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Waveland mayor has lost his mind; Garcia should resign

January 5th, 2011

You really can’t make this stuff up.

It was just a few weeks ago I wrote:

Did you read last week about the Waveland mayor and alderman giving themselves a raise?
No, it is not a joke.
When virtually everyone in the United States has done without a raise for the last 18 to 24 months, the Waveland Board of Aldermen has voted to increase salaries for the next four years for themselves and the mayor.
And by 20 percent!

OK, now comes word that the city of Waveland has laid off 11 workers and reduced four full-time positions to part-time.

The Board of Aldermen voted 3-1 early Wednesday morning after a 3½-hour executive session that began Tuesday night.

Mayor David Garcia says the move was made because of shortfalls in the budget.

However, Garcia has not returned phone calls from the Mississippi Business Journal requesting an interview.

The layoffs include seven public works employees, which includes the four full time to part-time workers; a court clerk; a city hall clerk and six in the police department that did not include any patrolmen.

There are more than 100 city employees. Garcia says the city expects to save $800,000 in salaries and benefits.

So, while 11 folks are without a job, Garcia has a little extra money to buy groceries.

Maybe his plan all along was to have extra personal cash so he could help support the poor bastards he was about to send to the unemployment lines.

Garcia’s salary was raised in mid-December from $60,000 to $72,000 annually. He was making $63,383 a year as fire chief.

Aldermen, paid $14,400 annually, will bring in $1,200 more a year.

As I said in a previous column, how arrogant must you be to vote yourself a payraise during the worst recession in 80 years?

But to then turn around and lay off 11 people is the ultimate slap in the face.

Maybe, in this economic climate, cuts needed to be made. But to make the cuts after giving yourself a raise proves, not only a lack of sensitivity, but a lack of intelligence.

When Garcia and his henchmen originally gave themselves a raise, we suggested that things would take care of themselves at the next election.

The last time I remember a mayor voting himself a raise was in Indianola, Mississippi.

That was a couple of years ago.

Last year, the incumbent mayor was ousted by Steve Rosenthal, largely because voters believed they had been taken for granted.

I suggested that Garcia and the Waveland Board of Alderman, should figure out a way to make this salary issue right, or wait until the next election, because the voters will take care of it.

However, after this latest gaff, it’s time for Garcia to resign.

He obviously has no idea what he is doing.

Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1018.

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