Bay Council Members Question Raises - - The News for South Mississippi

Bay Council Members Question Raises

With so much construction in Bay St. Louis, the city building department struggles to keep up with the demand. 

"Our building department has collected five times what we projected in building permits, permit fees. That's not counting all of the free permits we issued prior to reinstating the fees," says Mayor Eddie Favre.

Favre used a $180,000 state grant to give chief inspector Bill Carrigee an $11,000 raise, a raise to Carrigee's administrative assistant and to hire more inspectors, all without the city council's knowledge.

Alderman At Large Bill Taylor says, "The council's responsible for all money that's spent in Bay St. Louis and the city clerk and mayor is not. So any time he spends money, I feel he should come through the city council."

Favre does not disagree. 

"I don't necessarily have the greatest memory in the world, but it is something that was not done intentionally to try and hide something from the council."

Taylor is concerned the mayor's action could put the city in legal hot water. So two weeks ago he asked for an attorney general's opinion. The attorney general got the request on August 28th. He's expected to give the city an answer in about 30 days.

Taylor says, "I don't want us to get ourselves in a jam and since it didn't come through us, we didn't approve it, I want to know if it's legal and we need to look into it."

"I think the attorney general's opinion is going to come back, if there's funding available for it and budgeted monies for it, then it's the mayor's discretion to set the individual salaries," Favre says.

The mayor concedes he should have had the council in the loop, even if the attorney general clears him of any wrongdoing.

by Marcia Hill

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