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”

Coming soon from the gang that caused the Performing Arts Center and River Birch debacles. Let’s make a new deal!

For themselves of course.

It is at this point that I feel compelled to take the Jefferson Parish legislative delegation for a trip down memory lane to the last time the Parish council wanted a law changed that attracted the attention of good government activists across the parish.  What makes the similarity in my mind between the stripping of a civil right from the populace in removing the provision for a public vote on the sale/lease/management of the two public hospitals and the “tweaking” of the public records statute on the behalf of TheRiot is both involved major losses of public transparency.  Of course it was the behind the scenes deal making that brought the taxpayers both the Performing Arts Center and River Birch Landfill debacles so you’d think the gang on the 10th floor of Yenni along with the Parish Council would have at least had the sense to consider all the ramifications here. Instead I sense the politics of self enrichment are at play, likely with a heavy dose of crony capitalism on top.

In the Spring of 2010 TheRiot asked Louisiana State Senator Danny Martiny to change the Louisiana Public Records law drawing the ire of good government activists in Jefferson Parish.  Slabbed made an editorial decision to become involved and I subsequently welcomed Senator Martiny to the legendary Warren Suite at the Do Slabb Inn. Within a few days Martiny appeared on Fox 8 cryin’ that people thought he was some kind of crook.  The Parish Council ran for the hills pulling the rug out from under Martiny and this in turned caused me to opine Senator Martiny was a stooge.  Now Slabbed has since gone easy on Senator Martiny as he really is not the devil reincarnate as he was the guy that pushed the Louisiana version of the SPEECH Act through the legislature so we obviously share some common ground.

So with that set up let’s review a few of the points in Drew Broach’s story on this topic:

  • The Parish council met last week in secret with hospital officials and others. Out of that meeting came the request to change LA R.S. 46:1064.2 which would exempt the hospital from the public vote provisions in that law.
  • Both hospital boards are stacked with political insiders and are notorious troughs where crony capitalism, double dealing and self enrichment are the rule of the day.
  • The request to change the law was done with “no public discussion, and no dissenting vote on the council.”
  • Potential public opposition was cited by Sheriff Noodles Norman as the reason for stripping this civil liberty from the taxpaying public. Sheriff Noodles, when he is not palling around with washed up actors like Steven Seagal or arresting criminals is the Chairman of the East Jefferson Medical Center Board of Directors.
  • Chris Robert$, Cynthia Lee $heng, Elton LaGa$$e are all responsible for the River Birch debacle and their judgment is not to be tru$ted.
  • Cockroaches like to operate: Continue reading “Coming soon from the gang that caused the Performing Arts Center and River Birch debacles. Let’s make a new deal!”