Council violated ordinances to pass pay raises for mayor and themselves. Will mayor veto? Will council rescind unlawful raises?

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Under the leadership of former Council President Kim Bradley, the Hattiesburg City Council became very sloppy in maintaining its ordinances, and that sloppiness seems to be carrying over to Carter Carroll's administration. One such example involves the recent pay raises Council approved for themselves and the Mayor. in doing so, the Council unlawfully added the item as an emergency item to Tuesday's meeting, violating 22-2(A)

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According to city ordinance Section 22-2(A) Agenda, arrangement, the order of the agenda is to be as follows;

A. Agenda Order - the confirmation of the agenda order is the first matter of business for council action. Any member of council may move to adjust the agenda. The Mayor or Council President may request the council to add an item to the agenda (emergency item) that is essential for the administration of the city government provided that the need for action on the matter arose after the 2:00 P.M. Thursday deadline, or that conditions beyond their control made it impossible to meet the deadline requirements.  Emergency matters shall constitute those matters that threaten the well being and/or immediate safety of citizens of the community or employees of the city, would potentially disrupt the delivery of city services, would result in substantial increased cost in the purchase of necessary items for the administration of city government or would, if delayed, result in the loss of  opportunity for significant economic development in the city. 

According to legal experts advising the Hattiesburg Patriot, a pay raise for the Council and the Mayor is clearly not an emergency. Adding this item as an emergency item was a gross violation of municipal code 2-22(A) and a blatant thumb of the nose to citizens who pay their salaries. Council practically said, "we can do what we want, how we want, and forget the legal process."

But Council's violations didn't end there. 2-22(D)(1) Citizens Forum  states that the citizen's forum shall take place after emergency items are added in 2-22(A) but before 22-2(E) Policy Agenda and 22-2(F) Routine Agenda. In the alphabet "D" clearly comes after "A" but before "E" and "F." Section 2-22 was created and ordered in such a way to give citizens an opportunity to comment on the agenda items, including the emergency items. However, Council moved the citizens forum to Monday from Tuesday without even voting on a move, There is no record of an official vote ever taking place to move 2-22(D)(1) to Monday's Agenda Review meeting from its intended place during Tuesday's meeting.

Because Council failed to properly move Tuesday's citizens' forum to Monday, they are technically in violation of 2-22(D) as well. The effect of moving Citizen's forum to Monday from Tuesday clearly denies citizens their ability to comment on legitimate emergency items but also illegitimate "emergency items" like the recent pay raises. Agenda reviews are informal meetings, and council can add a comment period to that meeting for citizens, but they are still required to follow Chapter 2 Subsection 22 of the code of ordinances, until such a change in the ordinance is performed in a lawful manner. But, even so, citizens would still be denied opportunities to comment on newly added emergency items during Tuesday's meetings.

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NOTE - This information was obtained from Ward 4 candidate Joseph Rawson's letter to the mayor asking that he veto the approved item. Council could also rescind the item during today's meeting or at a special called meeting. Rawson's letter is embedded below. His letter was reviewed by attorneys advising this site prior to the publication of this article.

Rawson's Letter is below
mayor-veto-council-raise

Chapter 2 of the Code of Ordinances is below
chapter2administration

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11 thoughts on “Council violated ordinances to pass pay raises for mayor and themselves. Will mayor veto? Will council rescind unlawful raises?

  1. Charlee

    READ THE BELOW & SEE WHERE YOU STAND
    Hattiesburg, Ms. Your lovely, illustrious, assortment of position abusers! DEBORAH DELGADO! What a sweet smile…my ass! A friend of mine, working, “has a position” for a “LARGE” nationwide/worldwide entity, once told me, “If you get caught lying, continue to lying & smile in their face until they fire you”! Well Deborah, in the words of ‘Wet Willie’, “🎵just🎶 keep on🎵 smilin”. We have surely been decepted! Had the ole ‘Statue of Liberty’, the ‘Slight of Hand’ pulled on us? CERTAINLY WE HAVE! With all the grace that smile that “looks like a possum eatin yellerjackets”! You managed to divert our attention of your political abuse of soaking thousands of dollars from your contingency and ALL Hattiesburg taxpayers by ramping up the wastewater catastrophe. Exactly how many THOUSANDS of dollars in fees, utilities, tax dollars, it was you neglected to pay! Claiming it was a faulty meter. LO-f*€k¡n¿-L!!! I can just bet the “Water Dept” would have detected it if it had been just one of us regular, ole plain, ordinary citizens, taxpayers! Your salary providers! What cha wanna bet? I’ll give ya odds 😊. I don’t recall you EVER paying it! Even after it was brought to you poor, ole innocent attention! “I believe”, if you had, you would have made sure it made “front page news”! Sooo, SO ME THE MONEY!!! And ALL the other taxpayers! Now I’m no longer sure of the exact THOUSANDS of dollars you appropriated as “fringe benefits” but it sure seems as though it was a “FELONIOUS” amount! Isn’t this a “FELONY” in being just the crime itself? Embezzlement, Grand Larceny! Below is just some of the statistics: According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, employee dishonesty costs American business in excess of $50 billion annually.2
    Consider statistics from the American Society of Employers:
    Businesses lose 20% of every dollar to employee theft.
    20% of employees are aware of fraud at their companies (including theft of office items, false claims of hours worked, and inflated expense accounts).
    55% of perpetrators are managers. The following pertains to Mississippi: When a person steals property valued at more than $500, the crime becomes Grand Larceny. *Grand Larceny* is a felony under *Mississippi* law, punishable by imprisonment in the state penitentiary for a term of not more than 10 years, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both. *Embezzlement* valued at over $500: Those that embezzle funds or other property valued at over $500 will face felony charges that come with a fine of up to $25,000 as well as a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

    1. Charlee

      SPEAKING OF JAIL TIME, HOW BOUT PRISON TIME!
      READ THE BELOW & SEE WHERE YOU STAND
      Hattiesburg, Ms. Your lovely, illustrious, assortment of position abusers! DEBORAH DELGADO! What a sweet smile…my ass! A friend of mine, working, “has a position” for a “LARGE” nationwide/worldwide entity, once told me, “If you get caught lying, continue to lying & smile in their face until they fire you”! Well Deborah, in the words of ‘Wet Willie’, “🎵just🎶 keep on🎵 smilin”. We have surely been decepted! Had the ole ‘Statue of Liberty’, the ‘Slight of Hand’ pulled on us? CERTAINLY WE HAVE! With all the grace that smile that “looks like a possum eatin yellerjackets”! You managed to divert our attention of your political abuse of soaking thousands of dollars from your contingency and ALL Hattiesburg taxpayers by ramping up the wastewater catastrophe. Exactly how many THOUSANDS of dollars in fees, utilities, tax dollars, it was you neglected to pay! Claiming it was a faulty meter. LO-f*€k¡n¿-L!!! I can just bet the “Water Dept” would have detected it if it had been just one of us regular, ole plain, ordinary citizens, taxpayers! Your salary providers! What cha wanna bet? I’ll give ya odds 😊. I don’t recall you EVER paying it! Even after it was brought to you poor, ole innocent attention! “I believe”, if you had, you would have made sure it made “front page news”! Sooo, SO ME THE MONEY!!! And ALL the other taxpayers! Now I’m no longer sure of the exact THOUSANDS of dollars you appropriated as “fringe benefits” but it sure seems as though it was a “FELONIOUS” amount! Isn’t this a “FELONY” in being just the crime itself? Embezzlement, Grand Larceny! Below is just some of the statistics: According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, employee dishonesty costs American business in excess of $50 billion annually.2
      Consider statistics from the American Society of Employers:
      Businesses lose 20% of every dollar to employee theft.
      20% of employees are aware of fraud at their companies (including theft of office items, false claims of hours worked, and inflated expense accounts).
      55% of perpetrators are managers. The following pertains to Mississippi: When a person steals property valued at more than $500, the crime becomes Grand Larceny. *Grand Larceny* is a felony under *Mississippi* law, punishable by imprisonment in the state penitentiary for a term of not more than 10 years, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both. *Embezzlement* valued at over $500: Those that embezzle funds or other property valued at over $500 will face felony charges that come with a fine of up to $25,000 as well as a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

  2. Garry Loper

    In closing….the law is what we say it is, boy!
    We are the law! We don’t give a damn about yo laws and ordinances!
    You, and the rest of the white rich people who are loaded with money just need to pay your taxes and be quite!
    And yes, we are going to raise them again next year and probably another pay raise to…….how you like that?

  3. Garry Loper

    Why do you think city, county and school taxes went up this year……you cant waste 7.5 million in your school system and millions on a still not built sewer system, all in one year, and get a raise without it.

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