What does Vance Daigle know that your Council rep doesn’t?

Vance Daigle

Here at Pelican Post we are loathe to take private citizens head-on, and we had no reason to take Vance Daigle seriously given certain of his more ridiculous pronouncements.  Of all the dumb utterances made at all Ascension Council and/or committee meetings since May of 2013 (and your writer has either attended or watched every one of them) Daigle’s  claims on October 26, 2017 took the prize for imbecility.  He appeared at a Committee of the Whole (supposed to be the entire Parish Council but only four of them bothered to show up) along with other members of A Better Ascension (ABA) to lobby for abolition of Ascension’s parish presidency by amendment to the Home Rule Charter, saying:

We’ve done all the work.  We’ve put in the time; we have checked every box; we’ve held meetings; we’ve changed our amendments.  We have done everything a Charter Commission could do.  We have researched, debated; we put ourselves out there.

We’ve had some pretty tough things said.  We believe in this…um, I’m sorry.  I got lost a little train of thought (meaning he lost his place in the prepared script written by who knows).

Everything a Charter Commission could do?  Louisiana Revised Statute 33, commonly referred to as The Lawrason Act, governs operation of municipalities.  It includes 33:1395 which reads:

A.  Any parish or municipality may draft, adopt, or amend a home rule charter.  The method to be used is the charter commission, which can either be appointed by the governing body or elected by the people.

B.  A charter commission must be elected when the clerk of a municipality or parish is presented with a petition for the election of a home rule charter commission as provided in Article VI, Section 5(B) of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974 signed by not less than ten percent of the electors or ten thousand electors, whichever is fewer…

ABA numbers about a dozen members, some originals seem to have dropped out since inception, others have joined (like Vance Daigle).  A far cry from 10% of Ascension electors, approximately 7500 voters.

LSA-RS 13:1395.1 requires that a 7-11 member commission “shall be elected or appointed in the manner provided by the governing authority of the municipality or parish.”  Such a commission’s meetings are subject to Louisiana Open Meetings Law including rigid notification requirements to alert every citizen who so chooses the full opportunity to opine.  So, no Vance, you and your group have not done anything a Charter Commission could do.

And we still had no intention of exposing Vance Daigle’s ignorance, clouded by his idiocy; a decidedly dangerous combination generally rendered harmless because no one takes such buffoons serisously.  But, this being Ascension Parish where Bill Dawson reigns as Council chair, a fool like Vance Daigle has access to  the halls of power.  And he possesses foreknowledge of the Council’s innerworkings deprived to the rest of us (and certain Council members it turns out).

On Feb 7, 2018, at 8:46 AM, Vance Daigle <VDaigle@rjdaigle.com> wrote:

Good morning Council members,

I would like to schedule a brief phone conversation with each of you to confirm that we are in agreement with the proposal from the commission to restructure the Parish governing authority (ABA). I am requesting that we speak individually to clarify any outstanding issues. Please contact me at your earliest convenience to schedule this meeting/visit. My cell is 225-279-6204 and my email is VDaigle@rjdaigle.com. I look forward to our meeting/visit.

In Christ,

Vance Daigle

Daigle’s email, indicative of what he seems to think is a rigged proceeding, so befuddled one Council member that a reply email was sent:

.. “confirm that we are in agreement..”  Who’s “we” and what has been “agreed” upon?

What “proposal”?  From what “commission”?

.. “to restructure the Parish governing authority (ABA)”?  What “restructuring” of the Council (which is the “governing authority”) does “ABA” seek?  Thought ABA was seeking to abolish election of a Parish President and replace the same with a Parish Manager?
Daigle knew that Chairman Bill Dawson would include Item No. 14 on the February 15 Council agenda…
Resolution – to establish a Home Rule Charter Revision Committee (Chairman Bill Dawson)

before the full membership did.  The agenda was not published until February 9.

On Feb 7, 2018, at 10:56 AM, Vance Daigle <VDaigle@rjdaigle.com> wrote:

My apology for the confusion.

I was just touching base with the council that the discussion and possible appointment of a committee to research the ABA and other groups for a different form of government (parish manager) will be on the Feb 15 agenda.
You are correct after rereading, my email it was poorly worded…my apology.
In Christ
Interestingly enough, your writer had never seen Vance Daigle, nor any of ABA’s current membership at any Council meeting prior to the group’s attempted corporate takeover of parish government.  Maybe such drastic measures would have been unnecessary if they’d participated in the democratic processes earlier.  Maybe Vance’s company isn’t pocketing enough Ascension taxpayer dollars for road maintenance.

RJ Daigle & Sons website: VANCE DAIGLE
Co-Chief Executive Officer

We hear RJ Daigle & Sons has big plans in the City of Gonzales involving a new Hotel/Motel tax.  Word is that former mayor, and current State Representative Johnny Berthelot is on board.  Maybe that’s why RJ Daigle & Sons hired Gonzales’ longtime City Clerk:

From RJ Daigle Sons websiteCLAY STAFFORD
President – DD Of Louisiana

Maybe Vance Daigle should stick to building roads and pocketing those millions of Ascension taxpayer dollars.  Or maybe he has enough Council members in his pocket to garner the necessary eight votes to place ABA’s plan on the ballot (Chairman Dawson certainly has done ABA’s bidding).  Then it will be left to the people to stop ABA’s corporate takeover of parish government.