Federal court may decide sand beach dispute - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Federal court may decide sand beach dispute

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The question of who controls the sand beach in Harrison County may be decided in federal court.

At issue is a dispute between county supervisors and Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

As we reported earlier, a 13 page civil lawsuit was filed by Harrison County against the Secretary of State last month. There have been some recent discussions between the two sides, but still no agreement.

The dispute first surfaced when supervisors began to implement a "bidding system" for beach vendors. That's something both supervisors and Secretary of State support.

"We're working towards I think really a common goal, which is to bid the sand beach vendors, like we do all the other 16th section land in Mississippi. And that's appropriate. It's transparent. Everybody knows what everybody's doing. And I think we'll end up doing that," said Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann.

But when Secretary Hosemann tried to assert authority over that bid process, supervisors said "hold on."

"Traditionally, the county has always controlled the beach as far as vendors and maintenance. And I think that's the crux of the matter, whether we continue that or not," said Marlin Ladner, the president of the Harrison County Board of Supervisors.

It's more than "tradition." The county contends it was given authority by a federal court ruling 37 years ago.

Joe Meadows is the attorney for the Board of Supervisors.

"Back in 1972, the federal court entered an order giving the board of supervisors certain responsibilities with regard to the beach; maintenance, taking care of it, assuring public access and that sort of thing. And that order is still in effect. Never been repealed," Meadows said.

From the outside, the dispute seems to be a classic power struggle between Harrison County supervisors and the Secretary of State. WLOX News asked the secretary if that's an accurate assessment.

"You never want to get in a power struggle with the Board of Supervisors. They really are where the rubber meets the road. So, no, I don't think that's the case at all," said Secretary Hosemann.

"My position is, I think this needs to be settled once and for all. I think we need to determine whether the Board of Supervisors is going to administer the sand beach, as we have traditionally, or whether the Secretary of State's office will," said Supervisor Ladner.

No hearing date has been set for the federal lawsuit. Both sides say there's still a chance they can reach an out of court settlement.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Harrison County coroner will pay $110,000 as part of settlement

    Harrison County coroner will pay $110,000 as part of settlement

    Sunday, April 22 2018 1:06 PM EDT2018-04-22 17:06:19 GMT
    (Source: File)(Source: File)

    Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove will pay $110,000 after a settlement was reached in a lawsuit alleging discrimination. That's according to county attorney Tim Holleman. 

    More >>

    Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove will pay $110,000 after a settlement was reached in a lawsuit alleging discrimination. That's according to county attorney Tim Holleman. 

    More >>
  • Ocean Springs restaurant to shut its doors after 20 years

    Ocean Springs restaurant to shut its doors after 20 years

    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:57 PM EDT2018-04-22 16:57:51 GMT
    The Bayview Gourmet will close its doors after 20 years in Ocean Springs, citing a lease dispute. (Source: Facebook)The Bayview Gourmet will close its doors after 20 years in Ocean Springs, citing a lease dispute. (Source: Facebook)
    The Bayview Gourmet will close its doors after 20 years in Ocean Springs, citing a lease dispute. (Source: Facebook)The Bayview Gourmet will close its doors after 20 years in Ocean Springs, citing a lease dispute. (Source: Facebook)

    An Ocean Springs eatery known for its upscale breakfast and lunch menu will close its doors this week.

    More >>

    An Ocean Springs eatery known for its upscale breakfast and lunch menu will close its doors this week.

    More >>
  • It'll be a soggy Sunday across the coast

    It'll be a soggy Sunday across the coast

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:29 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:29:55 GMT

    The WLOX First Alert Weather team is tracking another storm system that will bring the chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms Sunday.

    More >>

    The WLOX First Alert Weather team is tracking another storm system that will bring the chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms Sunday.

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Search ongoing for gunman after 4 killed, 4 injured in mass shooting at Waffle House

    Search ongoing for gunman after 4 killed, 4 injured in mass shooting at Waffle House

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:55 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:55:32 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 2:13 PM EDT2018-04-22 18:13:39 GMT
    Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)

    Four people were killed and four others injured in a mass shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch early Sunday. The suspect is still on the run.

    More >>

    Four people were killed and four others injured in a mass shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch early Sunday. The suspect is still on the run.

    More >>
  • 4 dead in Waffle House shooting in Tennessee; suspect sought

    4 dead in Waffle House shooting in Tennessee; suspect sought

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:34:45 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 2:17 PM EDT2018-04-22 18:17:27 GMT
    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)
    Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>
  • Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:11 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:11:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:23:15 GMT
    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly