Word has filtered out that Margie Seemann passed away last night in her sleep. On behalf of my family and the Slabbed Nation, I express condolences to Margie’s family as well as gratitude for her tireless service to and advocacy of the cause of clean and transparent local government. Margie will be greatly missed.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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”
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”
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.
Folks monitoring a PACER docket is sometimes an interesting exercise in compare and contrast. For example earlier this week Paul Rioux at the T-P wrote a PACER based story on the latest newsworthy developments on the Parish’s suit against Waste Management. The long and short of it is both parties want the July 11 trial postponed as their mutual love and affection continues to grow. But there was something in Rioux’s story that bothered me to the point where I pondered the subject matter over the past couple of days before writing a post on the topic. Two sentences in two paragraphs in fact:
Young’s administration had not responded by Tuesday evening to a request for information on how much the suit has cost the parish. Margie Seemann, vice chairwoman of Citizens for Good Government, said the parish’s response to her recent public records request pegs the legal bill at $250,000.
Seemann has repeatedly urged the parish to drop the suit and cancel the River Birch contract. But parish officials have said they are continuing the suit in hopes of obtaining a court order declaring the River Birch deal null and void.
Speech to Jefferson Parish Council Feb 23, 2011 About the Paralegal Scandal by CFGG Vice-Chairman Margie Seemann
Today I am going to speak about Jefferson’s Paralegal Scandal, which is back in the news. Citizens for Good Government has been extremely distressed for some time about the Jefferson Parish paralegal scandal. As a matter of fact, tomorrow it will be exactly one year since we sent a letter to then Interim Parish President Steve Theriot with the SUBJECT: What do you intend to do about the apparent public payroll fraud in the “paralegal” scandal? We sent a similar letter a year ago to all of the members of our Jefferson Parish Council, asking them to conduct their own investigation if President Theriot did not take action to punish current Parish employees who were complicit in the paralegal scandal. By the way, we had no response from Mr. Theriot or from any of the Councilmen to these letters.
Our letter to President Theriot a year ago on February 24th, 2010 started as follows:
Affectionately known as the M&M sisters to their supporters and not so affectionately as crazed lunatics within certain circles in Parish Government, Margaret Baird and Margie Seemann have taken to the airways making the case that Jefferson Parish Government, as it is presently constituted is rotten to the core citing the recently released Legislative Auditor’s report which found potential payroll fraud as proof.
Yesterday we got their email blast which contained a link to a Kim Holden Fox 8 report in which Margaret and Margie were interviewed about the problems in payroll within parish government. This blurb from the email blast sums it up:
Having Capella vouch for Barton was not exactly what I was expecting or hoping for. And I would venture to guess that his trite comment did not assure anyone that the Parish Attorney’s Office had been purged of the decadent influence of Tom Wilkinson. This snippet from the Times-Picayune story Jefferson Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson resigns by Paul Rioux illustrates:
Despite the upheaval, parish officials said the law department remains in capable hands.
“I have full confidence in Peggy Barton,” Councilman Tom Capella said. “We’ll continue moving forward doing the people’s business.”
Of course Capella in referencing the “people’s” business, most likely means his people: his family, cronies and contractor, consultant, lawyer campaign contributors. That would account for his “confidence” in Peggy Barton to carry on Wilkinson’s legacy of facilitating the corruptive conduct of those she depends on to keep her job.