Another Budget Workshop: I Got $5 On It
Whenever this mayor and board look over the budget, it's like trying to explain quantum physics to a first grader; they never seem to grasp what's being said and eventually you just give them a gold star for coloring within the lines. I think Ben's goal is to force the few officers we have to quit so the county can take over. Basically, this board does not want any part of the budget to be used for police protection. The mayor doesn't want police. At least a two board members don't want police but what they fail to realize is as long as you are a city, you are required to provide police protection. During the meeting, there allegedly was a problem understanding the payment of state assessments. Mayor Winston allegedly wanted a written statement from the state showing how much the City of Lumberton owe. After realizing the State of Mississippi is not Burger King and he can't have it his way, Winston's solution was that we'll pay on it. Seriously? As the mayor, his solution is to pay something on it. Would he accept that from people that owe him? I think not. Would he allow his renters to pay something on it? Hardly. Would he load his heavy equipment and perform a job knowing the client only intended to pay something on it? Nope. So why does he think it's an acceptable solution for a city? I guess in his defense, Winston allegedly said there was a time when the state waited three years for payment and they can just wait for a payment because we can't pay if we don't have the money. But here's the kicker, they manage to pay almost every bill except the ones associated with the police department.
The police department was collecting good money when Betty Speights was allowed to work full time but her hours were cut and for some reason, this board does not see the correlation between the cut in hours and the lack of fines getting collected. Another important bill Winston is allegedly ignoring is the Lamar County jail bill. Winston wants Lamar County to take over Lumberton's police force despite being deliquent on a bill owed to Lamar County. And this is the man that want to be the next District Supervisor. I don't think people realize his utter lack of comprehension. I guess Forrest Gump was right, stupid is what stupid does. But wait, it gets better or worse, depending on your perspective. Alderwoman at Large Cora Rogers is not pleased that guys are hanging on the corner by her day care. Yes, this is the same person that feels we have enough police protection and don't want to jeopardize her bond by voting to hire a part time officer at $10.50/hour. Winston's solution, allegedly speaking, is to have Chief Cowart deputize C. Rogers because she allegedly want a police badge. Cora is all over the place. At one meeting she's upset that the police didn't stop pursuit of a fleeing criminal to check on her and next thing you know, she's trying to get the mother of the fleeing violator to help her get the officer and the chief fired, allegedly speaking of course. But I wonder if it's allegedly since the woman filing the complaint came to the house to get me to help her fill out the complaint. I was explaining to her that complaints don't go to the board, they must be filed with the police chief because it's her officer and her department. But she told me that Cora instructed her to bring her the complaint before 5:00 pm so she could have it before tne meeting. Now, Chief Cowart is the only department head that knows about the budget process and assessments but C. Rogers is trying to build a case against her so she can justify recommending her for termination. Now that's dirty but what you expect from a woman that would team up with a man that attempted to have her elderly mother put out of church by court order? Cora is so hungry for control that I wouldn't put anything past her. She want to be mayor and apparently she also wants to be chief of police. It's alleged that she said the police better come when she call because she signs their check. Good grief! (In my Charlie Brown voice.)
People, no matter how hard I try, I can't make up this stuff. As you can see, everyone is not equipped to be mayor and just because you choose to sign checks (which really is a foolish move; especially if you're not certain what's in the account because you're going to be the one tne State goes after) does not mean you're equipped to be chief. If you want a police badge, then go to the police academy and get the required training. Police badges are earned; they're not symbolic gestures given to people on a power trip. Ben Winston and Cora Rogers need to have several seats. I don't know what's holding up the investigation into Lumberton's elected officials total disregard for laws but I'm convinced that before the end of this term, some of these board members will become familiar with the inside of a jail cell. Please keep our officers in your prayers. This administration is trying to force them out. Take some time to treat an officer to lunch to show your appreciation. I hope the board appreciated my absence but I'll be sure to attend the next meeting so be prepared.