Ben Winston: The Welfare Queen Mayor
Since Winston took office, he has cut programs and slashed essential services while going to Lamar County Board meetings asking for handouts. I’m trying to upload the videos of those meetings but they’re in the cloud somewhere and I can’t remember my password. Ben Winston has slashed the police department but he want Lamar County to supply Lumberton with police protection while owing almost $20,000 in fees for housing prisoners. You may remember a time when Lumberton had their own garbage truck. Well, Ben Winston made claims that outsourcing garbage collection will save us money. Well, now we’re paying WastePro $7,525 a month to collect garbage once a week. Prior to selecting WastePro as the garbage collector, I asked for an analysis of what it was costing Lumberton to collect its own garbage in comparison to outsourcing the services but they never produced the figures. Winston said it was a savings and his cronies, Jay McGraw, Tommy Dukes and Cora Rogers fell in line and voted for the conversion without seeing any proof of the savings.
Every opportunity to make money is overlooked to address either personal agendas or kickbacks. It amazes me that this board approved the $117,000 bill to replace the beacon at the airport but they’re not collecting enough money from the rental of the airport to cover any of the matching fund grants that are being used to constantly upgrade the airport for Gold Coast Skydivers. Winston is also responsible for the default of the MDQ loan and now our tax dollars is used to pay fines and penalties that caused the loan to soar to $266,198.07. Keep in mind that the board approved to pay this loan but Winston allegedly voided the payments that were approved by the board members. Now this is an issue that the board members need to address at a regular meeting and have it entered in the minutes about the payments that were voided because their bonds are on the line. If they don’t question Winston about ignoring a lawful order of the board then they are in agreeance with his violation.
Keep in mind, Ben Winston is working with the same $1.2 million dollar budget that the previous board had but we could get our garbage collected several times throughout the week, we had ownership of the library, Wood-Hinton park and the South Industrial Park. Winston says the city cannot function with the same budget but when he went before the Lamar County Board of Supervisors over a year ago, he was advised to raise the millege rate but Winston has refused to do so. Instead, he want us to beg for everything. He want the County to provide police, he want people that owe fines to just come in and pay because they refuse to allow the court clerk to work more than 20/week, he want the citizens to clean up Main Street and their communities while paying inflated water bills, he want to use a grant to provide water and sewer services to an empty industrial park that he turned over to Lamar County instead of using the grant to provide water and sewer services to an area where people are interested in building homes. Winston fell that installing security cameras is more important that providing a needed raise to the men in the Public Works Department. Winston think it’s more important to allow squatters at the Lumberton Airport instead of negotiating a contract that could help pay for police officers and getting new patrol cars. Ben Winston has the beggar mentality and as the Mayor of Lumberton he has turned our city into the laughing stock of the Mississippi. Ben Winston is a political welfare queen and he’s trying to get into another political position because he’s looking for better benefits and more handouts for Ben Winston.