Sewer Committee making sausage with Bernhard behind closed doors

According to Ascension Parish’s governmental website there is a Sewer Committee Meeting scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.  Curiously, no meeting agenda or packet is currently posted along with the notification.  More curious still, there had been an agenda which was deleted for some reason (see image above).

The committee is comprised of Councilman Corey Orgeron who, for reasons known only to Council Chairwoman Teri Casso, was appointed to chair the Utilities Committee.  He is joined by three other council members; Casso, Joel Robert, and Dal Waguespack.  Rounding out the panel are newly-ratified Infrastructure Division Director Ken Dawson and Chief Administrative Officer John Diez.

What four designated council members have to contribute is a mystery.  Three newbies who have failed to demonstrate any grasp of Ascension Sewer’s proposal whatsoever and the council chair whose only contribution has been to derail negotiations in December.  Against Ascension Sewer/Bernhard Capital Partners, this is not a fair fight.

Two of them, Orgeron and Casso, have done nothing to protect the tax-paying, toilet flushing citizens of Ascension Parish while regurgitating praise and plaudits all over anything associated with Ascension Sewer/Bernhard.  Waguespack has yet to utter a public syllable about the matter.  Robert, alone, has evidenced any desire to improve the deal and protect his constituents.

With two top administration officials on the Sewer Committee, Ken Dawson in the chair, it begs the question; why has the administration not been tasked with negotiating solo like every other contract in Ascension Parish’s quarter-century of Home Rule?  Probably a waste of time, but someone should explain the “separation of powers” concept to Orgeron who, with Casso’s complicity no doubt, created this subterfuge.

You don’t think the council fix is (or was) in?  Until six of them were ousted at the polls on October 12, the Council was ready to follow William Daniel’s lead…

The PEOPLE won on Friday; Sewer deal DENIED, rescheduled for January 23

and approve an agreement tilted so heavily toward Ascension Sewer as to place the parish at Bernhard Capital Partners’ mercy.  That is not a place one wants to find oneself.  An overflow crowd five days before Christmas on a Friday night cowed the former council into submission.

William Daniel’s firing was the single best decision incoming parish president Clint Cointment could have made.

And, to top it all off, the “negotiation” will be conducted behind closed doors (the agenda removed from Ascension’s website includes an “Explanation and Discussion of the Utilization of Executive Session”).  No surprise given the amount of sausage being charcutered.  Cointment would be well-advised to steer clear of this travesty without providing a life preserver to a drowning council.