A complex topic dominated by superficial talking points: A Jefferson (non)Performing Arts Center Update

Folks I must say I am disappointed by the media coverage of today’s showdown at the Jefferson Parish Council meeting between the politicians and General Contractor Joe Caldarera as they choose to focus the faux battle between the culpable politicians and the General Contractor that has schooled them in the ways a seasoned construction contractor can take advantage of the array of fools the Broussard administration and the Parish Council put in place to oversee the debacle.  Sheeba Turk and the Channel 4 gang, rarely seen at the Yenni Building are today on site at the proverbial scene of the crime on Airline couching today’s council meeting as Calderera “defending his honor”. What a joke but it fits in a 2 minute segment which is why it is on the TeeVee.  I did not think Manuel Torres did it justice this morning either over at NOLA.com though his previous report on the topic along with those here and here are very good.

So what is the smoke and mirrors scenario the politicians and Joe Caldarera are trying to set up today? Simple, the council is on the verge of giving Parish Attorney Deb Foshee the authority to declare Caldarera in default on the JPAC contract.  She is negotiating a final settlement to the project with Caldarera and that authority would give her additional leverage over Caldarera in negotiations, which are close but not quite there. Caldarera does not want Foshee to have that authority so he is showing up to to Peacock and Prance in “defense of his honor”.  With this whole bunch there is no honor, only shark fins.

The bottom line is Delay Claim Joe seems to have a certain fondness for parking his equipment on site and if I had to guess is passing along that costs as part of his delay claim. To hear Caldarera tell it he is being super magnanimous which, in a more rural environment here down south would be termed “Pure D Bullcrap”. To hear Chris “Mini-me” Roberts tell it, the council was the victim of bad advice, conveniently ignoring the fact the Legislative Auditor, among others has pinpointed Robert’s own council aid Deano Bonano as having a major role in the taxpayer funded boondoggle. Tim Whitmer, who recently was subject of several glowing reviews submitted to the court before his sentencing for Broussard era felonies to which he was party was also instrumental in the disaster along with current Councilman at large Elton LaGasse.

Fact is there is plenty of blame to go around and I’d assign about 40% of the blame to the council members who ramrodded this project when it commenced, with the other 60% going to Aaron Broussard himself, who ultimately made the call to begin construction and issue a notice to proceed despite the fact everyone knew the design and plans were deficient. That ill fated decision along with a gaggle of others made by the same group of megalomaniac incomps is the reason the structure is years late and double the original estimate.

If my theory is right though, there is more than 100% of the blame to go around because the old saying pigs get fats, hogs get slaughtered comes to mind as we gotta hammer Joe Caldarera’s delay claims.  How were they calculated and do they include “sweeteners” like idle equipment and along with equipment and utility costs for the holiday light display he put up back in 2010? The devil is in those details and I think people at the state level are getting hip to those concepts.

The bottom line is there will be lots of noise at today’s council meeting.

4 thoughts on “A complex topic dominated by superficial talking points: A Jefferson (non)Performing Arts Center Update”

  1. Joe’s been hanging large pumpkins, turkeys and Santa Claus , etc.from high cranes at the job site and ole’ Joe says ‘ it picks up the morale of the community'(See below NOLA article).


    Hey Joe, the only thing that would pick up the morale of JP would be if yo’ delay claimin’, over chargin’ butt done been “hanging high” today in effigy from da’ ceiling of da’ Council chambers .Better yet high on yo’ own crane in front of dat’ huge grey elephant on da’ Airline.

    1. Deb Foshee got the council off the hook on that River Birch contract. If I were on that Parish council I know who I’d be leaning on to get me outta the JPAC mess.

      I still stand by my recommendation of setting dynamite and cutting the loss.

  2. When I read articles discussing the enormous cost overruns associated withe the JPAC it really galls me to think of the future costs once the white elephant is open for business. How many people will be on the payroll and at what cost to the taxpayers? What will it cost to keep the facility repaired and updated? What are the operational costs, utilities, insurance, etc? White Elephant for sure!!!

  3. I am all in for the Al Copeland Memorial. Hope they make it spicey. Could trade off with Caldarera by giving him this job if he gives up the PA Center.He could get this done in no less than 5 years.

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