Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012
Written by The Independent Staff
|Former state Sen. Mike Michot, right, presents a
check to Garth Alper, head of UL's School of
Music and Performing Arts
The Michot name has long been synonymous with traditional music in South Louisiana, with the eponymous band of brothers a fixture on stages across Acadiana performing traditional Cajun two-steps and waltzes. The latest scion of the Michot famille, Louis, is barnstorming the world with the Lost Bayou Ramblers. So it was virtually de rigeur that the Michots would play a role in the traditional music studies program at UL Lafayette. This past weekend former state Sen. Mike Michot presented the UL School of Music and Performing Arts with a check establishing the L.J. Michot R. Memorial Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship will help underwrite the studies of a student beginning this fall semester.
Nice work if you can get it — laboring for Gov. Bobby Voucher that is. Voucher caused a bit of an uproar last week when he appointed a new leader for the state Department of Revenue and doubled his salary over his predecessor, who perhaps coincidentally was a woman. Voucher announced Wednesday that former Louisiana Workforce Commission head Tim Barfield will serve as the state’s revenue secretary at an annual salary of $250,000 (executive counsel was added to his title to justify the increase). He replaces Lilly Ledbe, er, Cynthia Bridges. According to The Times-Picayune, Barfield, who has also served as executive counsel for Voucher, will leave his current job as chief development officer of home health company Amedisys to take the reins at the state agency. Before joining Amedisys, Barfield worked in several capacities for the Shaw Group. Barfield’s appointment comes just two months after Bridges resigned amid a controversy over fuel tax credits. More notable than the scandal that prompted Bridges’ resignation is that Bridges’ annual salary was roughly half of what Barfield will be earning for the same job. Voucher’s spokesman Kyle Plotkin tells The Times-Pic that it’s a justified increase due to Barfield’s extensive private parts, er, extensive private sector experience and level of talent he brings to the Voucher Cabinet.
Hoping for some traction against the latest iteration of Louisiana Political Golden Boy, Lafayette gumshoe and former TV meteorologist Ed Roy found an issue that could knock presumed front runner Scott Angelle down a peg: Angelle’s resignation Aug. 8 as a secretary of the state Department of Natural Resources — a resignation that occurred amid the deepening crisis with that ominous sinkhole in Assumption Parish. The sinkhole is believed to be the result of a breached salt dome used by the oil and gas industry to store petrochemicals. It has spread to more than 600 feet in diameter and more than 400 feet deep, and it was recently reported that DNR — the agency oversees, among other things, oil and gas operations in the state — was aware of possible problems with the dome more than a year and a half ago. The sinkhole began forming on Aug. 3. A day later a state of emergency was declared and dozens of residents in the Bayou Corne community were forced to evacuate. Angelle resigned four days after that and announced his candidacy for PSC 2. On Saturday the Roy campaign released a statement accusing Angelle of demonstrating “that his personal political ambitions are more important to him than the lives and property of the people of Louisiana.” Voters will decide in November whether Roy is right. But, regardless, Angelle’s abrupt departure amid a crisis for which he should have rolled up his sleeves and addressed is unseemly at best.