Obit: Marjorie Robinson Seemann

Marjorie Robinson Seemann passed away at her residence on early Friday morning, May 23, 2014 at the age of 75. She was a native of New Orleans and longtime resident of Metairie. She was high school co-Valedictorian with her twin sister at Metairie High School, Valedictorian at UCLA and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Loyola University in New Orleans.

She was a life master in Bridge, co-founder of Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government, member of River Regions Republican Women’s Club, and a member of Jefferson Parish Newcomers. Beloved wife of Ken J. Seemann. Loving mother of Terry S. Olivier (John), Linda S. Doyle (Leo), Susan S. Decorte (Ray) and Cheryl S. Lee-Stroyewski (George). Grandmother and affectionately known as “Boo Boo” to Jase Doyle, Ross Doyle (Shannon), Rachel Decorte McCloskey (Mitch), Jeff Olivier, Ben Decorte, Amanda Doyle, Emily Olivier, Mandy Lee, Tripp Lee and Joey Decorte. Great-grandmother of Cameron, Taylor, Ashton and Katelynn Doyle and Savannah Novando. She also leaves behind her loving twin sister Margaret Baird (Bruce), brother Johnny Robinson (Sue) and many nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Memorial Mass at L.A. Muhleisen and Son, 2607 Williams Blvd., Kenner on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to the Jefferson Parish SPCA, #1 Humane Way, Harahan, LA 70123, Bridge House, 4150 Earhart Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70118 or the Innocence Project, 4051 Ulloa St., New Orleans, LA 70119.

Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government: Campaign Contribution Report for the May 14, 2014, Parish Council Meeting

Supporters of Good Government:

The Jefferson Parish Council will meet this Wednesday, May 14th at 10 a.m. on the East Bank in the Yenni Building. Citizens for Good Government will once again present summary information from our Campaign Contribution Table shown below.

With campaign contributions of $66,600, Councilman Chris Roberts was once again the councilman with the largest amount of campaign contributions, while Councilman Mark Spears was in second place with $53,808 in campaign contributions. The total campaign contributions made to all seven councilmembers during the past four years by contractors and subcontractors on whom they are scheduled to vote at the April 9th council meeting was $259,547.

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Click to obtain scalable PDF

At the council meeting Citizens for Good Government will be taking issue with the use by our government of the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, rather than the sealed bid process, for grass cutting contracts. We believe that sealed bids should be used, since this process REQUIRES contracts to be awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, while the winners of RFP contracts are selected by the councilmembers, and there is NO requirement for them to select the highest-ranked firm by the evaluation committee or the firm offering the lowest price. Continue reading “Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government: Campaign Contribution Report for the May 14, 2014, Parish Council Meeting”

Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government: Campaign Contribution Report for the April 30, 2014 Parish Council Meeting

Supporters of Good Government:

The Jefferson Parish Council will meet this Wednesday, April 30th at 10 a.m. on the West Bank at the General Government Building in Gretna. Citizens for Good Government will again present summary information from our Campaign Contribution Table shown below. Total campaign contributions of $619,972 were made during the past four years to our councilmen by contractors and subcontractors on whom the councilmembers are scheduled to vote at the April 30th council meeting.

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Click to obtain scalable PDF

Once again the issue on the agenda of greatest concern to Citizens for Good Government is the twice-deferred proposed ordinance which requires our lnspector General to request in writing information and documents from our own government, even though our Code of Ordinances currently provides him unrestricted access to this information. Unfortunately, this terrible ordinance would alert those whom our Inspector General is investigating and would thereby compromise his ability to effectively perform his investigations. Continue reading “Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government: Campaign Contribution Report for the April 30, 2014 Parish Council Meeting”

Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government: Campaign Contribution Report for the April 9, 2014 Parish Council Meeting

Supporters of Good Government:

The Jefferson Parish Council will meet this Wednesday, April 9th at 10 a.m. on the East Bank in the Yenni Building. Citizens for Good Government will once again present summary information from our Campaign Contribution Table shown below. Total campaign contributions of $347,672 were made during the past four years to our councilmen by contractors and subcontractors on whom the councilmembers are scheduled to vote at the April 9th council meeting.

With campaign contributions of $92,675, Councilman Chris Roberts was once again the councilman with the largest amount of campaign contributions, while Councilman Ben Zahn was in second place with $59,579 in campaign contributions. The total campaign contributions made to all seven council members during the past four years by contractors and subcontactors on whom they are scheduled to vote at the April 9th council meeting was $347,672.

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Click to obtain scalable PDF

Although the hospital issue will be of great importance at the April 9th council meeting, Citizens for Good Government is also extremely concerned about and vehemently opposed to Councilman Spears’ Ordinance on the April 9th agenda to limit the investigative powers of Inspector General David McClintock, by requiring a written request from him to obtain information and documents from our government. Such written requests would be extremely detrimental to our Inspector General’s ability to conduct investigations, since for one thing, they would alert the objects of his investigations and would thereby limit his effectiveness. We need the council to vote NO on this ordinance. Continue reading “Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government: Campaign Contribution Report for the April 9, 2014 Parish Council Meeting”

Guest post: Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government comments on proposed Jefferson I.G. ordinance

Supporters of Good Government:

Citizens for Good Government was disappointed that the ordinance to limit the ability of the Jefferson Parish Inspector General to conduct his investigations has been deferred until the April 9th council meeting. CFGG Chairman Margaret Baird and I both expressed our disappointment at the March 19th council meeting about the deferral of this ordinance, since we wanted it to be cancelled or defeated.

The objectionable ordinance would require Inspector General David McClintock to provide written requests in order to obtain information from our government, although our Code of Ordinances currently permits him unrestricted access to this information without such a request. Unfortunately, among other things, such written requests would alert the objects of his investigations and would make him ineffective. Louisiana Inspector General Stephen Street and New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatevaux both agree that it is important for our IG to have direct and unlimited access to this information, as does President Raphael Goyeneche of the Metropolitan Crime Commission.

We want to thank profusely all of those who called the councilmembers and urged them to vote NO on this terrible ordinance. By the way, three councilmen have publicly expressed their intention to vote NO on the ordinance: Chris Roberts, Ricky Templet, and Elton Lagasse. Councilman Lagasse’s aide came to the Inspector General meeting with the Ethics and Compliance Commission last Wednesday night, which was attended by Citizens for Good Government, and she announced that Councilman Lagasse was planning on voting NO.

We very much appreciate that Councilmen Roberts, Templet and Lagasse have had the courage to publicly announce their intention to oppose the current ordinance. It has been difficult to get the other councilmembers to express their intentions publicly. However, we believe that the other councilmembers owe it to the citizens of Jefferson to vote NO on this ordinance, since Jeffersonians overwhelmingly voted for the Inspector General, and we want this ordinance defeated. CFGG believes that the council’s vote on this ordinance is a test of their commitment to the success of our Office of Inspector General. Continue reading “Guest post: Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government comments on proposed Jefferson I.G. ordinance”

Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government: Campaign Contribution Report for the March 19, 2014 Parish Council Meeting

Supporters of Good Government:

The Jefferson Parish Council will meet this Wednesday, March 19th at 10 a.m. on the West Bank at the General Government Building in Gretna. Citizens for Good Government will again present summary information from our Campaign Contribution Table shown below. Total campaign contributions of $489,672 were made during the past four years to our councilmen by contractors and subcontractors on whom the councilmembers are scheduled to vote at the March 19th council meeting.

Click to obtain scalable pdf
Click to obtain scalable pdf

The overriding issue under consideration at the March 19th council meeting is the council vote on the ordinance in Agenda Item 63 to limit the ability of Jefferson’s Inspector General to conduct investigations without alerting those in our government who are being investigated. If this ordinance passes and becomes law, the IG would be required to request information for his investigations in writing, thereby tipping off those under investigation and compromising his ability to obtain needed evidence. Continue reading “Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government: Campaign Contribution Report for the March 19, 2014 Parish Council Meeting”

Guest Post | Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government: Campaign Contribution Report for the February 19, 2014 Parish Council Meeting

Supporters of Good Government:

The Jefferson Parish Council will meet this Wednesday, February 19th at 10 a.m. on the East Bank in the Yenni Building. Citizens for Good Government will once again present summary information from our Campaign Contribution Table shown below. Total campaign contributions of $246,306 were made during the past four years to our councilmen by contractors and subcontractors on whom the councilmembers are scheduled to vote at the February 19th council meeting. For the first time since CFGG has been presenting our campaign finance reports, Councilman Chris Roberts was NOT the councilman with the largest amount of contributions, but Councilman Mark Spears has this honor with campaign contributions of $56,091. Councilman Roberts was in second place with campaign contributions totaling $47,950.

TOTAL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FOR 021914 JP COUNCIL MEETING
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Citizens for Good Government feels the need to speak again in support of Inspector General David McClintock. Our IG has been aggressively investigating possible wrongdoing in our government for which it is essential for him to have unlimited access to the Jefferson Parish email servers, and we are extremely grateful to Parish President John Young for reversing Continue reading “Guest Post | Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government: Campaign Contribution Report for the February 19, 2014 Parish Council Meeting”

Good Government Saturday: CFGG Celebrates a Victory for Good Government and No-bid Contracts

Supporters of Good Government:

In response to the urging of Citizens for Good Government and to Councilman Chris Roberts’ prodding of Jefferson Parish Attorney Deborah Foshee at the June 26th council meeting, Ms. Foshee agreed to give the public access to the scores and rankings of contractors by the Parish Evaluation Committees, prior to the selection by the council of contract awardees for no-bid parish contracts. And President John Young also stated that he is in full support of this action. CFGG considers this an important victory for good government in Jefferson Parish.

CFGG has long expressed our serious concern with the fact that councilmembers are permitted to award no-bid contracts to firms which are significant donors to their campaigns and from whom they have even solicited campaign contributions. It is particularly disturbing to us that the council is generally permitted to disregard the rankings by the Evaluation Committees and to select any firm that they so desire for these no-bid contracts.

Although the well-researched, well-documented report by the Bureau of Governmental Research entitled, “Reforming Jefferson Parish’s Unusual Approach to Service Contracting,” recommends awarding these no-bid contracts to the top-ranked firms by the Evaluation Committees, the council apparently has no intention of giving up its power to select the no-bid contract winners. Citizens for Good Government came to the conclusion that if we could obtain the scores and rankings of firms which are in contention for Jefferson Parish no-bid contracts BEFORE the council selected the winners, we could make our own recommendations of the top-ranked firms by the Evaluation Committees PRIOR to the council vote, and, if practical, we could also provide the campaign contributions made to the councilmembers by the companies competing for the contracts, since we have this information on campaign contributions in our files.

Therefore, at the June 12th council meeting Margie Seemann urged the council to pass an ordinance requiring information on the scores and rankings of the companies which are in contention for no-bid contracts to be made available as additional attachments to the contract award resolutions on each council agenda, which is available online a week before each council meeting. Margie said that this would permit watchdog groups like Citizens for Good Government to make recommendations on the award of the contracts prior to the selection of the winners and to monitor the actions of the council in selecting the contract winners.
Continue reading “Good Government Saturday: CFGG Celebrates a Victory for Good Government and No-bid Contracts”

Good Government Monday: Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government

Supporters of Good Government:

The Jefferson Parish Council will meet this Wednesday, June 25th at 10 a.m. on the East Bank at the Yenni Building. Citizens for Good Government will again present summary information from our Campaign Contribution Table shown below. Total campaign contributions of $449,266 were made during the past four years to our councilmen by contractors and subcontractors on whom the councilmembers are scheduled to vote at the June 25th council meeting.

CFGG Campaign Finance Graphic 6-26-13 meeting

Because consideration of a comprehensive Request for Proposal (RFP) reform ordinance was deferred several months ago until September, and there was opposition to some of the reforms in the ordinance, Citizens for Good Government is concerned that none of the needed reforms to the contracting process will ever be implemented. CFGG has therefore been waging a campaign in recent months to pressure the Jefferson Parish Council to at least start the process of implementing reforms in the contracting process by passing an ordinance to reinstate price in the evaluation and ranking of Request for Proposal (RFP) submittals. Because published reports indicated that this reform was supported by both the council and by the administration, CFGG felt that implementation of this reform should be possible. Continue reading “Good Government Monday: Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government”

Guest post: Jefferson Parish Council wants to deprive citizens of the right to vote on the lease of our public hospitals

Supporters of Good Government:

Citizens for Good Government is extremely disturbed about the secretive way in which our Jefferson Parish Council has asked our Louisiana legislative delegation to change the STATE LAW that requires a vote of the people in order for our public hospitals to be sold or leased.

It is alarming that the council passed a resolution at the last council meeting without even letting citizens know what they were attempting to do. The resolution, which was passed without discussion, resolved that “The Jefferson Parish Louisiana State legislative delegation and the entire legislature of the State of Louisiana amend, modify and/or revise La. R.S. 46:1064.2.” This resolution did not elaborate on the purpose of this revised statute, nor did it indicate exactly how the council wanted our legislature to change it.

However, R.S. 46:1064.2(C), which applies only to Jefferson Parish, is very explicit, and it states:

“The hospital service district shall sell or lease the hospital ONLY if the proposed sale or lease is approved by a majority of the qualified electors of the hospital service district voting on the proposition at an election held for that purpose and conducted in accordance with the Louisiana Election Code.”

It is clear that any changes which the council wants to make to this statute would deprive the citizens of Jefferson Parish of their right to vote on any proposed sale or lease of our hospitals. However, East Jefferson General Hospital and West Jefferson Medical Center belong to the citizens of Jefferson, not to the politicians, since our taxes paid to build these hospitals, and we object to any effort to take away our right to vote on their future. Continue reading “Guest post: Jefferson Parish Council wants to deprive citizens of the right to vote on the lease of our public hospitals”