the water meters and billing issues because mistakes benefits the water department (WSOM). There's this illusion that they're fixing the matter, and evey now and then, they may make an adjustment but for the most part, they benefit from overcharging citizens via water bills. What department is used to loan money to the general fund, WSOM? So why would anyone think theyre trying to fix misreads or excessive billing of customers when the money collected is going directly to WSOM and more customers over charged, means more money in the account to loan the general fund.

At the last meeting, Winston made a reference that there's too many citizens that think they're lawyers. I think that was a shady moment directed to the blog he claims he don't read. But let's be clear, I'm not a lawyer but from my years of attending board meetings, I know the laws used to regulate a code charter municipality. I also know that the mayor is supposed to break a tie if one arises durung a meeting. Please not that there are no new amendments to this law which means it's still the law. Merlene can say she called Phil Bryant, but if it's not in writting, her phone conversations are moot. I know I'm going around the world just to get to Hattiesburg but when the majority of the board has embraced Ignorance, I feel the need to dot every I and cross every t. This post is a reminder that our police department is in jeopardy and we need to let the Lamar County Board of Supervisors know we support our officers. Here's another theory. Hold on to your britches for this one. In all honesty, I don't think the city is broke. This is a ploy that Winston is using in an attempt to get rid of the police department. Have you ever asked yourself, how is it that every time we get closer to the fiscal cliff, we miraculously get money deposited from out of nowhere and it's always just enough to carry us until the end of this holiday or until this pay period? I don't know about you, but it seems like these deposits are very conveniently discovered by a person that has no budgetarty training. Another dead give away that the City of Lumberton is not broke; Ben Winston is still signing checks. Now I know Ben likes to play ignorant when it's something he don't want to comply with, but he knows if he signs a check and there's no money in the account, he's responsible. And from what I can tell, he has yet to refuse to sign any checks and that's a clear indication that he knows the money is there; otherwise, he would pass the buck to Cora Rogers and another alderman. I don't know why he and Merlene are manipulating the system to get rid of the police department but I suppose if I was breaking the laws, I wouldn't want a police department either. Just a reminder, the Lamar County Board of Supervisors meeting is Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 9:00 am. Hope to see you there.


  1. boy howdy the city of rigelville sure gonna be pissed having to give up some of their law enforcement assets to little ole lumberton.


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