Council honors Special OlympiansJul 22nd, 2011 | By William Dilella | Category: Top Story
The council honored a group of Special Olympics athletes from the parish, who all participated and earned medals in the state held events. Athletes present included Bryan “B.J.” Schultz, Brandon Olivieri, Christal Bernabel, Brynn Plaiscia, Adam Jones, Brittany Carlisle, Matthew Davis, Nicholas Gobuzzi, Kordell Hart and Jessie Allen.
Sewage problems addressed
In light of the recent rain, including the surge experience on July 18, where the Parish received over six inches of rain in only a few hours, the Council took action at their July 19 meeting, to deal with homeowner complaints about sewage and drainage issues plaguing parts of the Parish since before Hurricane Katrina.
“Despite crews working through much of the night and with all pumps and canals working to capacity, we still experienced street flooding in many areas of the parish and had about six reports of some water in garages and/or in houses,” Parish President Craig Taffaro reported.
During the last set of storms, even the milder rains coming in the past weeks, the residents of Jamie Court had raw sewage back-up into their yards, to the point it was nearly impossible to exit their homes for hours. The issues have been filed with the Parish before, but the Council suspended the rules, and amended the agenda to immediately pass a resolution, imbuing the Parish President with emergency authority to respond to these resident’s claims.
Justice of the peace
The Council accepted the candidacy of Anthony Micheu as a replacement for Howard Luna, who until recently was the duly elected justice of the peace in Ward G of St. Bernard.
After Luna had stepped down at the end of June, in preparation for a Council election race, the Parish needed to find a justice of the peace for the position until a proper replacement could be elected this October.
Micheu, who has experience in the position as justice of the peace for Ward C, offered to fill-in for Ward G until the end of the year, to assist the parish.
“I don’t need the money,” Micheu said. “I’m doing this to help people.”
By utilizing Micheu, the Parish will save on the cost of hiring an additional pubic servant, and still have an experienced candidate taking over the role.
Hospital tax credits
In anticipation for closing the New Market Tax Credits this coming Tuesday, July 26, the Hospital Service District (HSD), the Hospital Service Foundation Board—the private entity created to receive the loan from investors—and the Parish Government will enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement, which was approved by the Council 7-0.
A cooperative endeavor agreement already existed between the Parish Government and the Hospital Service District, which is the government entity, but as the approval came for accepting the tax credits and creating the hospital’s corresponding medical office building (MOB), the hospital service district created a separate foundation—which is composed of members from the HSD and one additional member—which recently elected officers and formally formed.
There had been contentions from local foundations and state officials about the Hospital Service Foundation Board, because as a corporate entity/foundation it would not be liable to the same government oversight that the regular Hospital Service District. Councilman George Cavignac of District B, also acting head of the new board, has promised the same transparency in Foundation operations as the public has seen from the HSD.
“As an instrumentality of the Hospital Service District, the Board must abide by all the regulations of the HSD,” Jason Acres said, one of the attorneys with the New Market Tax Credit process, and representing the Hospital Service District. Acres did make the distinction that this instrument of the HSD was a separate corporate entity though.
Other items of interest:
• Also at this meeting, the Council honored David Rainey, who worked with the Parish Mosquito Control division for over three decades. For his years of dedicated service, the Council proclaimed Rainey an honored citizen of St. Bernard Parish.