Some good ole boy politicking apparently took place when the Stonebridge Public Improvement District was created. The Brandon Board of Aldermen voted to approve the creation of the district. However, one of the Aldermen voted to approve the creation of the PID even though he worked for the developer of the PID. Earlier post on bond default.
The city and Rankin County Board of Supervisors approved the creation of the Stonebridge PID. Stonebridge sold $22 million bonds that were to be repaid through special assessments. However, the bonds soon defaulted and the development stalled. The taxes and assessments went unpaid. The unsold properties were eventually forfeited to the Secretary of State. Heartland Development and Green Hills Development were the Stonebridge developers. Both companies are owned by Ben Turnage.
The Brandon Board of Alderman took up the Stonebridge resolution on February 6, 2007:
However, Mr. Farmer was also an employee of the developer and creator of the Stonebridge PID when he voted for the resolution. He is currently the President of Performance Drilling.
Performance Drilling filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy several years ago. The company filed a disclosure statement as part of a plan of reorganization in the bankruptcy court on January 8, 2013. It stated that Ben Turnage was the Manager and CEO of Performance Drilling until 2012 and is still the owner of the company through other LLC's. This is the same Ben Turnage who owns Heartland Development and Green Hills Developers. The disclosure plan states:
David G. (“Grumpy”) Farmer is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Performance and is directly responsible for all operations and staffing. Effective June 1, 2012, Mr. Farmer was appointed as Manager of both O&G and Performance and assumed all senior executive management responsibilities in addition to the operational authority he has always held with the Company. He managed construction of all five of the Company’s rigs, with completion of each on-time and within-budget. Mr. Farmer has over 25 continuous years of industry experience in drilling oil and gas wells throughout the ArkLaTex, Black Warrior and Gulf Coast Regions. Mr. Farmer started with Hughes Tool Company in 1981, later joining Smith International as a Regional Sales Manager in 1990. In 1999, Mr. Farmer formed DGFI, described more fully below, to further expand his services to Smith and its subsidiaries, along with his advisory work to major oil and gas operators, including BP/Amoco and Shell. He left Smith International in 2006 to join Performance. Mr. Farmer is highly regarded by and has many valuable relationships with operators and producers throughout the United States. Mr. Farmer’s current annual compensation is $222,000 (unchanged since 2007), plus health and dental insurance and use of a Company vehicle provided by Performance.Thus Mr. Farmer voted to create the Stonebridge PID while working for the developer. Keep in mind that this document was submitted to the court by Performance Drilling.
The development is currently the subject of a court fight with the Secretary of State, trustee, and Rankin County on one side and Turnage's company on the other.