On Monday East Ascension Drainage District unanimously adopted minor amendments to the Management Agreement approved on October 20. The document is styled, “an Addendum” to the 12-year old Intergovernmental Agreement whereby three successive parish presidents have overseen drainage operations east of the Mississippi River. In a 6-2 vote the District also approved a Consulting Agreement with erstwhile drainage chief Bill Roux to act as “a liaison” who aids in dispute resolution between the District and Parish President.
Which should bring to an end four-and-a-half months of tumult and turmoil begun by…
The deal with Roux, deferred from the October 20 meeting, was amended to limit Roux’s activities to instances in which his participation is expressly requested by the Parish President, the Chair and Vice Chair of EA Drainage, or resolution of the entire body. The six votes for the deal…
the two in opposition…
with two commissioners absent.
Originally tabbed as the interim Chief Executive Officer (the title was discarded for Drainage Director once a six-vote majority balked at President Clint Cointment’s removal), until a national search could be conducted to find a permanent one, Roux’s name has been a hot topic on EA Drainage agendas since June 28. Not once has he appeared to answer questions or provide his qualifications for the job (do 18 years over EA Drainage qualify one to be a liaison or a resolver of disputes?).
Those questions were never asked by any elected official of Ascension Parish, not publicly anyway. President Cointment did alibi Roux’s absence on Monday, assuring that EA Drainage’s new consultant had intended to be present but took ill. No matter, he was lauded by Councilman Aaron Lawler whose exultation of Roux’s record sounded more like an argument for canonization.
Under Roux’s watch, according to a councilman who opposed his ratification in 2017, EA Drainage was able to:
- Dredge 24 miles of channel feeding into Marvin Braud Pump Station (creating 33% flow capacity);
- Built a covering for the pumps;
- Added two pumps to the station;
- Constructed Henderson Bayou Pumping Station
- Completed the partial levee in Sorrento (can a partial levee be considered complete?)
- Build a ring levee around Astroland Subdivision;
- Dig out several ditches/canals while stabilizing their banks
Lawler, after admonishing those who supposedly “dragged Bill Roux’s name through the mud…unfairly”, went on to credit Roux’s efforts toward the yet to be accomplished:
- Laurel Ridge Levee extension
- Fish Bayou improvements
- New River Channel improvements
“Mr. Bill just wants to come in and help us. He only wants to be a helping hand, if he can,” declared Councilman Chase Melancon.
Consulting Agreement, William Roux
A. Consultant shall be paid Fifty Dollars/Hr. ($50/Hr.) not to exceed $49,999 per year.