Local and social media has been abuzz recently with talk about transparency of the Jackson County Utility Authority. Several city leaders are going to the mattresses against the JCUA claiming that the board has no oversight, no transparency, no accountability, and no way to be reined in. Much of the language and arguments being used are the same ones that have been said about Singing River. Here is a sample from the City of Gautier’s Facebook page:
Did You Know?
Your wastewater treatment costs are decided by a non-elected government board, who pass operating costs onto you, via your city bill? Did you know there is no oversight by a state agency? Jackson County and its 4 cities have created the JCUA Taskforce to look into this issue due to its impacts on homebuilders and citizens.
It all sounds very distressing. Nearly the entire Jackson County delegation is on board in implementing changes. Michael Watson (formerly of Dogan & Wilkinson) has mentioned that the JCUA has an “unregistered lobby” in Jackson.
What’s interesting is that the cities are not alone in this crusade. They have recruited their attorneys into this fight and since Dogan & Wilkinson represents Ocean Springs, Moss Point, and formerly Gautier, they are in the mix. (Two Dogan & Wilkinson partners split to form their own firm, Bordis & Danos. Josh Danos continues to represent the City of Gautier.)
What is ironic is that at the center of the cities’ push for openness and transparency at the JCUA is the same firm that has fought it and profited from it at Singing River: Dogan & Wilkinson.