Thursday, February 08, 2007

City Defies Law - Tears Down Pecan Factory!

The Pecan Factory is being torn down as I write this, without any notice to the public. The Mayor and Board of Aldermen obviously decided to do this in their Executive Session Tuesday. (See last paragraph in this article. Also, be sure to check the Natchez Democrat website, as they will undoubtedly cover this story there.

And this is being done as the Department of Archives and History is in town along with hundreds of people for the Historic Natchez Conference. Our hypocritical Mayor spoke to the group last night telling them how important historic preservation is to the city.

You may remember that the Department of Archives and History has to approve demolition of that property because of its landmark status. After a hearing, the Department gave permission IF certain conditions were met and documented. No documentation has been received by the Department that those conditions have not been met. Therefore, I understand that the Department is in contact with the State Attorney General's Office to request an injunction. This action on the part of the City could result in serious fines being levied -and this would be paid by your tax dollars.

This property is also tied up in court because of a lawsuit by courageous citizens objecting to illegal sale of the property. The City is very frustrated that mere citizens would challenge their decisions and even considered suing those citizens.

The City will most likely be sued again by citizens for its illegal actions. Not only that, but the City is demolishing a building owned by private citizens. Why? This could possibly be construed as an illegal gift to the developers.

The City is obviously taking serious legal and financial risks. Why is the City taking these risks to benefit a couple of rich developers? Good question.

I will be updating this article as I learn more information, so check back.

PS Here is an interesting piece of information about the Mayor who is so willing to risk our taxpayer dollars. As you may know, about a year or so ago, the Mayor's house was listed in the Legals in the newspaper as going to foreclosure. However, he somehow bought a new house. A few days ago, there was notice in the Court Records section of the paper saying that the Mayor had obtained a mortgage from United Mississippi Bank. Most people who have homes go to foreclosure cannot get mortgages. Wonder why he's different.

UPDATE I: We are rally at the Pecan Factory at 12 noon today (Thursday) for a protest of the City's outrageous behavior regarding the Pecan Factory. PLEASE come if at all possible. We need all the help we can get. Now is the time for citizens who care about their town to stand up to these arrogant elected officials, who think they can do whatever they want - and the public be damned.


Anonymous said...

Mayor Phillip West owned property, which was his home, outside of the City limits at the time of his election. He deserted the house and made no effort to sell it. It was foreclosed on. On 2/21/2005, he closed the purchase of the house at 8 Sun Court for $175,000. How could he have obtained a loan under the circumstances connected with the foreclosure? Most people cannot. Something does not seem right.

Anonymous said...

I have been telling you all that Mayor Phillip West was taking bribes and cutting deals under the table. As the old folk say, this is all coming to a head. He got the loan from United Mississippi Bank because he is "sold out." He had to demolish the building because of the money involved in this deal. It is apparent that he is caught up in this mess. He cannot defy the real powers in this city and we all know that.

This man has "NEVER" had a job other than as an elected official. He is an expert at doing things "under the table." In this case, he met with Worley, Brown and others and they told him that they needed to move forward or else. The "else" is that they were going to expose his unethical activities.

If you check the circuit court records, Phillip and Carolyn West were sued last October or November. This man is just plain "bad news" for the city.

You are correct, something does not seem right because it is not right. Perhaps Worley or Brown signed for the house. Perhaps the folk at United Mississippi Bank did not follow the law when they issued the loan.

Phillip West's old house on Landsdowne Road was foreclosed on. Prior to the actual foreclosure he did purchase a new home. Most entities will not foreclose on a home unless it is about three months delinquent. This had to be on his credit report.

With all of this said, there is the right way, and there is the Natchez way.


gwen ball said...

The citizens of Natchez may now find themselves, once again, liable for the reckless disregard of the law by their City government. The Mayor has put himself in a position of risk, liable for the consequences of the demolition of the Pecan Factory Building, a Landmarked Property. If it is true that related parties, including the Board of Aldermen, were unaware of the plan to demolish, the Mayor may be personally liable. If the Board of Aldermen are a party to this illegal act the liability issue could carry over into future administrative terms.
It is our understanding that the developers had a contractual prerogative to demolish the building once they had submitted three requirements to Mississippi Dept. of Archives & History(MDAH).The city has demolished the building with taxpayer monies and has now made an illegal gift to the developers. The developers can now avoid the cost of demolition in
addition to other financial windfalls they are receiving in the deal.
Furthermore, the Mayor has allowed our status as a Certified Local Government(CLG) to come into question could result in serious financial consequences for
the Çity. As a CLG, Natchez has agreed to cooperate with MDAH with the implementation of the Mississippi Landmark program by complying with all the provisions
of the State Antiquities Law of the Mississippi Codeof 1972. As stated in the procedures, the City of Natchez is required to seek a permit for any actions affecting designated Mississippi Landmarks and to comply with the conditions of the permit. By demolishing the Pecan Factory Building the Mayor
appears to have violated this law; no permit was issued.