Waveland Mayor Back Peddling
Waveland ControversyWaveland Mayor Tries to Distance Himself from Story on Donation Investigation Says Sun Herald Story on Donation Incorrect, Denies Sending Employees
by Keith Burton and Mark Proulx - GulfCoastNews.com Filed 1/19/07
A story published January 17 in the Sun Herald newspaper has all ofWaveland talking. The city's mayor is backtracking on his comments of aninvestigation over the handling of donations the city has received, aswell as Waveland city employees being used in an improper effort toobtain records.
This article can be found in full at this Link:http://www.gulfcoastnews.com/WavelandControversy.htm
At the end of the article is a taped interview with the Mayor.
Waveland aldermen to ask for audit
Aid donations, federal money at issue
By RYAN LaFONTAINE
WAVELAND - Alderman Charles Piazza wants the state to pick through Waveland's finances with a pair of tweezers and a magnifying glass, but not everyone agrees that's such a good idea, at least not yet.
Piazza, who returned to the Ward 4 seat in November after four years away from politics, asked the board Tuesday to support his push for an audit, which was not on the official agenda.
First-term Alderwoman Lili Stahler suggested the board wait until the second session later this month and a workshop planned this weekend before officially drafting such a request.
Stahler recommended delaying a decision until city leaders can hear from bookkeepers and donation watchers at Saturday's workshop.
"If that's what (Stahler) wants then that's fine with me," Piazza said. "With her being new and me being back, I can understand her wanting to learn as much as possible, but I still think the board should have passed the motion for an audit (Tuesday) night."
Piazza said he has no reason to suspect financial practices by anyone at City Hall and he wants a review only because "several residents" have questioned him about the money.
He said having the State Auditor's Office examine the city's bankroll and use of Katrina-relief donations is a prudent way to find out.
"I want the state to come in and look at our books," Piazza said. "There's a lot of federal money that's come through Waveland and people are asking questions; they're not seeing results and they want to know where all the money is going."
Mayor Tommy Longo said he welcomed any inspection and that Piazza didn't need to launch intimidating hints to get it done.
"I welcome that," Longo said. "And, you don't need to threaten anyone to do it."
"If I was threatening someone, he would have known it," Piazza said.