Council approves four to Ethics BoardJun 10th, 2013 | By Seth Babin | Category: Top Story
The St. Bernard Council voted unanimously at their regular meeting on June 4 to approve four nominees to the parish’s first ever Ethics Board.
“This is a another big step towards transparency under the current leadership,” said Councilman Guy McInnis. “I think we’re going to continue moving in that direction.”
The ethics board, consisting of five independent members terms by the administration of five local universities, was created by a ballot measure last November. The members will serve four year terms, will hold subpoena power over government activities and must display all findings in The St. Bernard Voice, the official journal of St. Bernard Parish, for public review.
Previous attempts by the council to create an ethics board were voted down because of fears that the board may become politicized. McInnis believes that putting the universities in charge of appointing the board is key to making sure the board is able to function without political interference.
“Everyone was worried about who was going to get appointed, but this is the perfect way,” said McInnis. “I think that the universities have made excellent decisions.”
Tulane University’s nominee is St. Bernard resident Chris Holmes. Holmes is a writer, law clerk, and notary public actively involved in environmental and outdoors issues. He also writes a monthly outdoor column in The St. Bernard Voice.
Loyola University selected Adele Faust, a St. Bernard native and lawyer based in Chalmette known for her active role in the local business community.
The University of New Orleans looked internally to nominate John Keifer, director of the university’s master’s program in political science and president of the Greater New Orleans chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.
Nunez Community College nominated former St. Bernard School Board Superintendent and Parish Council member Frank Auderer Jr. Auderer is also the chairman of the Nunez Community College Foundation Board.
The fifth and final member of the board will be nominated by Xavier University. Their selection had not been sent to the council in time for Tuesday’s meeting.
In other business:
• The Council voted to name the walking path at the Val Reiss Complex “The Charlie Reppel Way.”
• The Council voted to urge Senators Mary Landrieu and David Vitter as well as Representative Steve Scalise to support any legislation that would mitigate the effects on local flood insurance costs of the controversial Biggert-Waters Act.
• The Council approved several loans at a 1.03 percent interest rate based on anticipated revenues through January 2014. One set of loans is intended to supplement the fire department budget until the collection of a recently increased millage that will fund the department on a long-term basis. The other loans represent estimated tax money to be collected throughout the year and this money is already accounted for in the current budget.
• After a proposal by Councilman McInnis, the Council set a meeting for 2 p.m on June 11 with representatives from the parish administration, planning commission and the Chamber to finalize a proposal to streamline and “add teeth” to the parish’s regulations on business signs.
• The Council approved beer and liquor license renewals for Vucinivic’s La Bella Vita in Mereaux; Walgreens in Chalmette; and Walgreens in Mereaux.
• The Council approved Bingo and Electronic Video license renewals for the Disabled Veterans of LA, Inc. Chapter 4 at 151 Friscoville Avenue in Arabi.
• The Council resolved to rename Livaudais Street in Arabi to Mr. Norman Street.
• The Council voted to request that the Coast Guard remove a large metal object in the Spoil Canal located approximately one mile from the entrance to the MRGO. Councilman Manuel Montelongo identified the object as a “large metal storage container left from Katrina.”