Show Me the Money
When the meeting started, the mayor, clerk and several board members were present. As you enter city hall, there were several work trucks in the parking lot. Once inside, there's a crew inside installing the surveillance cameras. I recall the meeting when the purchase of the cameras was approved but it was said that the public works director would install the cameras. What still bothers me is that the mayor and board continues to say the city is safe but they think city hall is under attack. If the people at city hall don't feel safe and the police are just a few feet from you. So imagine how the citizens feel; better yet, imagine how the police officer feel working alone while having the recent tragedy in Hattiesburg run through their mind with every call.
During the meeting, Mayor Winston boasted that he secured a $600,000 loan. They needed $250,000 to get the Army Corp of Engineers grant but he's mum about how they got the money, where the grant is being used and how was the loan secured when there's mot enough money budgeted to pay part time police officers? Are we taking part in a Ponzi scheme or heavens forbid, money laundering? This one thing is for certain, public money is not private. Is this the reason why they're making it hard to gain access to public records? What are they hiding? I've been to every meeting and there was never a vote taken to authorize Ben Winston and Jay McGraw to secure a loan on behalf of the City of Lumberton but there wasn't anything in the, inutes that authorized Richard Rose to prepare last year's budget but it happened and he was paid. One of the first announcements made by Winston when he became mayor was his plan to build a retirement facility called Lake Lumberton. Winston also claimed he had private investors. Are these private investors securing this $600,000 loan? Winston also said the next two years are going to turn the city around. If that's the case, why is he so ready to jump ship? Are these sewer improvement projects being used to build up the infrastructure for Lake Lumberton? I know I'm not the only that noticed the clearing of land by the interstate. Is Winston pushing this project and getting loans secured for self-serving purppses? At some point, he's going to have to answer these questions. If the sewer improvement project is not used to fix Love's Addition or provide sewer services to the newly annexed areas, he's going to need to explain why millions are being spent to improve property he own. This board want to block our need for transparency but what's done in the dark always come to light.