BSL City Council must act decisively now!
By Sea Coast Echo editorial opinion
Aug 5, 2014, 18:19
No matter what spin you try to put on it, the fact remains the City of Bay St. Louis is almost financially broke. The city has spent it's cash reserves, has had to borrow money just to pay it's bills. As reported in the Saturday, August 2 edition of the Sea Coast Echo, the city's audit report stated, "..There's been a downward trend in total cash....management has not developed any plans to mitigate the cash flow shortages.."
The City of Waveland faced some of the very same challenges several years back.
To the credit of Mayor David Garcia and the board of aldermen, they stood tall and made the difficult decisions mandated to save the city from bankruptcy.
It was not popular nor politically correct then as now to lay many people off from their jobs or to increase utility user fees and to cut city services to the bone. But they did what was necessary. And Waveland has recovered. Waveland has cash reserves in the bank.
Meanwhile in Bay St. Louis, our citizens continue to enjoy basically the lowest property taxes and utility fees on the coast. And that's great! But times have changed. The economy has changed. Bay St. Louis officials have not changed.
They are apparently living in denial, refusing to deal with the city's issues in a straight forward manner. They seem to be too busy pointing fingers and placing blame. Worrying about whom might get credit for their actions. In other words, playing political games to the detriment of the city and its citizens.
This long simmering mess has now reached the boiling point. The problem is not about what the mayor did or did not do. It is not about what the city council did or did not do. It is about the fact that nothing has apparently been done to resolve the city's financial meltdown looming just over the horizon.
We demand, and the public should demand, that our elected leaders immediately stop their petty, childish bickering and work together to get something done now to fix this crisis facing Bay St. Louis.
No one likes to pay higher taxes and fees but that is unquestionably what must happen. Our city has great services and offers a unique lifestyle and ambience which our citizens will undoubtedly be willing to pay a little more to support and maintain.
Hurricane Camille did not destroy our beloved city. Hurricane Katrina did not destroy Bay St. Louis nor did the effects of the BP Oil disaster. But continued inaction by our city leaders just might!