Is Ascension giving away too much in industrial tax exemptions?

Ascension’s taxing authorities never met an Industrial Tax Exemption they didn’t like.  At the most recent Parish Council meeting it was Shell Chemical over which members gushed, insipidly begging the petrochemical giant to up its local investment by $1.2 billion in return for a $104 million ITEP exemption (which does not include others expected from […]

HNTB’s Transportation Plan: Another $800,000 wasted

$800,000 worth of funding allocated in 2016, HNTB engineers assigned task of producing a long-range Transportation Master Plan for Ascension Parish was put on the back burner when a $25 million bond was retired, then re-issued to fund MoveAscension’s roundabouts and safety widening of select parish roads.  The firm is back on task, presenting an update at […]

Parenton guilty of intentional subterfuge or rank incompetence

Intentional subterfuge or rank incompetence?  Those are the only possible explanations for Parish Attorney O’Neal Parenton’s latest attempt to game the system and betray the citizens who pay his salary. By letter dated October 19, 2018 Parenton requested an AG’s opinion asking two questions: (1) Can Ascension Parish through a Charter Amendment make the Planning Commission […]

STILL waiting on Floodplain Management? Oust Dempsey Lambert from Drainage Board chair

After five years in the chair of East Ascension Consolidated Gravity Drainage District # 1, it is time for Dempsey Lambert to step aside.  Commonly referred to as East Ascension Drainage Board, the body is composed of ten Parish Council members whose districts lie east of the Mississippi River.  With the $1,227,000,000 for flood mitigation […]

Parish President’s payroll padding (P4) does not include Department Heads (not officially anyway)

Parish President Kenny Matassa’s unprecedented padding of parish payroll does not include three patronage plums near the top of Ascension’s un-codified organizational chart, or does it?  Our friend and former Utilities Director Bill Depew offered commentary on the state of that Department recently: I didn’t know I would be irreplaceable! Two (2) years and they […]

LAGNIAPPE: Why Teri Casso should be next Council Chair

Required to elect one of its 11 members to the chair at the first meeting of every year, Ascension’s governing authority is scheduled to choose its next leader tomorrow in Donaldsonville.  The candidates to succeed Councilman Bill Dawson as Ascension’s next Parish Council Chairperson have been pared to two, Benny Johnson and Teri Casso.  Casso […]

Wanna slow subdivision development? Implement drainage regs like Tangipahoa just did

Tangipahoa’s Parish Council just approved regulations disallowing subdivision developers from building houses in wetlands and flood zones.  Meanwhile, in Ascension Parish where Councilman Dempsey Lambert chairs East Ascension Drainage Board, the governing authority continues to kick the can down the road.  Why? Because implementation of already proposed revisions would curtail irresponsible subdivision development in Ascension?  […]

More cronies who made Matassa Claus’ nice list

Membership has its privileges and, if you happen to be an insider in Parish President Kenny Matassa’s circle, privilege becomes entitlement; the taxpayers of Ascension Parish owe those insiders a living.   GSA Consulting Engineers, good for a maximum $2,500 contribution and a place for Matassa’s campaign to meet every Tuesday in 2015 was the recipient […]

Who is Ascension’s next Council Chairperson?

Bill Dawson’s reign as Parish Council Chairman is coming to an end after two years of turbulence, more than a little intra-council rancor, much of it attributable to Dawson, himself.  His tenure in the chair coincided with an indictment of President Kenny Matassa followed by Dawson’s failed attempt to abolish the presidency in exchange for […]

Planning Commission bails out Grady Melancon

Granting this variance, you’re basically bailing out the developer who specifically did something he was instructed not to do.  At what point to we just…not continue to roll over? – Planning Commissioner Aaron Chaisson. The developer referred to by Commissioner Chaisson is longtime Ascension mover and shaker, Grady Melancon.  Melancon’s company came to the Planning Commission […]