Team Young leaked the news yesterday that the Parish is already studying ways to get out from the fraudulent and expensive contract with River Birch and naturally the T-P’s Paul Rioux garnered reaction from the other side, in this case River Birch spokesman Glenn Smith and discredited economist/River Birch hired gun Loren C Scott, who is sticking to his silly assertion that the thin air above JPL is worth a fortune. Leaving aside for a second that in Scott’s world, his methodology could very well yield the absurd result that River Birch is better off not taking any additional trash due to the diminution of value of its air space, we also have Glenn Smith spouting nonsense that it is somehow better for River Birch take out of Parish trash next door to JPL than it is for JPL to accept the same. The sophistry and self serving gyrations are stunning. Here are a few snippets from Rioux’s report:
Roll me over and scratch my belly cause I’m elected to the JP Council, ignorant and aim to stay that way:
Councilman Elton Lagasse said he is still reviewing the 64-page report released Friday evening.
“I’m going to lean heavily on the administration and the Parish Attorney’s office for their recommendations,” he said. “It’s all kind of up in the air right now.”
Councilman Chris Roberts also said he would give significant weight to the recommendations of Young’s administration.
“If the administration is in agreement with the audit findings, then the parish attorney has an obligation to make recommendations for the proper course of action to cancel the pending contract,” he said.
Be careful what you ask for as you might just get it:
Scott’s study concluded the River Birch contract would save the parish $42 million to $59 million in operating costs over 25 years. He said the parish’s study contains some “very curious” figures.
For instance, Scott said the annual cost for professional service contracts to keep the parish dump open are estimated at $163,000 in the parish study, even though the actual costs for such contracts have averaged $825,000 over the last eight years. He said the difference between the two figures is more than enough to eliminate the projected savings linked to keeping the parish dump open.
“Some of their numbers just don’t make sense to us,” Scott said, noting that River Birch sent letters to Parish Council members calling for a public hearing to try to resolve differences in the two studies.
Somewhere in the fog of my memory banks I seem to remember getting emails detailing how costs were purposely shifted to the landfill so as to make the Parish’s landfill fund look financially worse than it was in reality. Now I don’t remember if these allegations dealt with Nancy Cassagne’s tenure as JP finance director or the tenure of her successor but I think I trust P&N’s numbers regarding the evergreen costs of operating a landfill, especially given their extensive governmental auditing practice where they would see lots of landfill data.
With Glenn Smith and this Scott hired gun what we are seeing is a feeble attempt at damage control. Team Ward/Heebe maybe able to buy lots of politicians but I think its clear the people who would be fleeced won’t be buying Scott’s thin air BS.
For those so interested a reader was kind enough to email me the resolution where the Parish Council approved publication of a RFP in early November for the operation of the Parish Landfill just in case. The actual 435 page RFP is here and the reader wanted to make certain I read the timeline on pdf page 7. When I confirmed that was my actual first stop (greats minds obviously think alike) the reader offered this bit of advice, which I thought very good:
…..a preproposal conference should have taken place on January 5 and that tomorrow is the deadline to answer written inquiries. You may want to keep an eye on the DOA website to see if those inquiries are posted as an addendum
I think at this point folks all that is left is to pop some popcorn and wait for the indictments.