According to the laws of this state, Barry Cumbest should not have any say in the Lake George proposal:
No public servant shall use his official position to obtain pecuniary benefit for himself other than that compensation provided for by law, or to obtain pecuniary benefit for any relative or any business with which he is associated. Miss. Code § 25-4-105(1)
This should be exactly why Barry Cumbest is taking heat, despite cousin Mark Cumbest’s vituperative protestations. Despite his feelings that these are “personal attacks,” it is cousin Barry who sought public office and should be held to account.
We commend the efforts of those circulating a petition, but it might be time to kick it up a notch. In the tradition of this state, petitions and public initiative are held in great disdain. There is a forum where the civic and environmentally-minded in this county might seek redress: the Mississippi Ethics Commission (MEC). Despite the toothless and political nature of the commission, we detail how to proceed:
The first step in this process is the filing of a complaint. A form is provided by the MEC on their website (click here.) The first portion is your demographic information. The second part is that of whom you complain. In the case of Lake George, you would fill the form out as:
- Name: Cumbest, Barry Emile
- Address: 3101 Lum Cumbest Dr., Moss Point, MS 39562
- Title or Position in Government: District 1 Supervisor, Jackson Co., Miss.
The next section is your narrative. Use your own words to outline your concerns, but specifics do help. You can cite:
- Barry Cumbest’s admission to owning land that would be purchased or made waterfront by the lake
- That his family also shares in the land and holds other parcels not in his name
- Admission of traveling to Washington, D.C. to lobby for funding for Lake George
- Voting in favor of a resolution in support of Lake George
- Hosting forums to lobby public support
- The statute listed above 25-4-105
The form asks for specifics. Chancery Clerk Terry Miller’s office could be of assistance in providing copies of BOS minutes where travel for Cumbest was approved, a copy of the BOS resolution that Cumbest voted on, and the exact interest in land by Cumbest and family members. The Sierra Club may wish to coordinate this effort, given their resources and access to attorneys.
The final section requires your attestation, signature, and that of a notary or judge who must witness your signing the document. You can use your local bank or credit union or the services of the local clerks of court. If you have difficulty obtaining the services of a notary or are unable to afford the fee requested (capped at $5 by state law) please contact us and we can assist.