Saturday, July 7, 2018

Dispatches From Pelahatchie (Fireworks Edition I)

It was a scrum from start to finish as no one could get along at Monday night's meeting of the Pelahatchie Board of Aldermen.  The scene was a level of pettiness rarely seen at such a meeting.   Calling it Raw or Monday Nitro is not a terrible exaggeration.  JJ posted the video of the meeting a few days ago so readers could go ahead and watch the festivities.  This post is the play by play and color commentary of what was some Rankin County bloodsport.  However, the coverage is split into two posts.  The second post will be published tomorrow. The board packet, agenda, and video of the fireworks (with a listing of when the good stuff takes place in the video) are posted below. 

Credit: Pelahatchie News

*The first victim of the night was a poor Reverend who attempted to donate $400 to the town.  Read that sentence again.  Mayor Ryshonda Beechem changed the locks of town hall several months ago and tried to get the Board to pay for the invoice.  Alderwoman Margie Warren blasted the Mayor for doing so at the June Board meeting (See earlier post. Get some popcorn.) because the Board forbade the Mayor from changing the locks at an earlier meeting.  However, Mayor Beechem said another resolution gave her authority to spend up to $600 without board approval.

The good Reverend (Sorry, did not get his name) told the Board during public comments (2:00) that a group citizens collected $400 to pay for the bill and wanted to donate it to the town.  He handed the check to the Mayor.  One alderman moved to accept the check but the motion died for lack of a second.  Mayor Beechem handed the check back to the Reverend.

The Mayor asked the Board (9:00) why it wouldn't accept the donation.  Ms. Warren sparred with the Mayor as she said the Board voted not to change the locks but she did so anyway a week later.   Mayor Beechem said former employees had keys to Town Hall.  She said the Board didn't say a word when the previous City Clerk changed the locks without Board permission.

The Alderwoman and the Mayor continued to tussle verbally until City Attorney Michael Wolfe stepped in and urged them to follow Roberts Rules of Order.  However, his efforts to inject some degree of decorum into the Board meeting went for naught as Mayor Beechem (14:15) said she tried to get the Board to adopt Roberts Rules of Order a year ago but the Board chose not to do so.  Mr. Wolfe shrugged his shoulders and the meeting continued. 

Editorial note: This was nothing short of spitting in the faces of Pelahatchie citizens.  The locks were changed.  The Board didn't want to pay the bill so citizens offered to step up and do so only to be told no.  Good job. 

As for the changing of the locks, the Board is probably right legally (specific usually trumps general in statutory construction) but the Mayor is right about the policy.  

*Several citizens asked the Board to adjust their water bills for pool fill-ups.  The Board said not just no, but hell no.

*Mayor Beechem attempted to split one invoice into two invoices in an attempt to get the Board to approve their payment.  (14:45) The Board unanimously  revoked approval of a claim for $8,876 that was approved at the June 11 board meeting.  Murphy's Lawn & Landscape built a retaining wall at the baseball field at Mill Town Park Athletic Complex.  The Mayor apparently ordered the work be done.  Murphy's completed the project and sent an invoice to Pelahatchie on May 25.

Then-City Attorney Brad Mills said that the Mayor did not obtain a second bid or quote as required to do so since the project cost more than $5,000 but less than $50,000.  He said Section 37-7-13 of the Mississippi Code decreed that the Mayor shall seek two competitive bids in writing although advertisement was not necessary.  Mr. Mills opined that the Mayor illegally spent the money without following the statute.

The Mayor submitted  two invoices from Murphy's.  The first invoice was for $4,150 and stated it was for materials used to build the wall (Down, Trumpsters. It's just a retaining wall for a baseball field.).  Murphy's submitted the invoice on June 1. The second invoice was submitted on May 25 for labor to build the wall.  The invoice was for $4997.  (9-10 in board packet posted below.).

One Alderman asked why the invoice was split.  The Mayor said the purchase of the materials and the building of the wall took place on different days, thus the two invoices.

Editorial note: This problem is probably not going to end well for the Mayor.  It appears quotes or bids were not sought for the project.  The Mississippi Department of Education can testify that the State Auditor and PEER frown on the splitting of invoices.

*The Mayor and the Aldermen bickered over the payment of a pine straw invoice.  Yup, pine straw. (26:00).

*Police Chief Kevin Poole submitted his resignation the next day.  His resignation will be effective July 13.

*The Board hired Michael Wolfe as City Attorney.  Unfortunately, Mr. Wolfe was at times the only person present who acted in a professional manner.

So ends Part I of this dispatch. 

2:00: Reverend attempts to give $400 check to Town but donation is refused.
9:00 Mayor asks the Board why it wouldn't accept the donation.
13:30: Attorney tried to invoke Robert's Rules of Orders but failed.
14:45: Mayor tries to split invoices.
21:30: Mayor suggests using line of credit if needed to pay bills if need be. 
26:00: They spar over pine straw.


Anonymous said...

Be sure to watch the reality show coming out this fall on A&E - "The Real Aldermen of Pelahatchie," informally known as "The Real Fools of Pelahatchie."

Anonymous said...

Why doesn’t the legislature dissolve the town?

Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

If the legislature dissolved towns based on theatrics, there would be very few left.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the Mayor of Lithonia Ga. It's on you tube and pretty sadly funny. She will be gone when her term expires and things will go back to normal. There is nothing wrong running for a job to change things. The problem is when it's for personal reasons. The mayor should be more tactful and earn some trust before she gets down to her real business. She is trying to force feed people who are already suspicious of her. To much to soon.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who doesn't give a damn about what happens in a dink town of 1500?

While you're at it, why cover what's going on in Sharon or Sand Hill or Pocahontas or the monthly Cypress Lake HOA meetings?

Holy shit! Talk about hyperlocal...


Anonymous said...

Race baiter comments in 3...2...1...

Anonymous said...

What about Learned or Mize or Coffeeville?

Anonymous said...

No race baiting is needed.

I worked there for 10 years.

The white people hate that they have to answer to a black woman.

It’s that simple.

Watch what happens when a white mayor is elected....silence will erupt.

Follow these white people around for 10 hours with a microphone.....they can’t stop using the N word.

Anonymous said...

Ranks right up there with Lumberton, MS, my Dad's hometown. Sometimes I think they carry on just to get their mugs on television, just the same as Kennuf Stokes.

Anonymous said...

Note to self:::
When doing business with Pelahatchie, require a cash payment up front.

Anonymous said...

The town needs to host Friday Night Fights.

The mayor needs to Duke it out with the white lady.....they hate each other so much—- you can taste it.

They could charge $10 a head (for whites) and $5.00 a head (for blacks) and have water fountains for each’s be like ole home week

Is there one sane person in pelahatchie?

Kingfish said...

Look at it this way, you're saving money on valium.

If I were going to cover other small towns, I hear Louisville might be entertaining.

All kidding aside, the complete videos and the board packets as well as the minutes are posted of these Pel. Board meetings on this website so civic-minded Pelahatchie residents can keep track of what goes on in their government.

Anonymous said...

What’s the story on Louisville? Their beloved Mayor Hill in trouble with the FEMA IG after kick backs from WGY
Construction after the tornado?
Follow that story and you’d be shocked at their procurement and the
dirty ass $ involved.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the money the board spent? I thought the deadline was 30 days?

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS