Recap of July 28, 2015 Special Call Meeting: The Cry Me a River and Pot Meets Kettle Edition
There was an order to pay the employees listed in the Department of Labor letter dated July 21, 2015. They were reluctant to divulge any details but we found out the payout will be $13,280.50. Since this assessment was budgeted, one would think the total would be listed on the agenda. Alderman Quincy Rogers confused the city officials, elected and appointed, when he simply asked if the budget was amended to cover the $13,280.50. They were clueless about the budget amendment process. I hope Richard Rose is on speed dial because he's going to be needed before next Tuesday, the date they selected to amend the budget. I wonder what account will be used to cover this unexpected expense? There wasn't a lot of discussion about this money but I think it may be related to the fact that hourly employees were given comp time in lieu of overtime pay.
Next on the agenda was to discuss and vote on the contract with the City of Lumberton and Gold Coast Skydivers. It seems that Mayor Winston has been making campaign promises and that means selling out his beloved city. Leanne Igo, with her trembling voice, explained to the board how she was so disappointed that the City of Lumberton was building another building and it wasn't the one promised, if fiscally viable, in the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) signed in 2007. According to Igo, she and her skydiving group saved the airport from desolation. Interesting, I thought it was the hundreds of thousands of dollars received from the airport grants. If memory serves me correctly, the $100/year they were paying to lease the airport was not nearly enough to cover the matching funds required for the grant but based on her story, they swooped in and saved the airport. Leanne Igo was on the brink of tears, saying how upset she was that Lumberton was building another build7ng but she's wrong, the City of Lumberton is not building the hanger, it's getting built from a grant. Lumberton cannot, according to Ben Winston, afford to pay for a fully staffed police department so it's unlikely they have $150,000 to build a club house for the Gold Coast Skydivers. Here's a company that's not paying enough rent to cover the matching funds of a grant but seven years later, they're claiming that Lumberton has breached their contract. But this is not about the $350/month; it's about the Gold Coast Skydivers wanting to keep those trailers on the property so theu can avoid investing in a city they claim they're helping because a skydiver may fill up on gas or buy a burger in Lumberton.
As the meeting continued, I noticed Leanne Igo failed to maintain several contractual obligations. Pot meet kettle. Igo has failed to provide copies of her tax returns for the last several years. It was also discovered that the required $1,000,000 insurance policy had lapsed on July 25, 2015. Now I don't know how her insurance company operates but a month before my insurance expire, they send me a notice with a due date, explaining that my insurance will expire at 12:01 am. So, while Leanne is whining about $350/month rent and a building that's funded by grant money, she's not taking care of buxiness. Did I say pot meet kettle? Leanne boasted about a building they built years ago that is mow the property of Lumberton but it's totally controlled by Gold Coast Skydivers. Explain again how that's a win for Lumberton. They kept saying the skydiver group is good for Lumberton. Would someone explain how. Jay McGraw said they bring in 50-60 people every weekend and they're staying at the airport in tents. Again, how is this benefitting Lumberton? If they're camping out, they probably have camp food. It's obvious these large groups were not eating at local eateries so again, how are they good for Lumberton? Leanne was upset that someone at the Shell Station was talking about the skydivers in a negative manner; just more proof that they're not supporting local businesses. If the Gold Coast Skydivers were frequent customers at amy place of business in Lumberton, that business would be singing their praises not speaking against them. Let's be ckear, no one is against the group but Lumberton need to make money so we can have police officers and reliable police cars.
When Mike Igo, deceased, came to Lumberton, he claimed that the skydivers would increase revenue all over the City of Lumberton and that there would be so much money coming into Lumberton we would need to build a hotel. Well, seven years later, we don't have a hotel, resturants are struggling to keep their doors open and we barely have a police department. But Jay McGraw, Cora Rogers and Ben Winston think the city should bend over backwards to keep a group that, based on the last tax returns they submitted, made over $500,000 in one year but they're miffed about paying $350/month for complete control of the airport. No wonder Lumberton is in the shape it's in. Earlier this month, Cora Rogers wanted the trailers gone but mow she's ready to let them stay. At the meeting, it was also leaked that tne City of Lumberton and Gold Coast Skydivers are being sued by the family of the man that died a few years back from a jump. I wonder what insurance company is going to pay a claim on a lapsed insurance policy. Well, I guess that's not any of my businesss. It's hard for me to have sympathy for someone making over $500,000/year. The last agenda item was to accept the resignation of Officer Carlus Paige. The motion was approved and the meeting was adjourned. Leann Igo did say she was going to have her insurance reinstated before the end of the day. I don't know what the price of a $1,000,000 policy for a skydiving group but she didn't bat an eye because she probably have plenty of profits on hand.