We've got quite a full docket for this week's Metro Council meeting...
Get the Metro Council agenda from Slater McKay
Well, last night's Metro Council meeting was something of a bust. The top item on the agenda was discussing whether the Chief of Police of the City of Baton Rouge should be an elected position instead of a Mayoral-appointed position. Only four or so people from the public showed up to provide input. Due to lack of participation from the public, the Council moved to defer the issue until a later meeting believing miscommunication may have interfered with public knowledge of the discussion. I hate to be the one to point out the obvious but this is the same Council that, just two weeks before, tried to waive the rules in order to discuss the same topic without any honest public notification that the topic was going to be discussed. I don't see the logical progression there, but that's not really surprising.
First things first, I'm not going to do anything with the Chief of Police situation until he is allowed his public appeal. At this point, everything said is pretty much speculative (although I'd bet money that the friction with the Union plays a pretty big part). With that said, can the media get off the issue of the Mayor's Office not discussing it? If you have an employee who you are firing or considering firing and they've retained counsel, you would be an idiot to not restrict your vocabulary to the words “No” and “Comment,” whether in the public or private sector. The Mayor's Office, however, should have notified the Council immediately following White's termination. Sharing is caring, folks.
For today's post, I'm going to give you a preview of tonight's Finance & Executive and Capital Improvements committee meetings.
For the record, please note that my precognitive skills are not infallible. But that's a good thing when my fallibility means the Council deals with a long-standing issue rather than kick it down the road and the vote seems to cross the aisle in a positive way. Yesterday, the main issue before the Metro Council was whether to dedicate funds (tagged at $6,000,000) to buy the homes of several residents who live in close proximity to the North Wastewater Treatment Plant (Wastewater is a gentler term for sewage). These residents have complained for a VERY long time about noxious smells emanating from the plant and have had a lawsuit in place for over a decade. While a recent court case went against the residents, the previous Council requested the City-Parish put together a plan to purchase the homes and build a buffer zone. An agreement was reached last year, but the residents backed out of it when they learned that they would have to agree to the deal before appraisals could be conducted on the houses. The issue came before the Council again last night and was decided in an 8-4 vote in favor of pursuing the plan of buying the properties. Those voting against the plan were Scott Wilson, Joel Boe, Ryan Heck, and John Delgado. The Advocate does a good job of covering the story here.
Hi there! After a lengthy self-imposed exile from The Spoils of Progress (due to a not entertaining combination of work, writer's block, work, lethargy, and work), I'm back with my take on the activities and inactivities of our local City-Parish government. Luckily, not much has happened since I last posted… “Not much happening” includes electing new Council Members, passing a Parish Budget, selecting a new Mayor Pro-Tempore, and holding a first official meeting of the new Metro Council. OK, so maybe it was a bit much, but no fear; here's a synopsis: