If there is a parish council member immune from the palpable anti-incumbency sentiment pervading Ascension, it can only be District 4’s Daniel “Doc” Satterlee. Hard in the northwest corner of Ascension where much of the parish’s earliest subdivision development took root, Satterlee himself moved in two-and-a-half decades ago, incumbents have had a hard time getting reelected historically. Satterlee bucked the trend with his 57% reelection victory over Alan “Boxcar” Braud, Jr. four years ago, and now he faces Corey Orgeron.
Before that every incumbent had lost since Dudley Brown’s 1999 reelection over Alan Braud, Sr. Braud, the Younger is a longtime employee of Ascension Parish whose duties included inspecting subdivision roads, as inner circle as one can get.
Corey Orgeron, trying to tap into that anti-incumbency fervor, has roundly criticized the incumbent for the ills plaguing District 4. Recently, Orgeron cast these aspersions via his campaign social media page, saying of Satterlee:
“…8 years in power has failed the people while lining their pockets. Today traffic is worse than it was 8 years ago; we are more susceptible to flooding than we were 8 years ago; and our children are leaving home because my opponent has made Ascension Parish an unfriendly option for small business. In fact, the only thing that Ascension Parish Government has gained over the last 8 years is animosity, angst and distrust from the people they serve.”
Lining his pockets? A review of Satterlee’s campaign finance reports revealed a glaring omission; not one dollar from an engineering firm, not one penny from a subdivision developer to be found. Corey Orgeron’s blatant disregard for the truth notwithstanding…
we see little to recommend him to the voters of District 4.
Yes, traffic is worse and susceptibility to flooding might have increased in District 4, but these problems are commonly associated with subdivision development. No council member has done more to curtail development than Doc Satterlee, and it is not a close call. The Ole’ Chicken Doctor has had to do battle with the rest of the council, always on the losing side until he ascended to the chairmanship of Strategic Planning Committee, for two terms.
Besting then Council Chairman Pat Bell by three votes in a 2011 runoff election, Satterlee was not exactly welcomed with open arms by his council colleagues. Treated rather shabbily by Council Chairman Chris Loar for three-and-a-half years, Satterlee began asserting his “infrastructure before development” mantra late in 2015 as Vice Chairman of Strategic Planning. Due to the chairman’s absence he took control of the committee’s agenda.
Traffic Impact Studies required of new subdivisions, deemed “worthless” by all concerned, commanded the agenda under Satterlee’s gavel through the end of 2015.
Appointed to the chair in January 2016, Satterlee veered away briefly to get Traffic Impact fees adopted, a stunning achievement if you happen to be paying attention. Multiple candidates seeking reelection are taking credit for it, but it was Satterlee’s Strategic Planning Committee that got it done, culminating in a unanimous council vote on April 7, 2016. Immediately, the quest to enact stringent Traffic Impact Study policy was resumed.
Had Satterlee gotten a shred of support from his colleagues and/or President Kenny Matassa’s administration those efforts would have borne fruit a year before TIS procedure was eventually strengthened. Instead, there was a counter-insurgency against Strategic Planning which hijacked the item to Transportation Committee where it languished for 13 months.
Transportation is chaired by Satterlee’s arch-nemesis and ardent Corey Orgeron supporter, Aaron Lawler, who buried recommendations to upgrade TIS by Urban Systems, Inc. for a year. Finally, on May 7, 2018 Transportation recommended Urban Systems’ conclusions to the full council and…
TIS procedures were adopted that have, effectively, halted subdivision plat approvals by the Planning Commission.
Had Satterlee been supported by his council colleagues it would have happened a year earlier. In the interim nine subdivision plats were approved by Planning, most of which could not have been had the upgraded TIS been in place because the Level of Service at nearby intersections is below “D.” Since enactment in June 2018 four plats have been approved, one of which will never be built because the developer would have to build two roundabouts to accommodate a 45-lot development.
Two others cannot obtain Certificates of Occupancy until off-site roundabout intersections are “in place and operational.” There has not been a subdivision approved that will actually be built since October. Not that Corey Orgeron would have any way of knowing it. Given his astoundingly ignorant declarations, he cannot be paying attention.
The choice on October 12 could not be much clearer. Doc Satterlee’s record speaks for itself…and he’ll also tell you about it.
We are unaware of any stance Corey Orgeron has taken on any issue within the Parish Council’s purview? Satterlee’s views on every issue can be discerned with minimal effort. As polarizing a figure as the Council has to offer (that’s what happens when one has something to say), you either love him or you hate him.
What little vocal support of Orgeron we can discern comes from the disaffected membership of A Better Ascension. As the only council member to challenge the Political Action Committee in non-profit garb’s intellectually dishonest, corporate takeover of parish government attempt, Satterlee incurred ABA’s wrath early on. Its membership’s lingering resentment of Satterlee resulted in support for Orgeron.
While six other council members rejected ABA’s attempt to abolish Ascension’s parish presidency, it is Satterlee who they’ve targeted for ouster. The best they could do was Corey Orgeron.