Judge to hear DH bond case
By Dwayne Bremer
Jun 10, 2014, 19:07
A hearing to determine if the city of Diamondhead will be allowed to obtain a $1.2 million bond to purchase and renovate its city hall complex is scheduled for Thursday in Biloxi.
Two weeks ago, all four of the Coast's Chancery Court judges recused themselves from the case.
Chancery Judge Carter Bise, however, changed his mind and decided to hear the case after all, officials said.
The city seeks to obtain a $1.2 million bond which will be used to purchase and renovate the city hall property on Diamondhead Circle. Under state law, if there are objections to the bond, it must be validated by chancery court.
More than 160 Diamondhead residents have objected to the bond.
Thursday's hearing will be the second such event for Diamondhead in the past year.
Last year, the city's previous mayor and city council attempted to push through a similar bond to purchase and renovate the city hall property.
Last year, Judge Jennifer Schloegel said the city followed the state's lease-purchase law, but she denied validation, in part, because it violated the state's "lame duck" clause, excluding certain bonds and purchases in the final quarter of an administration.
Diamondhead Mayor Tommy Schafer--who took office after last year's hearing-- said the city council recently passed a new resolution to obtain a bond.
He said the city never objected to last year's ruling and the current bond validation is a new process.
"What was done last year was under the last administration," he said. "This is a different bond. We have scaled back the renovations. In my opinion, this is an excellent value and what is best for the city."
City Attorney Sean Tindell is representing the city in the bond validation; Gulfport attorney William Kulick is representing the objectors.