Review of April 5, 2016 Board Meeting: The Return of Mack Edition
Yesterday I posted short video announcing my return to the board meetings. Actually, I wasn't planning on attending the meeting but posted the video to upset the clerks that are forever on my page. Minutes before the meeting I was asked to attend and so I reluctantly went to city hall. Naturally I received the chilly reception I expected. One would think people that did so much to ensure their position would be happier?!? As the meeting was about to begin, Paul Ockmond entered the room with his crow feather black hair that's probably an outward representation of his soul. You will find out later why he was there. I guess he was collecting his pieces of silver for whatever part he played in the election.
The first agenda item was to allow Ms. Charlene Kerkow with Wright, Hatten and Guel to speak to the board regarding the audits. In case you forgot, this is the firm that was recommended by embattled city manager Richard Rose and approved by the board per recommendation of Jay McGraw without an actual vote from the board. I think they claim they voted via telephone. Well, this is another thorn that's coming back to stick the City of Lumberton. Since they didn't hire this firm legally, they don't have a Resolution, which would have included a completion date, and they have started paying this person and after some questions from Quincy Rogers, the alderman that was not included in the telephonic voting process, it was discovered that the City of Lumberton is contractually obligated to pay $20,000 for each of the three audits that are supposed to be completed but there's not completion date listed. Johnny Buckley suggested they get another contract but if Ms. Charlene Kerkow sign another contract knowing that the current one does not have a listed date of completion, she would be as stupid as the board members that allowed this to happen. Of course they didn't involve the city attorney in this process because they knew the firm was hired through an illegal vote. Look like I returned in the nick of time!
Another interesting part of the meeting was the order to discuss and place an ad for a part-time account for city hall. It seems that the Miserably Incompetent Merlene Wall want the City of Lumberton to pay someone else to do her job. By statute she's required to be the book-keeper for the city but since she can't do her job she want them to hire someone to do her job while keeping her on payroll to troll blog sites I guess. In case you missed it, she already has two deputy clerks and now she want an accountant to come in an reconcile the accounts, operate BBI and prepare the budget because she's an Incompetent (insert colorful adjective here) that can't do her job and she has a Mayor and at least 3 aldermen (McGraw, Buckley, and Dukes) that are willing to keep her in that position despite the fact that she has not learned anything after 4 years of being the city clerk. She's costing the city more money but I guess that's more important than hiring additional police officers. They seem to think it's okay to have one police officer per shift but they have three clerks in one office and now they're looking to hire an accountant to help the clerks do their job. It's obvious that this is gross misconduct is going to take place until the next election because the eunuchs on this board are not going to get rid Merlene who probably has bigger balls than them. How else would you explain the fact that she can't do her job and then have the nerve to ask for another assistant to do her job for her. Only in Lumberton.
There was an order to increase work hours for Melissa Nightingale from 32 hours a week to 40 hours a week. Thankfully, the order failed because no one made a motion but I'm sure Merlene will slither around and get it back on the agenda. When Melissa was hired after confronting Jay McGraw about stealing money from the cash register at city hall, she had to get on her knees and kiss Jay's behind in order to get back on the payroll. Maybe she will return to her knees to ensure she at least get a motion and a second the next time this matter is placed on the agenda. We will see who was on the receiving end the next time the request to increase her hours is placed on the agenda.The board is not pleased with the fees charged by Bancorp South and they are looking for another bank. We already can't get water bills at the first of the month and it takes our checks 7-10 days to go from city hall to the bank. Now they want to drive to Purvis or Poplarville to make deposits. Who's going to take on that risk/responsibility? They don't want any police officers in Lumberton but they want clerks to put themselves in harm's way to make daily deposits which is going to cost money in mileage and more time away from city hall but these are the idiots you elected to represent your interest. So ask yourself, who's interests are they representing? Certainly not ours, the citizens of Lumberton.
The board paid the bills, despite NOT knowing what's in the budget. There were several items voted on that were not on the agenda and the board did not amend the agenda before voting on these items. The board voted to go into executive session to discuss litigation and they were in executive session for over 30 minutes before they announced they were going to discuss litigation. It was later discovered that they were going through job applications for a building inspector and while in executive session, they hire Paul Ockmond as the building inspector. Judas collects his silver. Now the owner of dilapidated properties is in a position to determine if other properties are worse than his. In other words, they put the fox in charge of the hen house and what is Paul's credential for employment as a building code inspector? I think they have to get trained every year and a certificate from 1972 does not mean you're certified for life. Hell, building are not constructed the same as they were in 1972 but this is Lumberton'; they think that's logical. In addition to violating the Open Meetings Act by hiring Ockmond during executive session, they failed to announce his salary. I'm certain he's not doing it for free. Oh yeah, and the matter of the litigation. It seems that former alderman at large, Bobby Gibson, want to sue the City of Lumberton because he is claiming, without any copy of a land survey, that the tennis court at the 5th Avenue Park is on his property and he want the City of Lumberton to pay him for the property. Yes you read that correctly. The tennis court has been there for decades and now Bobby Gibson has made a claim that it is on his property and he want to get paid or he will sue the City of Lumberton. Interesting.