Our County Roads — A Disaster
Why can’t our County roads be repaired and properly maintained? At the very least, why can’t potholes be filled so that every car ride does not result in more rattles, misalignment, and tire damage?
When our current County Commissioners are asked these questions, the answer is always the same – we don’t have any money. After making the required payments on our massive long-term debt, and meeting the County employee payroll costs (around $ 280,000 per month), then paying a few of the overdue bills, we are FLAT BROKE. The Road Crew goes for months without gravel or asphalt for even a few critical repairs.
WHAT HAPPENED? HOW DID WE GET THAT BROKE?
Our County has been struggling economically for many years. The Recession of 2008-2009 hit us especially hard, our unemployment rate topped out at 26.4%, but then gradually, revenues were starting to increase again. Then another disaster hit our County – this time self-inflicted. In November, 2010, we elected Michael Saulsberry and Reginald Weatherly, re-elected Reginald Southall, and these three, along with Ricky Powell, immediately set about spending money as if we were not the poorest County in the State, but the richest.
• They all got new trucks, and illegally used them for personal use.
• Gas usage for Commissioners vehicles skyrocketed ( Saulsberry alone in ONE month, spent $ 1,250.87, filling his tank 20 Times)
• They bought numerous tracts of un-needed land from Clifford Twilley for $ 151,000 (appraised value- $ 41,400)
• They went on County-paid junkets to Reno, Portland, Albuquerque, Pittsburg,Nashville, Kansas City, Washington, Dallas, Perdido Beach – Fancy resorts, luxury hotels, airport limos
• They fired the $ 8,000 County Attorney, and hired the $40,000 + attorney.
• They created a high-paying,no-work job for Clifford Twilley, and Saulsberry even personally delivered Twilley’s paycheck, and then reduced other employees hours because we were broke.
This outrageous and corrupt spending EMPTIED OUR BANK ACCOUNT.
REFINANCING SCHEME – THE PLAN TO ALSO BANKRUPT OUR FUTURE
To get their hands on more money, they brought in a sharp-dressed, slick-talking shyster from Jackson, Miss. to guide them through a Debt refinancing scheme (Google-Brandon Comer, and the Bastrop, La. Daily Enterprise article, “Financial Advisor bio doesn’t quite add up” by Wes Helbing and Dee Tubbs)
Refinancing a portion of our debt gave them $ 600,000 in “new money” to divide up and spend. Saulsberry spent ALL of his portion with only ONE contractor, KC Construction, without any competitive bids. Zero dollars was spent on roads. Southall spent much of his portion buying yet more inflated-price land from Clifford Twilley, and then paying $ 13,244 for a private citizen’s trailer concrete pad, and relocating his trailer.
This refinancing scheme left us with $ 12 MILLION in long-term debt that won’t be paid off until OCT. 30, 2042 !!
PAYMENT ON THIS DEBT
In 2012, payment was $ 282,000
In 2017, payment increased to $ 472,000 !!
So, these “financial wizards”, Saulsberry, Southall, Weatherly, and Powell, spent us into near-bankruptcy, and then mortaged our future with burdensome debt that robs our citizens of decent infrastructure, such as roads, for many years to come. AND they have the audacity to offer their “leadership” to us again??
Please contact[IMPACT WILCOX)if you have any questions on this information. We have full documentation on this information and will gladly share this with any citizen.