Mayor Laurence Leyens speaks

Vicksburg Speaks received an email from Mayor Laurence Leyens, and with his permission is posting it here. The mayor makes some critical and perhaps valid observations regarding the site, as well as some suggestions for improvement. Please read it and respond as you like. Mayor Leyens:

Please remove me from your distribution.

 I can not believe how you critize the Post and then produce an even worse communication.  Most of your topics come from the Post.    You quote it as if its the final word…. And then complain about its quaility.   Its amazing how misinformation can become so fictional.   Seems like a waste of time to me.  This site could be a free press concept but should insist on factual verified information and then tolerate and encourage all opinions.  What good is it when absolute lies are stated and then to have dialogue around incorrect information?  Entertainment?

 I sure would like to hear from this community to insure that they are well represented.  But your forum is flawed and is distructive because it promotes and perpetuates non truths simply to accomplish what?

  Maybe if you had a reporter to ask real questions and investigate the truth this site may have a real value to this community.  Government is well documented and open to the public.  Some comments are so cynical and uninformed that it really makes me wonder how someone could write “their” opinion with a straight face and actually put their name on the blog.  

The truth is a constant fact, find it….  Then express your dissatisfaction if you feel the need. 

Mayor Leyens

Published in: on October 1, 2007 at 9:02 am  Comments (55)  

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  1. The Vicksburg Post is fair game for criticism Mr. Leyens. Even u have criticize it. But to come out and criticize this forum is a mistake. For one thing not all of us are destructive. For example my own criticism is post is valid. Cynical? I doubt. This forum is more helpful than u think and u shouldn’t come and say that it destructive. I,for one suggested some topics and they didn’t come from the paper. Like I suggested the cinema as a topic becouse it was warranted. And there hasn’t been any further action on the issue. As for non-truths I haven’t found any and this forum is still in its infancy. Give it time to mature becouse some of the people who post are lot more intelligent than you think.

  2. Dang right, Chuck. Tell it like it is.

  3. I wrote about loud muffers(or no mufflers), extrememly loud music, and excessive speed along Porter’s Chapel Road. That did not come from the Post and it is very true. It gets bad when you are mowing the lawn and can’t even hear the lawn mower that you are pushing, and that didn’t come from the Post. It came from the big black Ford pickup.

  4. I enjoy reading this forum. If the mayor doesn’t want to read it, then fine, that is his perogative. I do feel that it would behoove him to not be so defensive, though, because when you are in public office, you are going to have things that you don’t like said about you. That is a fact. Now, would we rather live in a place where you can NOT say something? I don’t think so, Scooter.
    I am glad that I can sit here in my house, listening to rock and roll music, fixing a quick lunch, and can read comments from other Vicksburgers, on a variety of topics. No, not all have come from the Post, but so what if they do? We are lucky to have a daily newspaper, and it is going to have things in it that concern the citizens. Is it perfect? No. But basically the attitude of, “I’m taking my marbles and going home”, is not the way to inspire confidence in the constituents!
    My opinion – like or not, it’s mine and mine alone.
    Now, time to EAT!!

  5. I have seen many topics on this forum which have never been in the Vicksburg Post, so you can’t hide behind that as your reason for writing Mr. Mayor.

    What is strange to me is you have never offered a comment before until Mr. Preston Reuther told his story about the Thomas Building. Could it be that he struck some nerves? Perhaps there is truth in what he says and you don’t like having it brought out in the open? Surely, if what he says is true, that might be something the Attorney General in Mississippi might want to look into because from where I’m sitting, his story sounds an awful lot like fraud and in a major way with several people involved. Attorney General Jim Hood might just not be part of the “Good Ole Boys” network here in Vicksburg.

    Since lawyers here in Vicksburg are afraid of taking the case and judges in other localities don’t want to take it, there has to be something very wrong going on.

    I think this forum is an excellent way for people to say what they think and not be retaliated against because of it. One of the people who posts messages here uses the psuedo name “afraid of my government” and we all understand why. Look at what happened to James Montgomery….but, God Bless Him….he won!

  6. Hey Smitty good point on the Preston Reuther case too. How about the two bldgs around the old Thomas bldg too? u know when a building collaspses it generates structural damage on its neighboring structures? Like are their cracks in the foundation and motor in the neighhoring buildings? Now that’s worthy of a news story right there.

  7. Yeah, Chuck, another good point. I hope they have insurance on those buildings..but maybe not a million dollars worth or they might end up in the same fix as Preston Reuther!

  8. I agree with the mayor that there seems to be a lot of misinformation floating around. And the myth that the old downtown buildings are going to fall down is one of them. Most were built to standards that are superior to those of today.

    On the matter of the Post and the Clay street building collapse, I can not help but wonder why some investigative reporting was not done to reveal the real reason for its collapse. Whatever happend to Investigative Reporting.

    I think this site gives a measure of what the citizens of the City are feeling correct or not.

    Suggest that the mayor take a more proactive role and speak his piece of items he thinks are incorrect.

  9. Now on the case of a new cinema for example. I’m hearing all talk. But no more follow up on that story. I did my own research on the subject for example. U know the Post could’ve done an investigative story on the feud of CBL Associates and Village Entertaiment over the cinema. Here high rent is the case. Now I ask myself how much is the rent? Did you know that CBL gets some of the profits of the stores. And everytime there is an incident–a crime incident,CBL takes the Martha Stewart approach. Here’s another fact: the mayor bragged at the beginning of the year that we would have a cinema by fall. No result in that area.
    Now the real investigative story with CBL Associates is this: how come they have not responded to the mayor’s proposal on revisionoing the old mall? Is CBL exploiting the mall as a tax write off while thier high rent kills business at the sametime? One can learn a lot about retail in a Google search. Malls by the way have a 25 yr economic cycle.

  10. I am very disappointed that our Mayor has taken this approach. It appears he does not understand the nature of a blog.

    It is where people express their opinion as they think it.

    If there has been misinformation this is an excellent format to address those issues. I hope he reconsiders and responds with his side of the story, as Gil Martin has done. Gil gained a bunch of credibility points with me for addressing the issues.

    Mayor Leyens, please reconsider and get your side of the story heard.

  11. David I haven’t seen any misinformation here at all. No bad language at all. I believe he should explain his posted explaination on the forum. Why? becouse a majority of the citixens are intelligent. And all of us net savvy as well. Dave here’s another small town fact that some are getting tired of.
    Locals are tired of cliques and finding out facts by rumors and word of mouth. Now that is where mininformation and gossip come from. As for misinformation I haven’t seen anything. And one more thing locals are getting tired of secrecy and backyard backroom deals as well.

  12. Chuck I have to agree that this forum is the perfect format for dispelling rumors…if people will post the information…like Gil Martin did.

  13. FYI on the cinema issue. Gertrude Young announced on “Live at the Klondyke” last week that she was meeting with an interested party for a cinema. That meeting has already occurred. I can’t wait to hear what is coming of that.

    Also, the mayor is the scheduled guest on “Live at the Klondyke” for tomorrows show, Wednesday October 3 from 7:30 to 9:00AM on 1490 AM.

  14. David, I only joined this forum recently so I had to search for the Gil Martin post you referred to and you are exactly right. Mr. Martin did an excellent job of setting the record straight without getting disturbed or spitting accusations at anyone. He is a good example of a true public servant. He does his job and still feels accountable to the public, as it should be.

    On the other hand, we have Mayor Leyens who appears to think he is unaccountable to anyone other than his own mirror. In fact, he gets angry if he is disputed. I don’t think the word humble, much less public servant, is in his vocabulary. He should take lessons from Gill Martin and grow up. Mayor Leyens has made many improvements for Vicksburg, but unfortunately, because of his attitude, he has made many enemies. I feel certain he will run again for Mayor and I think we need to be looking for an adult to run against him. Would you be interested?

  15. Smitty u know on some online forums and bullentin boards with the written rant that Laurence Leyens has written above some moderators would kick him off and not to mention banish him as a member all together. I’ve seen this happen on other boards which I have been a member; and some moderators would leave Leyens at the mercy of the other members. No kidding. Rules of ettiquette apply online as they do offline. But to blowup like he did was a big mistake.
    As for Reauther I would like to hear his other side of the story too.

  16. Hey if the local paper doesn’t want to get to the bottom of it; why not bring the Clarion Ledger into this one. Becouse the truth of the Thomas bldg should be more throughly told. Even have the local Jackson stations too.

  17. Smitty,

    I have no interest at this point in running for office. My business takes all my time and honestly I spent 20 years of my life, that I can’t have back, working day and night as the boss. I enjoy my freedom and public office in America today removes you from the ability to do as you please. The ugly side of politics is that your personal life become fodder for public scrutiny. I admire those who hold public office because it is a tough job. As Honest Abe said, “You can please all the people some of the time, some of the people all the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time.”

    I personally support the mayor because of the work he has done for Vicksburg. With his outspoken manner he says what he thinks regardless of the ramifications. His personality is what it is.

    I would suggest this:

    Call him and ask him to respond to whatever issue.

    It has been my experience that he maintains the same demeanor and will answer honestly from his perspective. You may not like what he has to say, you may not like the way he says it, but you have to respect that he doesn’t hold back.

    I am still disappointed in his approach to this site, and told him as much this morning. I think it is an excellent way to communicate and get your side of the story out.

  18. My impression of Mayor Laurence Leyens approach to this forum is that he doesn’t understand the net and how much free flow communications people have now. Becouse people here now have an avenue to to express whatever is on thier minds. For example I see the Vicksburg Post as a member of the old media who is trying to play catch up. I mean forums,blogs have generated a powershift for indiviuals not here but in Jackson and all over.
    Those who don’t understand rapid change,or adapt to it, thier lose thier footing in the new world we’re now in. I would reccommend to really good book called the World is Flat by Milton Freeman. And he explains how the net and other form of communications has change the bussiness world and now how we indiviuals are now impowered.
    Here’s a footnote: one of the crimes committed here in Vicksburg popped up on an MSNBC website. Just showing how the world has radically changed. And in business change is a constant.

  19. David, I agree with you in that his personality is what it is. In fact, a couple of years ago, someone told us that L.L. was the only person he knew that could p%^s somebody off just by saying “good morning”! But he does need to lighten up about this blog and I am glad that you told him so.
    As for you running for office, lawsey, there are no words!! I would be afraid that it would make you less, “interesting”, I think is the word I will use!! You couldn’t be yourself if everyone was watching your every move, and that would be a shame.

  20. I believe Laurence persnoality is his weak link. Why? If you get angry and blow up corparate execs pay real close attention to manners. One who acts like a child nine times out of ten I wouldn’t want to work with u nor talk to you. U see they’re not stupid and they would perceive Laurence as more of a spoiled child whose more interested in thier stock options rather the betterment of his own community. Just think how the mayors of Tuepelo,Madison Rigdeland, Hattiesburg must laugh at him all the time. I’m just making an observation here.

  21. Please take me off your list. I can’t take reading Chucks comments, especially when he keeps speaking about his intelligence and then improperly uses and spells words.

  22. I do not want this forum to become like the message boards on AOL, or other such sites, where people are rude and say things that just don’t need to be said. If someone doesn’t enjoy reading the blog, then just delete it from your email, or skip the person’s comments, if it bothers you. I hope that adults are the ones who read Vicksburg Speaks, and hopefully, adult behavior and manners will prevail. Now, I know that I will probably be lambasted for saying this, but I enjoy reading this blog, and do not want it to become as critical and rude as people generally tend to be, these days.
    I have this site bookmarked, and check it periodically to see if there are new topics and comments. I couldn’t care less about any “list” that I am on, if someone doesn’t want to get updates, then block it, or again, just hit the delete button, problem solved.
    People, I know first hand that life is short. Let’s not tear people down, let’s try to get through life together. It sure makes the day a lot more bearable.


    Since I own and operate about 5 on line website businesses and have been on line since 1996 when it was a ghost town on the internet, I love the free flow of ideas and speech that come from forums like this and I feel comfortable sort of like “this is my land” and Oh yea some people get there feelings hurt and run home with there marbles but thats only because there not accustom to having anything they say questioned.

    Much like the mayors conversation with the Post, Media, etc are all one sided and he eats it up like his morning cereal. Because he says what he wants without investigation or any questioning at all. Lets face it thats why he comes in here to praise the post and knock the forum. But in a larger metropolitan area with a newspaper that was not controlled by city officials the media would call him down on most of his “gray area statements” and inquire a bit more on some of his so called “real estate investments”.

    I would debate Laurence Leyens on any aspect of the Collapsed building on clay st any day and any time. But that will never happen because he can only handle a one sided conversation protected by officers in the council chamber, rules of order or any tool he can use to shut you up and keep him talking. And lets face it he is a master at it you gotta give it to him. Im just a small businessman and no match for the king.

    The last time we faced off in the council chambers he was squirming so much I thought he would wear a hole in the wooden chair! He’s not used to someone going toe to toe with him in a public forum and he hates it because people find out what fact is and what political fiction is. Because im such a great debater? No absolutely not i was nervous and afraid but what i said was the total truth so the truth is easy to say and because its the truth it never changes.

    I loved Vicksburg and still do but as an outsider looking into its political structure seems a bit like George Orwell’s 1984 and the totalitarian state. And coming from New Orleans I have seen it all, but nothing like this.

    *The mayor taking private property from anyone he please thru eminent domain or the new and improved eminent domain where you confiscate property thru real estate taxes and dont pay a dime for it!

    *Inspectors used as “hired guns” to come down on any business or contractors that dont fit into the program.

    *The entire architectural review board used to either punish or reward business depending on the whims of the mayor

    *The buying up of valuable land by the mayor and his “staff” from mostly poor citizens of Vicksburg knowing the value will go way up when new federal monies are poured into the area within one to two years.

    If King Laurence would debate me point for point on the entire building fall down fiasco in an open forum like this the real truth would come out and people that use “double speak” verbal subterfuge and other political gimmicks that have been used in Vicksburg since the time of Huey Long cannot stand open debate any more then a vampire can stand the light of day!

    It is no secret that if you purchase an old historic building or any building downtown you might as well have a bullseye painted on your back because thats what you become. A TARGET Ask anyone that has owned or operated any business downtown and have not contributed to King laurences agenda you become a target for the mayor and his “real estate developers” and his voracious appetite for adding historical properties to his own personal portfolio.

    Im going to make a prediction!!! King Laurence will never debate me, never, on this open forum. You are not going to see it its not going to happen. I have spent too much time, money and energy on the entire workings of what and how and with who on what he does. In other words ____I KNOW TOO MUCH___ and that puts him at a disadvantage which he dosen’t want.

    Now let me make another prediction!!!____(you are really getting your moneys worth on predictions today!) You will never see lawrence back on this forum again! ITS WAY TOO HOT! So dont look for him here, you might find him all over the post where things are nice and soft like marshmallows but he cant stand as they say down south___ALL THIS BACK TALKIN!

    And one more thing!!

    Lawrence and Nancy the city attorney with the help of the post,has been very successful at the rumor mill stating that basically I destroyed my own building by pressure washing it. A few questions to ask yourself!

    #1. Pressure washing has been done on old brick walls since they were built. You might do it too much, you might deface some bricks you might do a lot of things but you dont bring a 40,000 square foot building down with a pressure washer unless it is already destroyed and ready to come down.

    #2. The hearing has not started yet so how can anyone say this is the cause of the collapse? Has the courts said this or king laurence and the post?

    #3. What expert said this was the cause of the collapse? Laurence, Nancy, The inspection crew? What expert came forward with this summation? Its easy to start rumor and make innuendo to destroy someones good name but hard fact is tougher.

    #4. The exact cause of that building falling will never truly be known thats the real fact! It was open to the rain and weather, bricks rotting (and yes bricks can rot) no maintenance what so ever, unknown to me the rear of the building had already collapsed, and it had been neglected by the architectural review board and the city administration for about 10 years.

    #5. Just because someone owns a building does not make him at fault when a collapse occurs. Let me rephrase this: It has been stated by the city, rumor and the post that basically I have not been a good steward of the building and im at fault when the building collapsed. BUT__this is not true. It only means that I owned the building it has not been proven that i committed “gross negligence” and that is the key GROSS NEGLIGENCE and not ownership.

    #6.THIS IS THE KEY!!!____________Thew clay st complex was plain and simple DEMOLITION BY NEGLECT of every city dept in Vicksburg and I can and will prove it. So the only way the city might squirm out is to lay the blame of “destroying it” on someone else and frankly they dont care who that person or company is they just want out of the liability of THERE OWN NEGLAGANCE.

    Lets face it King laurences track record of winning in court over taking there property or fireing firemen or policemn is not too good!

    So a good pressure washing story is as good as it gets

    But in closing I cant believe in America in 2007 after 12 to 15 negative front page articles and all the TV coverage a judge is going to hear this thing in the city of Vicksburg!!!

    My 64 year old wife and myself will be facing:

    A vicksburg judge, two to three vicksburg attornesys, the mayor and a city councilman or two, paralegals, assistants, consultants, so called experts, the insurce company lawers who dont want to pay and there experts, hennessee insurance who dont want to pay, police officers, court officials maybe the fire chief.

    All we have is my wife, myself my God and the truth and frankly thats all I need!

    Preston Reuther
    PS__Please remember — With the right to private property there is no liberty and without liberty there is no private property.

  24. Hey Preston u really want to get your story out? Why not contact the Clairon Ledger,the local tv staions in Jackson. Now Hannity&Comes on Fox News I would believe would be interested about the fact inement domain here in Vicksburg is being abused. Another angle of attack is hit this cliquish community which is so far behind,hit them on thier greed and not caring for the local. For it has been the business oligarchy here who has block competition.
    But the inmentient domain a national news network would be interested in and I believe in the fact that how the court system kept changing venues with the Thomas Bldg. It wouldn’t hurt becouse I can tell you people here want real change not chump change talk.
    And Mayor Leyens as a public official is accountable. Just becouse he comes from a rich family it doesn’t matter. Actions speak louder than words.

  25. Chuck, don’t let one rude person stop you from speaking your piece. Many of your observations are very insightful, and you demonstrate a good knowledge of many aspects of life and government in Vicksburg. Keep up the good writing!

  26. Whew, Preson, that is a lot to digest with my morning coffee and granola bar!!!! But it is very interesting and I hope that you and your wife will be treated fairly when you face the judge. I have lived in Vicksburg my whole life (50+ years) and don’t know what it is like to be an outsider, anywhere!! I am glad to know “the rest of the story” and agree that your story needs to be heard. But please know, most original Vicksburgers are fair minded and want the truth to prevail.

  27. Bart don’t worry I haven’t been fazed at all by the comment that was written. Don’t worry I was trained by Obi Wan Kenobi and when I read Sharron’s post,she didn’t discourage me one bit. U know I’ve seen attacks like that before and they don’t serve no purpose. Honestly I chuckled at it.
    One more thing the local Vicksburg narrow minded insider are going to have to realize: the world has moved on and doesn’t surround them anymore. But I’m please Preaston got his story out. And honestly it needs more exposure.

  28. Good for you, Chuck! When I read it last night it upset ME, which is why I wrote what I did. I guess I am thin-skinned and take everything to heart. I am glad that you can let it roll off your back!!

  29. Chuck,

    You are one of my personal heros. On this site I have seen the effort you make to discover information and then share it. Keep it up brother and damn the torpedoes.

  30. Hey Dave u and Larry make Live from the Klondike the best it can be. I encourage u too. Hey if Rush Limbaugh can do it,u can do it.

  31. Chuck, keep those comments coming. You never cease to amaze me with your knowledge of current events and the wisdom in your posts. What a shame that some just flat miss the boat.

    As for Mayor Leyens, David, I have had the displeasure of speaking with him. I have also watched him on the TV channel in meetings where he refused to let people talk with opposing views. It is either his way or no way. It’s a no win situation. As I said before, he has made many enemies with his attitude and arrogance. It shouldn’t be that way.

  32. Sure thing Smitty his sttitude is his achielle’s heel. U know I encouraged Preston R. to make his story national. Leaders like Leyens need to be taught a severe business lesson. His arrogance too is a weakness. And I wonder if his arrogance has turned many business clients.
    If Leyens had posted some of the angry rant on some another forum I believe the members there would eat his lunch. I’ve seen this happen and I Leyens violated the ruls of nettiquette. And posting nettiquete too. Some webmasters and moderators wouldn’t tolerate such behavior. Leyens reflects the intelligence of some I’ve read about in the World is Flat. Those who haven’t embraced the internet. Just think how this forum has empowered people here. And with free flow information it has created a powershift. Since Leyens is a member of the old guard–I believe it has them scared. But to attack those who post here was a big mistake. I was pleased at the fact that Preston posted his view of the story.
    I believe that aldermen Mayfield and Sid Beauman should post there thoughts too. But this town’s Orwellian attitude has to go.

  33. Dear friends and citizens of Vicksburg,
    The mayor has his personal challenges and will always have his personal challenges–poor soul, he’ll never get a personality! But we have a much larger issue here that must and needs to be resolved. VICKSBURG HAS A SERIAL RAPIST.

  34. But the issue here is “Mayor Leyens Speaks”. Perhaps you can suggest to the forum that such a discussion as you mentioned be brought forth. I personally don’t think 2 rapes in as many years exactly qualifies as a serial rapist if it is, in fact, the same person but I do respect your opinion and would be open to that discussion if the moderator chooses to list the topic.

  35. I heard on Live From the Klondike this morning that Preston Reuther is going to be on the show. It should be interesting to hear his side of the story.

  36. Is Preston Reuther really going to be on Live from the Klondike?

    Well, i was asked to come, an invitation I accepted but then I heard no more. I don;t know what happened but maybe the topic was a bit too hot.If I were to come on I can say with 100% certainty that it will be quite lively and no not vicious but lively. No matter what happens to that building or my family you can’t loose your mind over old bricks and wood. As much as I loved that old building and as much as I dislike what the administration (MOSTLY KING LAWRENCE) is making us go threw life goes on.

    What most people don’t understand is that this entire stand off is not about an old collapsed building. It’s truly about being able to dissent from the city government and not having to bow low in a public arena when tempers flair. If people come to the arena of business there is going to be different views. But when a King of a city wants to ruin you financially because you disagree with him and want to repair, clean and control your own private property thats beyond governement its a govenment totally out of control. And I truly fee Lawrence has created this feeling of fear from the local business people and anyone that needs the cooperation of the city or city boards.

    So by being successful in gaining this stronghold of power it might make your short term goals easier because people fear you. But no one and I mean no one has ever ruled any city, state or country thru fear for any length of time. So I know it, the city of Viucksburg knows it and Im sure that King Lawrence know it that this is his last fling at politics. With the reputation he has created im positive the people of vicksburg will send him back to selling insurance or vacuum cleaners or whatever he can muster up.

    It is quite a shame that someone that is so talented and could have done so much for the people of a city in need could be so self centered and so concerned only about his own gain and ego.

    Leaders that try to be kings never quite make it but leaders that are servants to the people never have to worrry about climbinig the ladder of success because the people will push him or her up.

    It seems King Lawrence has his fingerprint on almost every dirty real estate deal that hit Vicksburg. I know this because real estate is my hobby so I follow it well. A few interesting things to note:

    #1. The systematic confiscation or property thru eminent domain. REMEMBER the discount furniture store owner? What a sweet old guy and what a servant he was to the poor of Vicksburg helping them and servicing them with affordable furniture. King Lawrence sued him in an attempt to take away his business and his land. He died from the stress of litigation. Many have forgotten him but I have not he is on my mind quit a bit and im feeling just a little bit of what he must have felt.

    #2.The sale (give away) of the old courthouse downtown. Do you know who bought it? A corporation right? who owns it? another corporation right! and who owns that one?_________It sold for about $500,000 the building is probably worth $2,000,000_________Ask King Lawrence who owns stock in that corporation.

    #3. The Big building on Washington st. Remember that? Owned by the city, a whole square block warehouse and an extra block parking lot? The city said it would be up for bid right? I called and talked to someone named Wayne, I wanted to buy it and it was not sold and had no contract on it. I wanted to give them $500,0000 for it. Wayne could not and would not give me a straight answer. He said “they have something working on it” Which is interpreted as: This is our deal stay out!_______The building was then sold to a casino at for $250,000_______Vicksburg people lost $250,000 on that one.

    #4. When I came to Vicksburg from New Orleans I was facinated with the old homes and still am i restored about 10 of them there. Most had been empty for years.
    King Lawrence had said over and over “If anyone wants any of these old home come down to city hall and we will give you one or pay a $1 or something like that” I took him up on his offer. No one in City Hall knew a thing about it. I asked to see the list! “what list” They had no list because that way king lawrence could give out whatever property he wanted to whoever wanted them if they were on his team that is. And I dont have a problem giving away property to your friends but as the top public official it should have been offered to anyone that would come forward and fix the places up not just the chosen few.

    #5. My first few weeks in Vicksburg was the most interesting!! I was sitting in city hall where building permit where given out and David was there and we were talking about Peaches a young black man that was trying to run a black establishment in the old montycarlo building on Washington street. During the conversation he told me “We just dont want some juke joint at the entrance way to Vicksburg”.__________________It didnt take an interpreter to know what ‘JUKE JOINT’ meant. Its meaning was quite clear__________BLACK JOINT!!!

    I curiously went over to the Montycarlo the next day and low and behold the next day the fire chief and two or three people from the inspection bureau comes in. The rather barge in and the female inspection officer says: “TURN THAT MUSIC OFF” I said “Lady I dont even work here!”_________They then began to interrogate peaches (his nick name) and frankly I was to scared to stay around for fear I would get arrested for what I dont know. But for sure they wanted him out of there and they did succeed. They harassed him so bad he left and quite working on the building he so loved. The building is now in such disrepair it may have already been torn down i dont know.

    #6. The old man that owns that building called me just recently and told me the city was giving him a hell of a time and looked like they were going to take the building one way or the other and im not sure but i think they did or there working on it.

    SPECIAL NOTE: If you look at any maps of the development of that area (it appeared on tv) you will not see the monty carlo building nor the discount furniture barn. Its as if they dont exist!!————————————————————– Could this possible be because the interpretive museum will be built directly across from that location and that location will be one of the most valuable in the city!!!

  37. Hey Preston u want to know what Laurence Leyens simply need now? He needs some professional reporters from FOX News,MSNBC, CBS to confront him. For example when it came to cinema issue at the mall,WLBT caught him off guard again. He need to be taught severe business lesson by someone bigger,smarter,than he is. And has more money to make him look stupid.
    Also I learned that when his family ran one of the downtown businesses; his father block some Sears Warranties. I don’t know the whole story on that one but ask around bet some would be glad to give background on that one. FOX News,especially Hannity&Comes would be interested in the inemment domain issue.

  38. Mr. Reuther,
    I have sent you 4 emails requesting a response to be on ‘Live at the Klondyke’. The dates are Oct 1, 9, 11 and 12th. You responded to the first two, but not the last two.

    I will send another right now, October 18, 2007 at 2:00pm. Please respond. The email will be from the same as the last four:



  39. Mr. Reuther, please clarify that the David you mentioned above(regarding the entrance to Vicksburg) is not me. In the context of your post I think it could be misinterpreted.

  40. Mr. Reuther has confirmed and will be the guest Friday morning, the 19th of October on “Live at the Klondyke”.


    In my above article I mentioned a David and no that was not David Day im sorry if I confused anyone. I didn’t mention the last name but he was the architect for the city at the time and i really don’t know his last name.

    I guess I gotta go I got a radio show to do! They said 7:30 I thought they meant PM but nooooooo it’s AM!!! Is the sun up at that time?

    I got two alarm clocks and two wake up calls coming in so I will be ready. I work on my website all night so I don’t normally do 7:30 am but this should be interesting. But are people really up at that time?

    NOTE: So far I have 7 attorneys assigned to the Collapse of the Old Thomas Building! Wow! Justice may still be alive in America but it sure ain’t cheap!

    Its kind of funny, when I was learning my trade as a jewelry designer my wife Mary and I travelled the entire country living out of an old 79 datson I bought for $100, doing about 40 weekly shows a year. I would go to the used bent and dent food store and buy 50 cans of beans for us and our 4 dogs! And I got a funny feeling that before Vicksburg gets thru with me im going to be living in that old datsun again!!

    If I had a brain in my head I would not have spoken at that city council hearing on the building collapse instead I would have said: Yes massa, Yes massa, I’ze got my mind right, I’ze got my mind right. I would have kept silent (just like they want everyone in Vicksburg to do)

    When I was restoring all those old homes off of clay st. I rarely if ever got a visit by and inspector or a word from anyone. But soon as I bought a building on King Lawrence’s sacred ground of downtown thats we started to have all the trouble. I think before that no one even knew who we were or what we did, nor did they care.

    Foolish me, started buying property in the downtown area, heck I didn’t King Lawrences collected old house like men collect baseball cards. And oh the deals he has made!!

    I love that deal he made on the BB club!! Only in Vicksburg can you get a $100,000,000 building for free, well he said it was for $40,000 of consulting, i guess thats a good cover. Then he turns around, fixes it up and sells it for a huge profit. And don’t get me wrong nothing wrong with making money on your efforts im a US capitalist not a socialist. But do you have to take buildings that rightfully belong to the people of Vicksburg? This guy has a serious need for money and I don’t know what for but he is willing to risk it all for some cash._________Thats insider trading if I ever saw it. Martha Stewart did that in the investment arena and they sent her to prison for it. Here they made him the mayor!

    I guess its really not news to the Post in Vicksburg but my attorney filed suit against King Lawrence Leyens both as the mayor of the city of Vicksburg and against him personally in regard to $50,000 or more that Riverside construction
    is trying to collect from me. That was several weeks ago, but i guess its not news in Vicksburg.

    If that suit would have been put against me it would have made front page news in 4 inch block letters it would have looked like the front page for world war 3!! But I guess hush!!!!! is the word.

    Id love to write a book about all this but i dont think they let you have pencils and papers in the county jail do you?

    Can someone do me a favor? I want someone to go to city hall and ask them to see the political contributions list for the last election where King Lawrence was elected? It is public record for anyone who lives in Vicksburg, so they cant deny you.

    Could someone do that and e mail me? I wont pay you cause the lawyers got all my money. Im sure God will bless you! I want to see if and how much Riverside Construction (the miller family) contributed to Lawrence’s election. Im not believing that he wants to give hundreds of thousands of dollars of business to Riverside just because he likes them! Theres gotta be a catch there always is where King Lawrence is concerned.

    OK see what you made me do!! Its late now! How am i going to get up! gotta go.

    preston reuther

  42. I listen to Preston’s side of the story. It appears our mayor has questionable motives for wanting this property and it’s time that taxpayers now raise questions on this issue.

  43. There is no such thing as economic development in Warren County. The Port Commission should be the object of scorn. Johnny Moss and Rusty Hawkins were successful in getting their boy the Port Commisioner job. He doesn’t have a clue what economic development is. This is the same bunch of yahoos that gave Warren County the fabulous spec building, that rescued the bank by buying CERES Plantation when it failed, that doesn’t (or didn’t) have a fence all the way around its sewere lagoon at CERES, that let the doack and the port get in miserable condition, that sold land to private parties on the Port (instead of long term leases like most) so there is no control of property at the Port, that has no tangible marketing plan, whose new Director is want to get into housing grants. In short, Warren County’s efforts in the economic development arena are laughable throughout the state. Vicksburg and Warren County aren’t even on the radar of most projects-industrial or retail. a lot of that has to do with the good old cronyism that is a live and well in warren County. Need proof…lok at the ne port direcotr….great friend of Moss and Hawkins. Instead of going out and getting a proven professional..they went with their golf buddy. Vicksburg-where tomorrow is yesterday!

  44. Scott wonderful post! By the way I’ve read on other bullentin sites about podunk Vicksburg people have a perception “it’s still in the ’50s.” Now everywhere around this town there are more vacant bldgs than there are businesses. What has been interesting is the fact is money moving out here. And I believe that money is in retail,gas etc.
    As for a new cinema we haven’t heard anything new on that front either. And by the way CBL Associates forced most of the mall business becouse of thier high rent. Thier mistake the mall was built to small. Now they’re paying a price for it. They wonder why high end businesses don’t want to locate here.
    And the Ceres complex is still vacant. I heard the line that best describes this port: Come to Vicksburg to make money. Now the money is leaving here. Now what do they have to say for themselves eh?

  45. In the Sunday Post yesterday there was a letter to the editor from the President of the State Library Association. When the mayor did his speech he insulted the president of the association using the bad upkeep of the library. Now his statements didn’t sit well with the president. When I read this letter I found his conduct as a speaker before a professsional association unprofessional.

  46. I wish the Mayor would let me have a building like TWL for a dollar like he did to the Sampeys. I heard it had a lease already in place paying the new owners something like $1500.00 a month. They had to agree to do repairs starting within 18 months. Well, they didn’t and were to the point of having the building revert back to city but it didn’t happen because the Mayor stepped in. He felt they should have another 18 months or something like that.

  47. Is $1,500 a bit steap for a lease? Listen the real estate in this market is overpriced. In my opioin the TWL lease is a bit steap. A steap leas price scares away new businesses. Could he be using his mayoral powers over charging leases?
    All I can say if he expects to sale more property in this real estate envoriment with subprime mortgage generating chaos,why not ask him question how come this port isn’t up there with Brandon,Madison,Ridgeland bucking the real estate bubble and see how would we react. But that lease price makes one wonder how much overcharging is going on; and what about all those vacant bldgs near the Ms River and around the interstate?

  48. Here’s another fact I believe that Mayor Leyens should be confronted on his quietness on this towns high gas prices. He also benefited from the high nautral gas prices. He should be confronted on these issues as well.

  49. […] county’s economic development activities, and of their decision to construct the building (see Mayor Laurence Leyens speaks): There have also been suggestions that the building be used as a jail, or as headquarters for the […]

  50. Before everyone jumps on the Preston vs The Evil Mayor bandwagon, let me throw something out there. First of all, let me just say that I’m a brother in Christ, and wish God’s blessings on everyone, but at the same time, some truths need to be known.

    Just because a man parades a story over and over again and portrays himself to be a victim, that does not mean that he is anymore deserving of support or sympathy as those he accuses.

    Speaking on investigative reporting, has anyone done any investigating of Preston? I know that there are many sides to every story, but I bet you cannot find one single former employee of Preston’s that would stand beside him in court or any other forum and defend him, his family, his character or his poor cause.

    Preston is dwelling on and magnifying this issue in an attempt to shield attention from his own shady past.

    I’m not going to say the mayor is right or wrong, simply because I do not know the mayor, nor have I had any interactions with him. What I will say is that if everyone agrees the mayor needs a closer look, then so does Preston.

    Preston blames the city government for not helping and even hurting the local people and local economy. What did Preston do that was so great? I’m sure he could come up with a list of beautiful points that would portray him as saint to the poor people of this community, but as I was taught, it’s all about the bottom line. Let’s look at how Preston left town and in what shape he left it. (Yes, he left this town he cares so deeply about, not the first town he’s abandoned.)

    Preston can say what he likes, but when he left town, almost thirty families were left without jobs, one of our most important streets was and remains littered with the rubble and destruction of Preston’s buildings, and several businessmen’s, city officials’ and other private citizens are now wrapped up in financial messes and personal turmoil. No matter whose side you choose, no one can disagree that Preston was the center of a lot of chaos that is still spinning, nearly two years after he moved to Saint Joseph, Missouri.

    If I have but one fact, it is this, Preston will use anyone and everyone to serve his purpose, as long as they serve his purpose, and just as quickly as they cease to serve his purpose, he tosses them to the side like a piece of worthless trash. In some cases, he even blames people he once supported for whatever problems he has now. In the several years that worked with or near Preston, I can’t say he ever said, “This is wrong, and it’s my fault.”

    In Preston’s eyes, he is the ultimate victim, living at the center of dozens of devious plots from everyone from government officials, all the way down to minimum wage employees. Ironically, he believes that everyone is out to exploit him and what he has, while he actually exploits everyone he meets for whatever they may have that can net him a buck.

    Don’t be fooled here by Preston. Netting profit, like many people, is his soul area of interest.

    I could type all day about Preston’s dealings with people and the way he uses and abuses, but that’s not the main focus of this forum.

    What I will say is this, don’t put Preston on your shoulders and a posterboy for Vicksburg pride. Through many conversations with Preston I’v only hear negative remarks about our town and the people that fill it. Don’t let him make you believe that he gives a second thought to our town or your’s or mine well being.

    Additionally and in closing, if Preston is such a good researcher of hard to find information like he has claimed, then why is it he couldn’t find out that part of a building that he was thinking about buying had collapsed before? He said himself that the back wall of the building had collapsed, but that he never knew. How could you miss that when so much money and responsibility is involved?

    Again, my sole purpose for this message is to simply get everyone aware that Preston has just as many or more issues that could use a microscope of the public as the mayor.

    My main thought here is this; “Good things happen to good people.” Enough said?

  51. Barnett, I have met Preston, and talked with some of his ex-employees. Your words echo what I’ve heard.

  52. You have heard correct then. I’m free to answer any questions regarding inquiries into how Preston runs his businesses and his relationships if anyone is curious to know.

    I’m not trying to burn him on a stake here; I just want the truth to be known for all sides.

  53. My dear friend or whoever you are! Never seen a board where people make vacant accusations but don’t have the nerve to even sign there name to it.

    If anyone has an issue with me my company or employment they should come forward, as you should. If you feel i have done something illegal voice it not just innuendos and double speak, must be a friend of King Lawrence.

    My wife and I did not want to leave we were basically run out of town plain and simple. When not one lawyer will come forward and represent you because the mayor is mad at you its time to leave and im glad we did.

    The issue with the city is just getting started. The city the mayor the post have all had there fun with me my wife and my reputation. But its all talk now its time for the real thing. A trial local, state court and Im begging God to get me into federal court where I can get justice. Because Vicksburg ain’t seen it in a while.

    We have been tried by the mayor in the public square on the tv and any other place he could. By the post in print and by people like you who lurk in the shadows and are too cowardly to even state there own name. And with no solid facts at all just a bunch of statements that happen to attack me and my business which has 30,000 students in 91 countries.

    There have been more businesses run out of downtown then any city I have ever seen. And if you cant see that you must be part of the big REAL ESTATE SWINDLE. Where all the poor of Vicksburg get nothing and the inner circle get it all.

    As far as moving my business you bet I did and anyone that wanted to come could have and i took two people with me the rest wanted to stay home. So before you make inaccurate accusations maybe you should know the facts or any facts.

    3 to 4 judges passed this hearing on our clay st building like it was a hot potato and it is. They got it right back in Vicksburg where they wanted it. But we will see whats going to happen and im not claiming I will win in the whole state of Mississippi but If i get them in federal court there faces will be on the front page and not mine.

    Not afraid to sign my own name
    Preston Reuther

  54. Not signing my name has nothing to do with fear. It rather keeps it protected from your slandering tongue. It’s no secret you have a talent for propaganda, (since marketing, not teaching, is your business) and if you were to get a hold of someone’s name you felt could discredit or disagree with you in public, such as the mayor, whether he’s right or wrong, you would do everything you could to make that person look like the ultimate low life, liar, just as you have Vicksburg’s mayor.

    Again, I’m not defending the mayor, because I have no associations with him or his inner circle. My only interest is balanced debate.

    On the subject of my statements lacking hard evidence, I don’t want to turn this thread into a “Let’s prove I’m right” debate, when it’s supposed to be about the mayor’s comments toward this forum as a whole.

    But for anyone else, if you want to know for yourself, go find any, and I mean any, of Preston’s former employees, and just them ask them a thing or two; then you won’t need to much more proof.

  55. I stumbled upon this forum accidentally. I was a former employee in St. Joseph. Thought it was a great small business with huge potential but see why the business is in bad shape. Instead of running a business he’s fighting the court’s in Ms. He is great at dodging responsibility always blaming employees while he’s checked out.

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