What is Bill Dawson’s motive to resuscitate A Better Ascension

Council Chairman Bill Dawson

Parish Council Chairman Bill Dawson would have you believe he does not support A Better Ascension’s (ABA) quest to eliminate the Office of Parish Presidency; his actions speak otherwise and they speak volumes. Thursday’s Council meeting agenda includes Item 14:

Resolution – to establish a Home Rule Charter Revision Committee (Chairman Bill Dawson)

Dawson and three of his colleagues mentioned the committee at the most recent Strategic Planning committee when Councilman Daniel “Doc” Satterlee addressed Article 4-08 of the Charter, the terms of which Satterlee proposed revising by enactment of an ordinance.  The article deals with the participation at a meeting of the Council chair, and chairs over various of the governing authority’s standing committees.

“If we’re going to move in the direction of a charter commission this would be a great topic for the commission to explore,” offered Councilman Aaron Lawler.

District 7 Councilman Aaron Lawler

“We have the possibility, I think it’s under discussion, of a charter committee coming up,” added Councilwoman Teri Casso.  “And maybe this would be the more appropriate place to have this discussion.”

District 8 Councilwoman Teri Casso

“I’m like everyone else here,” Councilman Oliver Joseph joined in.  “Because we’re gonna’ go to this committee, I think that would be one of the items.

District 1 Councilman Oliver Joseph

Not everyone since Doc Satterlee was in the dark…

District 4 Councilman Daniel “Doc” Satterlee

It was Bill Dawson, weeks after being elected to the Council chair, who legitimized ABA in the first place, even claiming to have the votes to place its drastic amendments of Ascension’s Home Rule Charter on the ballot in 2017.  Oh, he will (and has) denied it; this writer will stake every bit of his reputation for rigorous honesty on the accusation’s accuracy.  That was early in January 2017 when ABA sensed opportunity because President Kenny Matassa was about to be indicted for Election Offenses; Bribery.

What is Dawson’s current stated position on charter changes?

I just think that charter changes should be kinda’ sacrosanct.  They should be absolutely necessary before we make any,” he assured at the February 8 Strategic Planning session.

And yet, it is Bill Dawson seeking a Resolution – to establish a Home Rule Charter Revision Committee at the next Council meeting on Thursday.  What does Bill Dawson think is “absolutely necessary?”  The question was posed to him via email the next day, February 9:

What proposed changes to the Charter does Chairman Bill Dawson advocate?

His response arrived later that day:

Generally changes that make the government more efficient and or deliver the services of government more efficiently or more timely.”
In less than 24 hours he relaxed the threshold for charter changes (“absolutely necessary” when Doc Satterlee proposed one) to encompass any nebulus abstraction proffered, so long as it fits within the political goals of Bill Dawson.  Worse yet, this is Dawson’s second establishment of a committee to achieve his (and ABA’s) end; abolition of Ascension’s parish presidency.  What else could it be about when Dawson cannot, or will not, identify a single charter change beneficial to Ascension Parish?
On August 3, 2017 Dawson convened a Committee of the Whole, reading from a prepared statement:
“I hereby appoint a Committee of the Whole with the specific task of publicly vetting the charter amendment proposed by A Better Ascension.  The process shall include at least three public meetings with one public meeting conducted on the west bank of Ascension.  After completing the public vetting process the committee shall make a recommendation to the governing authority as to whether this shall be moved forward to the agenda of the Council to decide whether to call for placement on a parish-wide ballot.”
It garnered so much support that the effort was scrapped after only two meetings, the second of which failed for lack of a quorum.  Only four Council members attended the October 26, 2017 Committee of the Whole (Dawson, Casso, Joseph, and Committee Chairman Travis Turner).  It certainly did not seem “absolutely necessary” to seven Council members who could not be bothered to attend.
So we ask:
What is Bill Dawson’s motive to resuscitate A Better Ascension?

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