Monday, April 19, 2010

Fireworks in Madison today





Update: Well, found out some more news. Apparently someone from the County contacted all the tv stations Friday to cover the meeting. Wouldn't tell them what it was about but promised a commotion. Then the supervisors had a stack of copies of the agreement and ready to be handed out to everyone in attendance. Did I mention they even took a short break right after this was discussed? Almost seems as if it gave the media a chance to work the story immediately. What a surprise.

Original post: Well, the meeting of the Madison County Board of Supervisors had some fireworks today as shazam, Br'er Tim just knows he has Mayor Mary this time. In the video above he claims an agreement signed with developer Richard Skinner has an appearance of extortion. The agreement is posted below and is signed by the Mayor and Skinner.

Skinner's LLC was selling a forty acre tract of land to Pine Lake Baptist Church. Apparently some roadwork needed to be done, the question is who would pay for it. The agreement states Mr. Skinner's company will put up $400,000 contingent upon the sale of the property to Pine Lake. The agreement states the road needs more work and that its completion is the responsibility of the county. The agreement states Skinner will fund the work to meet City specifications if the County does not absorb the cost.

What was interesting was this was brought up at the same meeting where County Administrator Mark Houston announced his resignation. Of course, what dominated the headlines at noon was not his resignation, which is interesting given its at the same time the State Auditor is camped out in Canton reviewing the books, but the calls for Hood and Pickering to investigate Mayor Hawkins-Butler.

It keeps getting more interesting.

Copy of agreement

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a pretty weak claim to me. If requiring a developer to make road improvements which will enhance the value and/or marketability of the developer's property is extortion, then there's one heck-of-alot of extorting going on throughout the good ole US of A! It's pretty standard operating procedure for most jurisdictions. If that's all R-dubya can come up with, he needs to wave the white flag...

Kingfish said...

Keep in mind how many COUNTY-approved developments are in trouble or they are lowering the requirements so the developers can build cheaper houses on smaller lots. I merely see an agreement signed by two parties stating the Mayor wants the developer or county to pay for the roadwork. I don't know if that is extortion as I'm not an expert in these things.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Must have been extortion 20 years ago when adjacent property owners paid 50% of the cost for construction of Highland Colony Parkway... Wonder what Elvis would call the situation where adjacent property owners are paying 100% of the cost for Parkway East... NOW, THAT IS REAL SERIOUS EXTORTION!!!

Especially so, considering the situation where Supervisor Karl Banks owns property adjacent to Calhoun Station which is being paid for entirely by Madison County taxpayers! Wonder if that should be investigated by appropriate State Authorities?

Sounds like politics and trying to hide the news story of the State Auditor being in Canton... and the fact that the County Administrator is now sick and tired of being made to cover for the status quo, and is leaving for greener pastures.

Anonymous said...

Skinner land probably has to get water from the city of Madison and by using her water you have to agree to the city's terms and that is the same in any city. The above comment regarding the 100 percent to parkway east it is the same at galleria parkway and remember it was the supervisors that killed the interchange right beyond the mergers of these two roads but they can just happen to use those funds on Calhoun Station and who is it that owns land at Calhoun Station oops would that be one of those supervisors.
Then we have Supervisor Elvis that is about to lose it he will not be able to handle much more oops they better watch out when their cohort goes over the edge.
Now I do want everyone to know this is not D I Smith, remember he is the supervisor that the voters did not get to vote on.

Anonymous said...

I have an Ipad and I will have to wait to see Elvis perform!

Anonymous said...

This looks to me like Old Mizzassippi politico! So "Growth at any cost" appears to be on the menu of the day. Wonder if Warnock got wind and refused to play and now...suddenly he's under the microscope b/c of accusations by a party with something to hide. Appears to me Warnock has scruples enough to not involve himself in shenanigans and Mary is finding herself with few friends to cover her back. I wondered when her ego would get the best of her..."unless it benefits the county, I will not let you build it. You will sit there worthless." Hmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Is it me, but the exit in Madison at the Mall is a bit over the top. Consider the residential just beyond the parkway....

Really, it is over done. Orange County, CA; done to perfection, Madison, MS? I think that perhaps someone has seriously inflated their ego.

Anonymous said...

What mall are you referring to?

KaptKangaroo said...

Isn't it funny when you post something controversial, the opposing view shows up and then **poof** disappears. I enjoy the shining of light more than you know. I actually feel like we live in a Democracy. One in which the freedom of speech, the right to hold our government is tantamount.

Anonymous said...

The other mall in Madison.

Anonymous said...

OK here are the facts I see...

"City" of Madison entered into an agreement with "Owner" to complete the "Project" and the City wants assurances that the "County" will complete the roadwork that the "City" needs to complete by a date and time.

Can someone please help me understand the purpose of the $400K? It looks like, if "County" doesn't do it, the "Owner" is responsible. So basically a $400K grease?

Growth at any cost comes at a high price. Damn you complicated folks.

Anonymous said...

My only question is which side will be the first to produce nekkid pictures of somebody doing something they shouldn't. It's kind of inevitable.

Anonymous said...

OOOOOOOhhhhh yuk. Really MH nekkid?

Anonymous said...

Now hear this. If KF posts nekkid pics of any of the folks in this MadisonMess I'm never, ever, forevernever, neverforevermore coming back to this blogsite. No matter how many cute dog stories or hottest reporter in the known universe he posts.

You've been warned.

Anonymous said...

The long and the short is that Richard Skinner was told my Mary Hawkins that if he didn't put up the $400,000 then he would not receive zoning!!! Say what you will, but when the authorities interview Skinner that is what he will tell them........

Kingfish said...

Read the agreement. If Mr. Skinner was adequately represented by counsel, that doesn't exactly bode well for Johnson's charge. Seems pretty reasonable: We don't want an unfinished development which seems to be taking place in more areas under the County's jurisdicion so if county doesn't finish road, then the developers who stand to benefit from its construction should ante up.

Anonymous said...

Remember the Skinners land was where the interchange was to be therefore it would open it up, but since the supervisors stopped this what makes him think they will keep their word on anything and in this economy he lose his sell of land? Please get real this is business to get his land sold and covering his bases if the supervisors do not come through again. Poor Elvis how much more can he take and when he blows his good buddies better watch out he is a loose cannon.

Anonymous said...

Calls for Hood to investigate? Maybe Mary should cut that campaign contribution check NOW so she can get the 'friends and family' rate from Hood...ie no investigation.

Anonymous said...

Did Mayor Butler and her husband ever pay back the ill gotten gains from when Mr Butler (developer), Don McGraw, (board of supes. atty.) and David Richardson (county supervisor)cheated the old widow out of her land? A teary eyed mayor told the CL in a puff piece that "it's not like we have that money sitting in the bank. We used it to re finance our house". Last I heard was that the bonding co. for McGraw paid the $460k the widow was cheated out of. But did the bonding co. ever pursue the Butlers for their share and dose it do business with Madison?

Anonymous said...

Listening to Mr. Tim Johnson the city has the $400,000.00 but the docs say it is in escrow that is totally different can Tim not realize what he is saying? He is grasping at straws and this is becoming more and more sickening to stand on the outside and watch. Wasn't it last week when Mr. Carl Banks gave an newspaper interviewwhere he stated that maybe the should have looked into more of Rudy Warnock's handlings of things.

Anonymous said...

Just vote them all out. Please.

Anonymous said...

Tim Johnson is attempting to deflect attention away from himself and his buddies for all their recent shenanigans. Put the spotlight BACK where it belongs on Johnson, Banks, Hamer and all the fringe friends, including Murphy and FAIM. How often has Johnson and his wife bragged about putting their kids through school because of bingo? Take THAT and investigate it further.

Anonymous said...

This Tim Johnson guy must take everybody else for idiots. How he is getting "extortion" out of the agreement is beyond me. It sounds like just a contingency clause to provide funding for completion of the roadwork-- IF Madison County doesn't complete and pay for the roadwork first. How is that unreasonable or "extortion"?

He's got a major ax to grind with some of these players, obviously. He comes across as a wild-eyed chest thumper in need of a xanax.

Anonymous said...

Remember Elvis drank with his pills and he became so bloated, paranoid and could not keep his mannerism in check....hum any characteristics similar here?

Anonymous said...

8:26 - I have known Lynn Johnson for years and have never heard her "brag" about anything and certainly not about bingo funds putting her kids through school. I have never even heard her mention bingo or any of this mess until folks like you started dragging her name through the mud. Her husband is a public official and therefore fair game, but leave his family out of it.

Anonymous said...

Ah, she's pretty public lately.

KaptKangaroo said...

Can someone tell me please why the Builder had to contract with the City to guarantee the County performed re: roadwork? Isn't the County responsible for the road in question?

Why is the city even involved in contracting roadwork?

Anonymous said...

9:36 - It's kind of like Ron White's comedy routine - "I was drinking in a bar, they threw me out in the public.."

Anonymous said...

The road was being built by the county to the new (now defunct) interchange at I-55 called the Reunion Parkway. Now remember part of this road is now in the city of Madison due to the incorporation that took place a few years past. But now there will be no interchange so the road will just be done to open Skinner's land which is where the church wants to be and if no road no sell. So the real question is "Is the county going to pay for a road to open a landowner's property up so he can develop it and sell off the property at the county's expenses (which by the way is the businessowner and homeowners of Madion County)? Don't forget this is the sames as Calhoun Station (the road to nowhere).
The church in order to purchase the land would like the road and that to be in the contract.

Kingfish said...

9:12: thats just it. She was keeping all of her MYART/FAIM stuff secret.

You DO remember that part of the story, don't you?

Anonymous said...

Under the unit system of county government in Madison County, Tim Johnson apparently violated statutes by improperly directing/improper supervision of a full time County employee to call all the TV media outlets on Friday afternoon and ask them to be at Monday's Board of Supervisors meeting for a "big commotion," as though this was an officially coordinated and sanctioned PRESS CONFERENCE. The PRESS was pressured to attend, but apparently two Supervisors, the County Administrator, Chancery Clerk, weren't even given the professional courtesy of being informed of the staged news event, no news sham!

County employees are not to be directed by individual Supervisors, especially to perform unauthorized calls to the press, etc. This was a scam perpetuated on the public through improper direction of county employees and the Madison County Board Attorney, Eric Hamer, by Supervisor Tim Johnson for his personal vendetta against Mayor Hawkins Butler.

Sadly, this type activity is all to common in Madison County.

Anonymous said...

Bingogate connection: Some TV stations report that Cynthia Parker, the Deputy/Asst Clerk of the Madison County Board of Supervisors (Arthur Johnston, Chancery Clerk, serves as the Clerk of the Board)called in the request for TV news coverage for Monday's staged attack on the City of Madison and Mayor Hawkins-Butler

It has been reported that Cynthia Parker was also worked for Tim Johnson's Bingo Charity, FAIM, where she was paid $500 a meeting to take minutes for the Board of Directors.

Sounds like a good gig if you can get it!

Anonymous said...

Just wondering- doesn't Mayor Mary's brother- L Hawkins own most of Madison County??? Any connection on lands sold for business ventures pushed by Mary?!

Anonymous said...

FYI . . . Pinelake is one word.

Anonymous said...

One word = c-u-l-t?

Anonymous said...

10:31am, I know Lee Hawkins has a lot a of land listed for sale (he is the listing agent, not necessarily the owner), not sure how much he owns. The Madison County Land Roll records are online and would answer that question for you. As for the Mayor and any influence that she may/or may not have had on any developments that he would have been involved in, if they included her in her official capacity of Mayor then she would be held to the same laws that ALL public officials are supposed to be abide by!

Anonymous said...

Go back and listen to Elvis feeding the media his load of $#!] on this land deal . . . he states that their board attorney gave them the information this morning (Monday). Why then did Tim instruct a county employee to contact the media the previous Friday and have them come to Monday's meeting? Because it was ALL a stunt to try and misdirect the public's attention from he and his buddies crooked butts! They are beginning to come apart . . . this should be very entertaining to watch the BS come to light!

Anonymous said...

A perfect example of why one should not lie . . . for every lie that you tell, you then have to come up with multiple other lies to confirm and substantiate the first. Well you see where this leads, pretty soon you can't keep them straight and you instuct emplyees of the county to contact the media in advance of news that you had a dream about that would be revealed to you at the following board meeting. The only problem, this future seeing dream failed to instruct you to have the county employees remind you of what lies you had already tried to feed the public so that you would not get them mixed up on camera . . . OOPPPS! Stupid Dreams! WHAT A PUTZ!

Anonymous said...

Is it legal for the city to basically sell rezoning?

"If you want your land rezoned, give us $400,000 or your land will remain a soybean field forever?

Johnson's right. It does sound like extortion.

This is banana-republic governnment.

Anonymous said...

@8:31

that's a pretty cute smokescreen you got going there....

Anonymous said...

@ 8:31am - WHY do the taxpayers have to pay for the Skinner's to be able to develope their land? I believe I recall that there already a TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) issued to help pay for Reunion Pkwy. This is not an usual practice and it is far from illegal. But hell, why would you pay for anything in Madison County, just let the Supes know what you want and they'll get it for you!

Anonymous said...

Won, I am aware that a TIF is taxpayer funded. I didn't do a very good job in posting my thoughts. Where I was headed with my scrambled thoughts was that we needn't do anymore than we have already done, if more is needed then the land owner's who stand to profit can put up some capital to fund these improvements.

Anonymous said...

KF, a small favor being asked. There's a story on CL, "Madison Co. revamps road plan" (copy it now before they edit it). Something doesn't smell right here.

More road plans getting changed rather quickly.....funds allocated "to cover the four years of the supervisors' term"
...."The state requires the county to approve a road plan in early February. But, supervisors appear to have had questions about what they approved Feb. 6"....Lott 'renegotiating'...lots of claims about-oh, no it was only a meeting here and there and was only between 2 people....

KF, there's something here that just doesn't seem to add up.

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