City-Parish President Joey Durel has removed from next Tuesday’s City-Parish Council agenda an ordinance up for final adoption that could have paved the way for the creation of tax increment financing districts in designated economic development districts along Interstates 10 and 49 and along Ambassador Caffery at Kaliste Saloom and Verot School Road. The ordinance didn’t actually create the economic development districts or the TIFs; it merely budgeted about $3,800 to publish notices of public meetings pertaining thereto.
TIFs are districts in which an elected body can impose an additional sales tax — without voter approval — to generate revenue that would be devoted to infrastructure improvements within that district. The most visible example of the use of TIFs in Lafayette is at the Louisiana Avenue/Interstate 10 interchange. Consumers at the now-bustling shopping center anchored by a Target and a JC Penney pay an additional one-cent sales tax on purchases there. That additional revenue is earmarked for future upgrades at that corridor.
In a terse email response to The Ind seeking confirmation that he had pulled the ordinance, Durel confirmed that he had and writes that we “need more open, public discussion” on the issue before proceeding. He expounds on that comment for The Daily Advertiser, telling the newspaper, “The process is where it should have probably been before, at a point where there needs to be a lot more public discussion about this. I just had a feeling as I’ve talked to people around town that there needs to be a whole lot more education about it before we do something like this.”
The ordinance passed by a 7-1 vote — District 9 Councilman William Theriot voted against it; District 3 Councilman Brandon Shelvin was absent — on Nov. 2. District 8 Councilman Keith Patin voted in favor of the ordinance at that time, but expresses reservations in The Advertiser article about the expanded use of TIFs. “I can support a development-driven TIF, like at Louisiana Avenue where Target is, because that was an economic driving tool and a partnership agreement,” Patin tells the paper. “But I could not live with circumventing the voters. I don’t like it in general. I was okay with Louisiana Avenue, but putting TIFs on these roads up and down the street — no, no, no.”
JUNE 20 Here's the transcript of the esteemed journalist Rush Limbaugh's recent spot on Sen. Elbert Guillory. Guillory's video explaining why all black folks need to go running right over to the GOP (and no, one of the reasons given is not that you can't get elected Lt. Gov. as a "D" in this state) is "amazing" and a "tear-jerker" to Mr. Limbaugh. Of course, he doesn't mention that Guillory thought enough of the D party to join it so he could get elected to the state senate. But Rush doesn't disappoint; he does manage to make the spot about him in the end.
JUNE 20 Here's a WBRZ investigative piece on a foundation in Baton Rouge that may have some problems. Like what, you ask? How about under-reporting income by $700K or having a member who gets contributions by telling folks about her mystical experiences? This lady says it all began 30 years ago when a bishop who died "spoke" to her from his coffin, letting her know that she was not "out of her head." Um, OK.
JUNE 20 Here's another analysis (or post-mortem, as the case may be) for Gov. Jindal's recent post in Politico. This time, it's from the editorial board of the LSU Reveille. The kids say there were some problems with the column; mostly, they were related to Jindal insulting his friends, his enemies, and everyone in between, including himself. The contradictions Jindal displayed weren't lost on these students -- or anybody else.
JUNE 20 This post by the editorial board of the Picayune congratulates former Saint Steve Gleason on the "inspiring" way the man has responded to a mean-spirited and just plain appalling skit on a radio station about him and ALS, the paralyzing and fatal disease he has. As usual, the editorial states, Gleason directed attention from himself and to the disease, which he says is misunderstood, underfunded and ignored. Maybe this will bring some attention to the disease, the board writes.
JUNE 20 The Advocate posts this story about the sudden death of James Gandolfini, the television, stage and film actor probably best known for his role as Tony Soprano on the HBO series. Gandolfini died while vacationing in Italy, the story reports. He won three Emmys for the Sopranos role, but also was honored with a Tony nomination for God of Carnage.
JUNE 20 Clancy DuBos writes here about the legal, financial and political quagmire that is NOLA law enforcement these days. Sheriff Gusman and Mayor Landrieu are facing off in federal court, and as DuBos says, the stakes are high. Gusman's prison is "a hellhole," DuBos writes, and Landrieu claims the books there are "deliberately unfathomable." Gusman says everything's hunky dory, but it would be better if he got more money from Landrieu. What a mess.
JUNE 20 Blogger Tom Aswell says Gov. Jindal needs to quit touring the country bragging about his "gold standard" of ethics reform -- because it just ain't true. Aswell gives us a lot of statistics on our dismal ethics record, including a long list of violations committed by our fearless leaders and political groups. Taken all at once, it's not a pretty picture, and certainly not a golden one.
JUNE 20 This post in the Picayune reports that a contractor pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme that involved fake bids and kickbacks. The contractor said he cut a deal with a guy working for Orleans Sheriff Gusman to submit fake bids so his real company could "win" work for the sheriff, the story says. The former sheriff's employee already has pleaded guilty, the story says. Meanwhile, Sheriff Gusman says he hasn't been contacted by any investigators.
JUNE 20 Here's a Huff Post blog by Jason Linkins, taking a few shots at Gov. Jindal for his recent Politico column. For instance, he takes issue with Jindal's advice that the GOP "stop the bedwetting," pointing out that there were certainly some Jindal-positive patches on those damp sheets. But the main gist of the column is that Jindal was singing one tune back in November, but he's using a different score now. Either way, it's hitting a sour note with Linkins.
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.