When politicians bob and weave, it is evident they are trying to deceive and that is certainly the case yesterday at the Jefferson Parish Council meeting as councilmen Chris Roberts and Elton LaGasse took turns trying to distance themselves from their own bad decisions (and worse in the case of LaGasse) regarding the JPAC debacle, 4 years and 79% over budget and counting in the making.
We’ve covered JPAC in-depth here in Slabbed but the picture on the right allows me to reinforce a point regarding the contractor’s specious delay claims which have thus far been paid without much question and on one occasion, with the “help” of councilman LaGasse via a management override that in turn causes people to think he may be on Joe Calderera’s payroll. Before we get to the information contained picture though let’s explore a snippet from Broach’s story:
Roberts asked whether anyone is even working these days on the site, at LaSalle Park in Metairie. Public Works Director Kazem Alikhani said the job is basically at a standstill: The general contractor, J. Caldarera & Co. Inc, “is having a hard time getting subcontractors to work because they haven’t been paid in two years.”
At least part of the reason is that the parish for months has been sitting on two change orders, one for another $8.4 million, requested by the builder. Parish attorney Deborah Foshee said Caldarera has sent the parish a “demand” letter for money, signaling potential litigation.
I’ve written this before on Slabbed and I’ll write it again as it relates to Caldarera’s delay claims. Notice the crane parked at the inactive construction site? What about the lift on the right? Who do you think Joe Calderera is going to stick for the day rate for that stuff when he figures his next bill? A construction site that has been idle for months needs no construction equipment.
Again the NOLA.com commenters to Drew’s story wisely favor setting dynamite and cutting taxpayers losses on the project, which has now been ongoing longer than it took to construct the Superdome. As a sage Jefferson Parish political observer told me not long ago, “when a project gets this screwed up someone is gonna end up in jail”. The taxpayer of Jefferson Parish can only hope for justice at this point for the financial gang rape that has perpetrated upon them, to satisfy the whims of a few politically connected pests at the Jefferson Performing Arts Society.