Still Waiting for the Truth

On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, there was a special called meeting. I didn't attend the meeting because it was held at 1:00 pm. According to WDAM, tne meeting was held to open bids for the $450,000 sewer grant; the same grant Winston said would be used to pay part of the matching funds needed for the $2.5 million dollar Army Corp of Engineers grant. Well, at this meeting, Mayor Ben Winston finally revealed that the $450,000 sewer improvement grant cannot be used to pay the matching funds for another grant. I'm not an elected official but common sense told me that was a possibility when Winston announced it but so many people are clinging on to his campaign promises with hopes he will be able to pull this rabbit out of his hat. According to Winston and based on a conversation only be heard, Tracey Giles, bureau manager of the MDA (Mississippi Development Authority) advised against using the grant to pay the matching funds of another grant. Another unlikely statement attributed to Giles was she recommended that we [the board] not ask her for a letter regarding this matter. More 4han likely, the conversation with Giles didn't go the way it was described by Winston and this is another attempt, by Winston, to keep the public in the dark about their actual conversation. Since Tracey Giles has been thrown under the bus by Mayor Winston, I looked up her contact information and will call her today to see if she want to respond to any of the allegations levied against her by Mayor Winston.

According to Winston and Alderman Jay McGraw, the $2.5 million dollar grant is not in jeopardy. It was stated that the Army Corp of Engineers wouldn't approve the grant without proof of a plan for the matching funds. Alderwoman Cora Rogers also chimed in, attempting to offer proof that the matching funds are secured. C. Rogers asked if the CAP loan was a sufficient plan and Winston said it was proof enough. If you read this story on WDAM, you would notice there was a hyperlink for a story that ran on July 8, 2015, where Winston said the board was approved to apply for up to $600,000 through the Capital Improvements Revolving Loan Program (CAP). One minute he says we have the funding and the next minute he's asking the Lamar County Board of Supervisors to help with the matching funds but later recants and says he was joking. On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Winston and McGraw implied they provided proof to the Army Corp of Engineers that the matching funds were secured and Cora Rogers supported their claims because she had it written down. Now who do you believe? If Winston, McGraw and C.Rogers presented a falsified claim to the Army Corp of Engineers, there's going to trouble, trouble, trouble. To this day, I don't know why Cora Rogers and Kathleen Bogle went to Vicksburg with Winston and McGraw. What I do know is, Cora Rogers' business relies heavily on grants and I hope she's not a co-conspirator in something that could jeopardize her business.

On Monday, July 13, 2015, I contacted the Army Corp of Engineers and filed a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for a copy of the plan Mayor Ben Winston, Alderman Jay McGraw and Alderwoman Cora Rogers presented to the Army Corp of Engineers. Winston has a way of limiting access to public records in Lumberton but he does not have control over the Army Corp of Engineers. I don't know what was in the letter but the conversation I had with the Chief of Public Affairs stated that the letter was on City of Lumberton letterhead and it allegedly stated that the City of Lumberton had $450,000 in the general fund account and that money would allegedly be used to pay part of the matching funds needed for the $2.5 million dollar Army Corp of Engineers grant. After today, the Army Corp of Engineers has 19 days to release the letter they received from Lumberton. So, Ben, do you want to continue telling WDAM and the citizens of Lumberton these DAM(n) lies or do you want to finally tell the truth? You know what's in the letter and you know once I receive my copy, it's going on the blog. That's one of the reasons why you want my blog shut down; that's probably why you're behind the scenes (as you were during Mayor Miriam Holder's administration) supporting the lawsuit. I find it interesting that the same lawyer that served me papers is the same lawyer you used in your attempt to vanquish an 80 plus member from your church. It's also interesting that the judge presiding over this case is the same judge that ruled in your favor when you decided, as a minister and elected official, to lay hands (assault) a former mayor. That's too many coincidences for pure happenstance. I can't prove it but I feel you slithering behind the scenes. Are you going to man up, tell the truth and step down or do you plan on building a mountain of half-truths that would put the Great Wall of China to shame? One of your supporters said I was on the verge of being a Henny Penny. Well, the sky may not be falling but before this term is over, some elected heads will roll.

Comments

  1. Did you say they submitted a letter saying they had $450,000 in general fund? For the last two years they said they were broke and that's why they got rid of our police and said we couldn't afford a full time court clerk. They rather leave the city unprotected so they can put water lines in a vacant industrial park. Why not use some of that money to buy 2 new police cars?

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  2. You are always telling it like it is but one of the biggest problems in Lumberton is Merlene Wall. I went through almost all of your old posts and I never saw a post where you blamed Mayor Miriam Holder for bringing that snake into city hall. I can tell by past posts that you're a supporter of Miriam Holder and is that why you're not willing to point the finger at her. It seems that you know her but she didn't try to get you the job. Based on your posts, you know more than the current clerk. As you say, call a thing a thing. Merlene is at city hall because Miriam pushed the board to hire her and she's still there because Ben needs someone to support his lies and violations of the laws. I hope they all go to jail, even the city attorney because he's suppose to keep them from doing wrong.

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    1. Mayor Holder was probably fooled like the rest of us. Besides, did you really think the board that fired Fortenberry so they could promote Hobson was going to hire me? Negative. One of the problems in Lumberton is the most qualified don't always get the opportunity to serve. I know there are some that think I am bitter because I'm not the city clerk or alderman but I'm not. As I said before it's Lumberton's loss. When the position was open, I was hoping Rachael Jefferson got the job but it didn't happen. This board is basically the same. They refuse to get quality workers and allow personal agendas to rule their decisions.

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  3. Sorry I'm late but I was just catching up on the things Paul Ockmond posted. OMG! I have no words for him but based on what he said, the only person brave enough to stand up against corruption in Lumberton is a fat gay guy with health issues. That doesn't say much about Lumberton. I applaud you Mr Informer. I see where you were put out your church, jailed for a parking ticket, had your car egged and keyed. Now they're trying to sue you for stalking board meetings and have you banned from city hall. You're a brave man. Keep up the good work it's greatly appreciated in more wats than one. I guess you're our modern day Banyard Rustin.

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