I am not against finding ways to handle and house our juvenile criminals. My concern is with the process in which we achieve the result and revolves around the issue of public disclosure and the lack of advanced open communication by those who have conspired to conceal a new jail from the residents of Judice and Ridge.
In this latest episode of "Fool the Public," an out-of-town company has already secured property in the Judice/Ridge community to build a new juvenile jail ("Hard Sell," May 30). They are so far along in the process that plans have been submitted to parish planning for permitting. Their very first public meeting was Friday, May 18, in which they did a grand dog and pony show to convince the locals just how wonderful the world would be once they opened this new juvenile jail. I do not debate the merits of their program; however, I am appalled at the process.
An out of town company, with the full knowledge and endorsement of our sheriff, perpetrated gross concealment and public deception by not informing the local community in advance of its purpose. There were no advance public meetings nor opportunity for prior public input ' only an after-the-fact meeting to extol the project's virtues.
The Judice/Ridge community is comprised of good, moral, family-oriented people who place great pride in their neighborhoods, their schools, their rural lifestyle, and above all, a safe living environment. These residents are very upset and are well justified in their anger. They were kept in the dark until the deal was just about complete.
Would you allow this type of venture in your neighborhood? Could you imagine the outcry if this were happening in River Ranch, Greenbriar, Broadmoor, Oakbourne or on East Bayou Parkway?
With more than 20 years of developing prisons, I know that to gain support for a sensitive venture you must allow the community full and complete access to the process. To have long term success you must allow community input. You must give everyone the opportunity to express their concerns. None of this was done in a fashion that could have created trust or community support.
Maybe the $10 million state contract blinded all those involved. Whatever the reason, the credibility of this new project is diminished, the public's faith and trust in government has been damaged, and residents' rights have been violated. It's unacceptable for our elected officials to participate in public deception and concealment. If you like the way this was handled, just wait until they begin trying to locate a new parish prison.
(LeBlanc is president of LCS Corrections Services Inc. ' Ed.)
Despite sweeping changes enacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, the health insurance program for state workers and public school employees will have to use $88 million from its reserve fund to cover its costs this year.
The LPSB races are sure to get heated between now and Nov. 4, and with only 9 available seats, this year's field of 20 candidates will surely be wanting to set themselves apart from the crowd early; they'll get their chance next week, starting Tuesday with the kick-off of a three-day series of candidate forums.
Lawmakers say they've received complaints that waits have spiked, with people being forced to wait in line for more than an hour — and sometimes three hours — to handle routine tasks.
The campaign announced that Rep. Stuart Bishop of District 43 and Nancy Landry, District 31, have thrown their support behind the Naval Academy graduate and entrepreneur in his bid to unseat current Hunter Beasley in District 8.
A Lafayette man with an alleged taste for child porn was busted Thursday evening during a cyber crime sting launched by the Attorney General’s Office.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister says his chief of staff is on temporary leave after being booked with drunken driving.
It was a rare moment in Congress this week as Republicans briefly put aside partisanship in support of President Barack Obama's request to train and arm Syrian rebels, and while a number of Democrats opposed the measure, Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu found herself on the same side of the issue as her Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Home Depot breach bigger than Target; Alibaba IPO could be big; Rivers' last project and more national and international news for Friday, September 19, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
City-Parish President Joey Durel is asking the council to sign off on a resolution approving a pair of deals that would lead to razing the seedy Lesspay Motel at Four Corners to build a new police substation as well as transforming nearly a block Downtown where the old federal courthouse building now molders into a mixed-use development.
In 2013, the IRS — already the least popular governmental agency in the country — became the target of intense investigations after it was revealed that they had specifically and improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from organizations associated with the nascent Tea Party movement.
Improving the running game was "a point of emphasis" during the offseason and the results have manifested themselves in the form of substantially greater production.
Louisiana's health department said Wednesday that its evaluation of the state's Medicaid privatization was on target, despite criticism from the legislative auditor that it lacked key data and contained inconsistencies.
The feds converge on your office, seizing records on several employees as part of a pay-for-plea investigation. WWYD? If you’re Mike Harson, you give yourself a $12k raise.
It’s football season and after back-to-back winless weekends for the Saints and the Cajuns many citizens are finding it difficult to be civil much less happy. Well, chew on this.
Considering his repeated stays in the local penal system, David Narcisse Jr. should have known that having a semiautomatic shotgun, even one given to him by a friend, wasn’t the brightest of ideas.
A state district judge on Tuesday threw out a last-minute retirement hike lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent, ending a political firestorm over a pension boost passed without public scrutiny on the last day of the legislative session.
The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.
An obvious follow-up question for any Republican politician who accuses Democrats of being science deniers is one about science, to which Jindal bobbed and weaved like a welterweight champ.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council is expected to decide tonight (Tuesday) whether to go along with a proposal City-Parish President Joey Durel made in February’s State of the Parish Address and consolidate taxes for mosquito control and the parish health units into a broader tax program that would also cover animal control.
U.S. District Judge Richard Haik has dismissed Greg Davis’ lawsuit against the LPSB, yet in his ruling, the federal judge doesn’t bite his tongue in pointing out the "threat" being posed by certain board members.
Of all the political offices being contested throughout Lafayette Parish, the race for Broussard’s top police post has literally become one of the most heated.
A state district judge is deciding whether to issue an injunction against the enforcement of a last-minute retirement hike that lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent.
A new website is up for Louisiana's state government employees and retirees to choose their health insurance plans for next year, a choice they must make by October.
That fact that New Orleans led both games in the final 10 seconds of regulation, and lost each by a field goal or less, is of little solace.