Citizens for Good Government urges the Jefferson Parish Council to cancel the contract with River Birch

Following is the text of a letter faxed by the Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government to Parish President John Young and the Parish Council this weekend:

Honorable John F. Young, Jr.
Parish President
Joseph S. Yenni Building, 10th Floor
Jefferson, LA 70123

SUBJECT: CFGG urges the immediate cancelation of the River Birch landfill contract

Dear President Young:

Citizens for Good Government wants to thank you for your decision to make public the Postlethwaite & Netterville financial analysis of the River Birch landfill contract. This just-released report was of particular interest to us, since we have been demanding for some time that our Jefferson Parish government cancel the tainted River Birch landfill contract.

We have contended that this contract should have been terminated by our government earlier this year when it canceled other contracts with connections to ex-CAO Tim Whitmer. Since the Postlethwaite & Netterville study indicates that the 25-year River Birch contract would cost Jefferson Parish as much as $39 million more than continuing to use Jefferson’s own landfill, we believe that this is the final, conclusive reason justifying our demand for the immediate termination of this contract.

Everything about the River Birch landfill contract is suspect, starting with the way the proposal to dispose of “woody waste” somehow morphed into a request to handle all household garbage for a period of 25 years. Also suspect was the selection process awarding the contract to River Birch using an illegally-constituted evaluation committee. The membership of the committee violated the Jefferson Parish Code of Ordinances, since the purchasing department and the requesting Environmental Department were not represented as voting members of the committee.

Furthermore, the negotiation of the River Birch contract was also suspect. The Times-Picayune reported that the River Birch deal was negotiated for Jefferson Parish by the discredited former CAO Tim Whitmer and Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson without consulting “any outside analysts with expertise in engineering, municipal waste or finance.”

The Postlethwaite & Netterville study not only provided documentation that the River Birch contract would cost the citizens of Jefferson substantially more than continuing to use the Parish-owned landfill, but in a section of the report entitled, “Other Matters for Consideration,” the report provided numerous reasons why a lengthy 25-year contract is undesirable. For example, the commitment of the Parish to a 25-year contract does not permit us to take advantage of the potential cost savings as a result of new technology which might become available. And if the Jefferson Parish landfill is closed for 25 years, the Parish may not be able to obtain the required permits to reopen it after this lengthy closure. Even if it could be reopened, the costs to reopen Jefferson’s landfill would be substantial.

The citizens of Jefferson Parish should not be burdened with this tainted 25-year contract, which will last far beyond the tenure of all of the current Council members who voted to award this contract to River Birch. Furthermore, there is even great uncertainty about the validity of the contract, since, for one thing, it is currently under criminal investigation by the federal government.

We believe that there are so many compelling reasons for canceling the River Birch landfill contract that it is imperative that it be terminated immediately. President Young, we urge you to take the necessary action to bring about the cancelation of the River Birch landfill contract NOW.


Margaret Baird
Chairman, Citizens for Good Government

Margie Seemann
Vice-Chairman, Citizens for Good Government

15 thoughts on “Citizens for Good Government urges the Jefferson Parish Council to cancel the contract with River Birch”

  1. This analysis and debate is W-A-A-A-Y above my pay grade. I haven’t been able to access either the Postlewaite & Netterville or the Loren C. Scott & Associates reports, and I probably wouldn’t understand them anyway. One thing that LEAPED out at me, though was the River Birch position that the P&N report doesn’t account for the “value of air space ‘preserved’ by closing the Parish dump”. This just sounds like a “fiction” upon a “fiction”, ie. for lack of a better term: BULLSHIT. I’d appreciate someone with more “smarts” than I have to explain “air space” and how River Birch “gets” it, or gets credit for its unused value, when the Parish dump has been operating for years without River Birch, maybe “SupaSleuth”. Thanks, Ashton O’Dwyer a/k/a “The WHITE Henry Glover”.

  2. “Air space” (ar’ spas’) is defined in Funk and Wagner’s- noun, at 3a. as in air space in dump , the area enclosed inside the heads of all Parish Council people who voted in favor of the River Birch contract which was never officially signed by all required members of the Administration or Council.

    But that’s not newsworthy because the Parish Council never follows or pays attention to existing Parish Code or Rules, just to their campaign funds.

  3. The air space potentially has value assuming JPL reopens in the future. The question is how much does it cost to derive that potential value and with what degree of certainty can such an analysis be made. I tinnk P&N did a good job figuring the cost. In my professional opinion they were right to exclude the AS value due to the low degree of certainty upon which it can be valued 25 years out.

    In the real world, as opposed to the Loren Scott ivory tower, nobody in their right mind pays more today for something that may have long term value. My own experience as a practicing CPA is that businesses that follow such a model of spending “money on the come” end up bankrupt.

    In these matters, like Cat Modeling, the devil is in the assumptions.

    With an election coming soon this River Birch deal has become too toxic for the rats in the JP power structure. Telemachus, lest you forget Dutchie Connick is pretty dicked up with Team River Birch. Money has a way of bridging old political divides IMHO.


  4. Sop, you got that right…your last part about MONEY having ways…it’s like bordellos – they’ve been around forever and they’re not going anywhere….


  5. Airspace is a non issue value and has always been a game in Jefferson Parish. Airspace only has a value when space is limited and demand is high.

    The “Airspace Value in Downtown Manhattan can be ascertained easily –

    Airspace in Jefferson Parish is worthless no mater what accounting method you use.

    Excluding it is the only way to go because it has no value. The land is a garbage dump in a swamp.

    The ability to build any structure over five stories is structurally and cost prohibited.
    So the value of the airspace is limited to the possible height of the potential structure.

    Add the zoning and land use geographical restrictions and you have a worthless piece of property. Like most dumps it will end up as a park or a golf course.

  6. Thank you “fifthcircuitjoke” for “esplanein”it to me. Loren C.Scott & Associates and River Birch (and the politicians who may be supporting them) are so full of SHIT that it’s running out of their ears. What kind of fools do they take us for? Ashton O’Dwyer a/k/a “The WHITE Henry Glover”. P.S. On an unrelated note (but maybe related), could Letten have been warned by the Louisiana Democratic and “money” MACHINE to lay off Heebe and River Birch (and others) if Letten wants Obummer to permit him to keep his job? AROD.

  7. fifthcircuitjoke,

    Thank you for that simple and brilliant observation…the obvious is evidence of an uncontested truth…Bridge City, or Jefferson Parish for that matter, ain’t New York !

    There is no value to non-existent airspace in this hellhole vacuum named Jefferson Parish !


  8. Question:
    Whatever happened to the Methane Recovery plan for the JP landfill that was touted by Deano Bonano then the landfill manager which plan involved Cytec? If memory serves there was a TP article quoting Dumbo the Oil Spill Czar on the incredibly lucrative deal possible for JP

  9. Unslabbed – Methane Gas and recovery systems work when feedstock is hard to get or transport to power plants. Louisiana and Texas have Hugh supplies of Natural Gas.

    That was just another line of BS to siphon money for projects to the few the proud the leaders of corruption in Jefferson Parish.

    You see – it would be against the Oil and Gas industries best interest to allow a methane Power Plant to be built in the State of Louisiana!

    Gee wouldn’t it be more amazing that the plant would produce electricity to power all of the pumps and floodgates?

  10. Connick’s punk, JOHN YOUNG, has consistently voted as part of the 7-0 Council majority while Councilman-at-Large for every stage of the River Birch criminal conspiracy to award River Birch a landfill monopoly.

    Connick’s punk, JOHN YOUNG, has consistently voted as part of the 7-0 Council majority while Councilman-at-Large for every stage of the $23 MILLION DOLLAR over budget Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Center…a project that was originally stated to cost $26 MILLION DOLLARS and be completed in 2009…now the cost is hovering at $49 MILLION DOLLARS and counting with a projected opening for 2012, maybe !

    And people want to tell me Young is CHANGE !…please don’t insult my intelligence and common sense…he’s Broussard personified plus !

    And honestly, I saw Young laughing, rather inappropriately in my opinion, during the public meeting while Feinberg discussed BP claims’ issues in a rather hostile environment; and I can assure you this was not a humorous setting. Something’s not right with this man’s lack of social awareness and interaction…frankly he seems void of any modicum of expected protocol for his elected office… a character trait I think we all picked up on watching his expression of contempt, as he curtly and rudely would tell both Margaret Baird and Margie Seemann (CFGG) that their time was up !

    Young can run for cover, like his colleague in Council 7-0 votes mini-me Roberts, but he can’t hide…his facade of reform is a fraud…he is a liar and a hypocrite…he is a principal participant in the insidious corruption that has engulfed Jefferson Parish.

    If River Birch is defeated… WE DID IT..not Connick’s punk John Young !

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