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October 30, 2014     The Ponchatoula Times
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October 30, 2014
 

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Tangipahoa Parish School Board We as a people should vow to throw out of of- fice all who would dare to lock the citizens out of the deliberations of their government. The Ponchatoula mayor and city council did just that this year and have yet to publicly apologize for what they have done. The par- ish school board have locked us out and have done so repeatedly, and only now are solid citi- zens coming forward to condemn its outrageous members. Realizing the harm to our Democracy, the poi- sonous cancer that eats at the very foundations of our government and its institutions when- ever politicians elected to office put themselves above the citizens who are their true political masters, The Times cannot and will not sup- port their bid for election or reelection. The school board is thus mired in a scandal of its own making, and we as voters must dig down to its roots to cure its problem. Now is the time to vote against those we previously elected to educate and safeguard our children, who have allowed themselves to be led around by their noses, filled with the crooked fingers of those who in many cases are the hired help, regardless of their glorified titles. The good board members have been returned to office without opposition. Let us elect those who have vowed to keep our school board meet- ings public to join them. This newspaper en- dorses the election of the following: Mike Whitlow, District F Beth Davis, District I Sandra Bailey Simmons, District H 2013-2014 PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS NOVEMBER 4, 2014 ELECTION There are14 constitutional amendments are in will appear on the ballot. PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO. 1 the order they Do you support an amendment to authorize the legislature to create the Louisiana Medical Assistance Trust Fund, for the payment of Medicaid reimbursement to the health care provider groups paying fees into the fund? (Adds Article VII, Section 10.14) PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO. 2 Do you support an amendment to create the Hospital Stabi- lization Fund to stabilize and protect Medicaid reimbursements for health care services by depositing assessments paid by hospitals, as authorized by the legislature, into a fund to sup- port Louisiana hospital reimbursement? (Adds Article VII, Sec- tion 10.13) PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO. 3 Do you support an amendment allowing an authorized agent of a tax collector to assist in the tax sale process, including the sale of property for delinquent taxes and that the fee charged by the authorized agent be included within the costs that the collector can recover in the tax sale? (Amends Article VII, Sec- tion 25(A)(1) and (E)) PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO. 4 Do you support an amendment to authorize the investment of public funds to capitalize a state infrastructure bank and the loan, pledge, guarantee, or donation of public funds by a state infrastructure bank for eligible transportation projects? (Amends Article VII, Section 14(B)) PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO. 5 Act No. 875 House Bill No. 96, Regular Session, 2014, By Representative Edwards and Senator Lafleur Do you support an amendment to remove the constitutional requirement that a judge retire upon attaining the age of seven- ty or, if his seventieth birthday occurs during his term, that he retire upon completion of that term? (Amends Article V, Section 23) PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO. 6 Do you support an amendment to authorize the governing authority of Orleans Parish to increase the annual millage rate levied for fire and police protection, to require that the revenue from the fire and police millages be used for fire and police pro- tection service enhancements, and to require that any increase be approved by the voters of Orleans Parish? (Amends Article VI, Section 26(E)) PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO. 7 Do you support an amendment to provide that the home- steads of veterans with a service-connected disability rating of one hundred percent unemployability or totally disabled by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and their surviv- ing spouses, shall be exempt from ad valorem taxation for up to one hundred fifty thousand dollars, and that a parishwide vote THE TIMES, OCTOBER 30,2014, PAGE 9 - Like us on Facebook shall not be required to implement this change in qualification for the exemption? (Amends Article VII, Section 21(K)(1) and (3)) PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO, 8 Do you support an amendment to establish the Artificial Reef Development Fund in the state treasury by depositing in to the fund monies that have been received by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the form of grants, donations, or other assistance to provide funding for programs dedicated to man- aging an artificial reef system, the wild seafood certification program, and inshore fisheries habitat enhancement projects? (Adds Article VII, Section 10.11) PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO. 9 Do you support an amendment to exclude owners who are permanently totally disabled from the requirement that they annually certify to the assessor the amount of their adjusted gross income in order to receive the Special Assessment Level on their residences for property tax purposes? (Amends Article VII, Section 18(G)(l)(a)(iv)) PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO, 10 Do you support an amendment providing for an eighteen- month redemption period in any parish other than Orleans, for vacant property sold at tax sale which is blighted or aban- doned? (Effective January 1, 2015) (Adds Article VII, Section 25(B)(3)) PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO. 11 Do you support an amendment to change the maximum num- ber of departments in the executive branch of state government from twenty to twenty-one? (Amends Article IV, Section I(B)) PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO, 12 Do you support an amendment to require that two members of the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission be electors from parishes located north of the parishes of Beauregard, Allen, Evangeline, Avoyelles, and Pointe Coupee? (Amends Article IX, Section 7(A)) PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO. 13 Do you support an amendment to authorize the governing authority of the city of New Orleans to sell at a price fixed by the legislature property located in the Lower Ninth Ward of the city of New Orleans? (Amends Article VII, Section (14)(B)) PROPOSED AMENDMENT NO. 14 Act No. 435 House Bill No. 131, Regular Session, 2013, By Representative James Do you support an amendment to provide that legislation relative to tax rebates, tax incentives, and tax abatements may not be introduced or considered by the legislature in a regular session held in an even-numbered year? (Amends Article III, Section 2(A)(3)(b) and (4)(b)(introductory paragraph)) Visit http://www.sos.[a. ,ov for more information on the November 4 e[ection It was moved by Commissioner Joubert and seconded by Commissioner Drake that the Commission approve the financials, as presented, for the month ending August 31, 2014. Motion passed. Yeas 4: Boihem, Drake, Ferrara and Joubert Nays: None Absent: 1 Watkins OLD BUSINESS: 1. DOTD - Port Priority State Project: SPN 578-53-0012 (321) Bulkhead, Lay-down Area, and Dredging Project Patrick Dufresne, port director, gave a brief report on the progress in terms of the soil reports from the soil boring company. The last part of information that the engineering firm will need to start the file claim inspection for the parking project since changing the dynamics of the project plans and specs on the Bulkhead, Lay-down Area, and Dredging Project. Other items discussed were: prelimi- nary Geo-tech reports, Plans & Specs, Engineer's opinion of probable construction cost estimates and coastal use permit application for a Class "C" permit. Another update will be furnished by the October meeting towards getting this project finalized to move forward with the bid package and request for proposals. 2. Prospective Tenant (s) Project Research Update a) Building # 2 Lease Agreement The port director reported that since the last meeting and per our marketing presentation, (2) two potential crude oil trans-loading companies have shown interest in the Port facility. President Don Boihem was able to attend a meeting with one of the considered serious interested trans-loading companies, during the port director's absence while attending a CPE conference last week. Discussed were the following topics: long term rates, unit train possibilities, dynamics of space involved, breaking of train, dedicated trains and its priority on the tracks, minimum requirement of mitigation on parcel plot and plans to research/identify the 10 acre parcel of property in middle of donated 100 acres. Bill Poland, Marketing Consultant, met with a potential prospect for a port site visit. Their primary interest/questions were relative to transloading of petroleum/chemical products and CN access for handling 20 railcars per month at the port site. They will contact the port director to further discuss their operation. 3.) Invoice Payment Approval Commissioner Ferrara presented for the Commissioner's review and payment approval the following September invoices: a) URS- Period Ending 7/18/14- Inv.# 5987807 Project 10001817 Bulkhead Amt. $ 7,494.23 b) Ponchatoula Times - Inv.# 8069617 -Amt. $203.20 - Ins. Bid Ad.(3X) & 3/8/14 Minutes Inv. # 8069678 -Amt. $144.00 - Notice/Meeting Minutes 4/8/14 Inv. # 8069715 -Amt. $188.80 - Notice/Meeting Minutes 5/13/2014 Inv. # 8069714- Amt. $33.60 - Legal Notice RFP Inv. # 8069755- Amt. $140.80 -Notice/Meeting Minutes 6/10/14 Total Amt. $710.40 **c) Central Auction House; Ltd. Inc. # 4654 Service Annual Fee $400.00 d) Bill Poland - Service Rendered Month of August - (10 Hours) $500.00 ** Prior to approval of invoice payment the port director gave an explanation in response to Commissioner Joubert's question rela- tive to, Item C, expenditure to Central Auction House, Ltd., which is a requirement of the state for on-hne Request for Proposals advertising on public bid projects. It was moved by Commissioner Drake, seconded by Commission Joubert that the Commission approves payment on the invoices as presented by Commissioner Ferrara. Motion passed. Call vote: Yeas 4: Boihem, Drake, Ferrara and Joubert Nays: None Absent: I Watkins New Business: 1. Port Tenant/Visitor Protocol The port director informed the Commission on the Rules and Regulation Guidelines recently adopted by the Commission in terms of visitors attending port meetings. In moving forward he discussed the following: implement Rules/Regulation/Gnidelines for ten- ants at the port facility, usable port tariff, research primary rules pertaining to trucking, railroad, and maritime companies, conduct when on premises, security issues in regards to fire arms, what can and cannot be done at the port terminal, and research of a similar emergency response team plan that is best suited for the port facility and its tenants. 2. DOTD Lighting Request 1) Resolution The port director provided information concerning the LADOTD current policies, procedures and requirements for applying for and construction of a lightening system at the Port Manchac facility. The following matters were discussed: 10%, matching funds, Coop~ative Endeavor Agreement, grant funding, legal liabilities, maintenance, and operating cost associated with a lighting system. A rKsohition was introduce by Secretary Ferrara regarding a lighting system at Port Manchac. i" It was moved by Commissioner Joubert, seconded by Commission Drake that the Commission ~' Authorizes Patrick Dnfresne, Port Director, to research the LA DOTD guidelines in regards to the Lighting System at the Port Manchac Intermodal Terminal, the research will include the procedures for installation of said lighting system, construction cost, operating cost, and maintenance cost. Yeas 4: Boihem, Drake, Ferrara and Joubert Nays: None Absent: i Watkins Remarks: Patrick Dufresne, Executive Director, thanked the Commission for the opportunity of attending the, 5-day, Certified Port Execu- tive Course held in New Orleans, reporting that it was a very comprehensive course that provided participants with a professional education related to the transportation system involving all aspects of the port marine terminal industry from container shipping, to the entire marine world in regards to safety and security procedures, rail, and how to develop an industrial development park The course also covered the rapidly changing regulations and requirements that affect ports and intermodal transportation providers and a diverse range of service providers. The Commission extended their congratulations to the port director for his accomplishment as he presented his Certified Port Executive Certificate An invitation was extended to the Commissioners to participate in the PAL Coastal Workshop which will be held on September 30th, October I and 2, 2014. Commissioners wishing to attend the workshop were asked to contact the office to register. The Tiger Grant announcements were released last week and unfortunately the STPPC was not awarded for FY2014. Awards were granted to the Port of Lake Charles, East Baton Rouge Parish, and City of Lafayette for various projects. In concluding, it was reported that the two vacancies on the Commission would hopefully be filled by the October/November meeting. President Boihem reported that he and Bill Poland, Marketing Consultant for STPPC, attended the GRP Parish Workshop. The Geographic Response Plans Workshop conducted by US Coast Guard, Area Contingency Plans and also, LOSCO (LA Oil Spill Con- tainment Organization). The meeting consisted of different agencies around the parish. Discussed was the Coast Guard areas and its responsibility in Lake Pontchartrain relative to an evaluation process involving, initial response efforts during the first 24-48 hours of an emergency situations that are broken down by type (human health and safety, environmental, economic and cultural) and sensitiv- ity (high, medium, low). The workshop was very informative. President Boihem thanked everyone for their attendance at the meeting and that the STPPC/Port Manchac is heading in the right direction toward its accomplishments and endeavors. It was moved by Commissioner Joubert and seconded by Drake that the meeting be adjourned. Motion passed. 4 Yeas: Boihem, Drake, Ferrara and Joubert Nays: 0 Absent: 1 Watkins The meeting was adjourned at 1:13 p.m. Daryl Ferrara, Secretary