29 May 2006

Council says 'no' to SB 639

wow we are shocked. looks like lesley in senator ben nevers office lied to us (imagine that) yesterday when she told us over the telephone that senator nevers had "withdrawn" sb639. click here for chads' take on this story.

or maybe not heres chads' update.
original post

La. State Sen. Ben Nevers (D) Bogalusa
websen@legis.state.la.us 1800-881-2749 * 985.732.6863 * 225.342.2040
**updated** tuesday 30 may 2006 2:44pm cdt spoke to lesley (985.732.6863) in senator nevers
bogalusa office and she told us that senator nevers has "already withdrawn" sb 639.
**updated** wednesday 31 may 2006 10:38 am cdt: reservoir activist: jalon pittman beech appeared on the moon griffon radio program this morning to discuss among other things: washington parish council, sb639, reservoirs, senator nevers and rep thompson. we have the .mp3 audio posted here. (ms beech's parents home could be stolen by the reservoir thugs. see Intimidation.)
**updated** tuesday 30 may 2006 4:07 pm cdt
From: "Repetowski, Rhonda" repetowr@legis.state.la.us
To: wesawthat@gmail.com
Cc: "Righteous, Tina" righteot@legis.state.la.us
Subject: RE: sb639 - sen nevers
Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 15:59:26 -0500

This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs. We tentatively included this instrument on our weekly schedule, but have since received instructions from Senator Nevers that we are not to schedule this bill for hearing unless he advises us to do so.

According to our records, it has not been officially "withdrawn" at this point.

Rhonda Repetowski
Administrative Secretary
HLS, Governmental Affairs Division
Ph. 225/342-2399

as you can see from this article by john h walker of the bogalusa daily news the washington parish council voted against a resolution to support sb 639 which would create the washington parish economic development district. this was passed a week ago on monday 22 may 2006. however, a week later senator nevers has not pulled this bill from the records of the senate. why? please call senator nevers and ask him for some explanation as to why this odious bill of his is still active in the la. state senate and to acquiesce to the will of the people of washington parish and pull this bill. thanks.
Council says 'no' to SB 639

The Daily News

FRANKLINTON - By a 4-3 vote, Washington Parish Council members went against the wishes of the parish president and refused to pass a resolution of support for SB 639, which would create the Washington Parish Economic Development District.

In a roll call vote, council members Charles Nassauer, Rodney Brown and Darwin Sharp voted in favor of a resolution of support while Clinton Miley, Relton Sumrall, Marvin Thomas and Kenneth Wheat voted against it. Wheat cast the deciding vote.

Following the vote, council chairman Sharp said, "Senate Bill 639 is dead" and instructed president Toye Taylor to call the bill's author, State Sen. Ben Nevers (D-Bogalusa) and ask him to withdraw the bill.

"I will call the senator and ask him to withdraw the bill," Taylor said, adding, "and I will withhold my comments."

But Taylor didn't stay quiet long, taking the council to task for what he called "the worst vote I've seen this council take in my time" as he gave his president's report.

Taylor said despite support from both the Washington Economic Development Foundation and the Franklinton Area Economic Development Commission and despite support from mayors of all four incorporated areas in the parish, the council chose to take away a tool of economic development that he said could help the parish move forward.

The board's action, he said, allowed a few to come into council chambers and make fear of expropriation an issue.

"The masses have not come into this room (in opposition to SB 639)," he said. "We're stuck in the 20th century."

While Taylor said "the masses" did not show up in opposition to the bill, no one appeared before the council to speak on behalf of the bill at any of the meetings when the issue was discussed.

The issue that doomed SB 639 was wording giving powers of expropriation to the commission it would have created. Even though final say would have rested with the council, based on interpretation of the wording in the bill, the threat of expropriation was enough for the council majority.

Despite agreeing to call Nevers and requesting the bill be pulled, as directed by his council chairman, Taylor proceeded to ask the council to reconsider its action.

"I told you I'd be persistent," he said as the board set in silence and moved on to other comments.

Later, as the meeting was drawing to a close, Taylor made yet another pitch.

"I guess you're not going to reconsider?" he asked.


"Perhaps a special called meeting?"

More silence, this time followed by a motion to adjourn the meeting.
contacting senator ben nevers:

Capitol Office
P.O. Box 94183
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
(225) 342-2040

District Office
724 Avenue F
Bogalusa, LA 70427
(985) 732-6863

Legislative Assistant
Lesley Lewis