A few quick random thoughts

If there is one idea that I’ve tried to carry with me every day since Katrina it is the notion of the true extent of the transitory nature of our existence. Now this notion could indeed be viewed as a bummer because everything is destined to end the only question is when. My reaction is to attempt to recognize the blessings we also receive each day and simply appreciate the people that matter most in everyday life. I mention this because I’ve been mostly away from the blog this week as I have to pull double duty in the day job as a member of the business family deals with  such a transition I spoke of above. We all get hit with such realities at points in time on the road of life and in a small shop the business family gets to share both the triumphs and the tragedies that way. One blessing I have is the fact that Slabbed has kept humming right along without me via the open thread among other recent posts kept stocked with material via our great commenters. Thanks to all.

That said there are a few things still happening in the world one of which is Mississippi’s Neshoba County Fair which is a favorite among the political class here in Mississippi, especially in an election year. I tuned into twitter yesterday finding out such great factoids such as no one really paid attention to what Commish Mike Chaney had to say in his speech, that Billy Hewes isn’t afraid to scapegoat welfare recipients and Mexicans to satisfy his lust for lite Gov and that his opponent Tate Reeves has become an expert in making Hewes look exactly like the fool he is. Twitter is a wonderful thing folks and I enjoyed seeing a diverse group of tweeple such as Patsy Brumfield, Alan Lange and Frank Corder covering the speeches.

We have a primary election next week in Mississippi and to the extent the local democrat party does not have a pulse 5 of the 8 statewide offices will be decided next Tuesday in the GOP primary. If you are bright enough to read Slabbed then you don’t need me telling you how to vote but I will disclose that I’ll be supporting Tate Reeves for Lite Gov because he is 1. Not a fluffer like Hewes, 2. Is not a Nationwide Agent representing Team Insurance like Hewes in the legislature and 3. Is clearly the better candidate. If you believe the polling Hewes is on his way to a first class ass kicking and that warms the cockles of my heart.

And it goes without saying that I’d never pull the lever for an idiot like Lawn Mower Fumes Phil “Phildo” Bryant. The man is a religious right wing nut and that doesn’t count the fact he is not very bright and possessive of a very poor sense of smell. I’ll add the GOP establishment is scared of Phil for several good reasons not counting the Miss America gaffe and luckily for us we have a quality alternative in Dave Dennis who is clearly the better candidate. Dave’s highly successful career in business and public service is unrivaled and to the extent he is a political outsider he will not be beholding to more crooked elements in his own party.

I’m not much on politics as it reminds me too much of a bunch of out of control kids fighting over toys, especially in DC these days but I’ll make it a point to do something similar before the general election mainly for shits and giggles.

Finally a few things for the reading pleasure of our readers in greater NOLA. This whole Jefferson Parish volunteer fire department credit card mess has yet to yield us a complete picture of the stench in the first responder political industrial complex that is Jefferson Parish. While I think it is great WWL’s Mike Hoss uncovered the spending problems in Harvey I’ll add it represents a fraction of the story there which in turn makes me laugh when I see gang there and at the Times Picayune patting themselves on the back that the publicity forced the Parish Council to do something. Of note is the fact that Mini-Me Chris Roberts lashed out at Parish Prez John Young calling him an opportunist in this matter. The snake pit that is the “Volunteer” fire departments on the West Bank has thus far been a story too far for Slabbed but maybe I’ll shake the tree and see if my sources can come through with info that will enable me to tell a more complete story.

With the comments on the Brownfield cleanup process on our open thread coupled with the recent release of the list of Parish employees and their pay rates I’d be remiss if I did not point out Peggy Barton’s daughter Lauren is well placed in the Parish’s environmental department. I’d also like to put to rest rumors that Lauren did not show up for work yet collected her pay as I have confirmed that the young Miss Barton does indeed show up for work. I think the confusion there stems from the fact that Maw Barton had direct line authority over all the ghosts employed as paralegals under the Broussard Administration and certainly knew of but did not report the associated crime of payroll fraud. Given the nepotistic nature of gaining employment with the Parish I do wonder about the circumstances of how the younger Barton hooked on to the taxpayer teat.

I chuckled when I saw my name come up over at American Zombie in comments though in a good context. I do not think there is any question that Jason was 100% correct in dispelling the rumor involving Chief Serpas and Mayor Mitchmo though it looks as if he took some grief for doing so. Jason is a first class blogger who is motivated by all the right reasons and I appreciate the mention and hat tips. The blogosphere hasn’t seen the best of either of us either.

Finally folks we’re at last rid of the scourge known as Vaggie Bush. Hindsight reveals he was a draft bust that never lived up to the hype and self promotion. Maybe he’ll have better luck with the fish but somehow I think not.

I’ll be back when I get a chance.


5 thoughts on “A few quick random thoughts”

  1. About the payroll, and credit cards, and whatnot.

    Sonny Burmaster now shows up as the No. 2 paid guy outside of public works & engineering – he makes more than John Young, he makes more than Deb Forshee, he makes more than almost anyone.

    Eula Lopez by the way, makes over 100,000 herself. But if they hired a replacement tomorrow for her, what would they make? What would the qualifications be?

    Rainey couched in his article in yesterday’s paper that Burmaster is a 27 year vet of the Parish. Well he’s a 27 year vet of the council actually. I think he started out working for Bob Evans? Not sure on that one but…

    …everything in terms of exposure has come out of the administration.

    Anyone notice that?

    Where is the info on the Council?

    Hinyub was Jennifer Sneed’s aide (now Cindy Lee’s), he was the agent for Lagniappe and Sneed ends up getting the River Birch contract, but he is still around? And he makes a nice little salary too doesn’t he.

    So…. what does Sonny Burmaster, Chief of Staff for the Council *DO*, exactly?

    Really, I have no idea.

    Does it maybe include walking over paperwork and letters? Mayb handling expenses and reimbursements?

    27 years Burmaster has been there, that is really something else.

    This is Young’s statement: “Parish government will post all monthly credit card charges on its website and will provide a clear explanation of the purchase.”


    Yaknowwhat, I’m going to give ol John Young credit here. I don’t care how or why this happened (well, Hoss released info on something (a mere sliver of a much bigger pie as SOP points out) the TP, at least, knew had been happening a long time) it’s good that he forced the Council’s hand.

    Not sure what the Council “chief of staff” does but if they follow through with this my guess is Sonny boy will have a lot less of it to do moving forward.

  2. Roche: Sop has announced that we have a Barton in environmental affairs Not only that but lucky for us she reports for work everyday. So maybe she can tell us who to see about the questions we have raised under Open Thread about the two Brownfields toxic sites at 3434 Veterans, the old Bennigan’s Restaurant, and the Mt. Hermon site at Hwy 90, Avondale at Garden Rd. with its ghost $40,000,000 residential/commercial development.

    Unfortunately, the Mt.Hermon promised development is invisible to Goggle Earth and the residential development sent only ghost cars to Mr.Bubbles Car Wash just a stone’s throw down the road. And to think the parish directors spent an extra $300,000 in road and right of way utilities improvements just to make Mr.Bubbles more accessible.

    Sorry to hear Mr. Bubbles’ bubbles have burst and is for sale. Oh well, after all its only the taxpayers money wisely spent in the minds of certain parish utilities directors helping out a old political crony’s business.

  3. Locke I heard from a reader that insisted there was a full blow investigation into possible payroll fraud involving Lauren Barton. I found someone willing to say Lauren was going to work and have otherwise been unable to confirm the investigation into this new allegation of payroll fraud but the reader has ties to the investigative community that I can not ignore.

    Suffice it to say I am again unclear as to what is happening in JP environmental.


  4. Lauren Barton is listed as an environmental quality specialist and as such she has to have some knowledge of the alleged toxic Bennigan’s Restaurant and Brownfields Grant site at 3434 Veterans and a little knowledge of the dry cleaners alleged dumping of toxic chemicals in the rear of 3500 Veterans. Or could she be assigned only to the environmental quality of garbage dumps.

    Still don’t know the names of the owners of 3434 and 3500 Veterans which is the missing clue that may reveal who is behind Bennigan’s application which has not been posted on the http://www.rpcbrownfields.org site. The Bennigans’ alleged toxic site was the subject of a council resolution in March 2011 to employ Lambert Engineers and several environmental companies to research said site at parish expense and to be reimbursed by federal funds. With all this and we have no environmental application filed to date with the Regional Planning Commission Office at 10 veterans, Nola. concerning the Bennigan’s site. Or has the Planning Commission just not published the Bennigan’s application on line like the other Brownfields sites for some sensitive political reason.

    All a little strange wouldn’t you agree Rich Rainey who wrote the wonderfully superficial Times-Picayunes’ article on all the Brownfields Grant sites in Jefferson.

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