Posted on November 18, 2015
By Chad Calder, The New Orleans Advocate
For months, the West Bank’s flood protection authority has been holding forums and meetings with voters, preaching a seemingly noncontroversial message about the millage proposal that will go before West Jefferson voters on Nov. 21: Flood protection is essential, and a newly beefed-up system needs a dedicated revenue source to keep it in top form.
But with the election days away, a critique of the agency and its plan to double the revenue it collects from West Jefferson property owners is gaining momentum. The critics question the authority’s administrative spending and whether enough has been done to get the federal government to help foot the bill.
The criticism started Tuesday when state Rep. Pat Connick, R-Marrero, wrote to the South Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West on behalf of the Jefferson Voters Federation to question sharp increases over the past three years in the district’s salaries, benefits and insurance costs, along with its spending on technology and legal costs. Connick also asked why maintenance work on levees and other assets is done in-house rather than put out for bid.
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