Matassa proposes anti-ABA expert [3 weeks too late]

President Kenny Matassa, apparently with some free time since his criminal prosecution is on hold while the Attorney General appeals Judge Tommy Kliebert’s latest ruling, has weighed in on the Ascension Parish Home Rule Charter Revision (Circus) Committee.  12 meetings into the festivities, a 6-4 vote recommending A Better Ascension’s (ABA) plan to abolish Ascension’s parish presidency already having been made, Matassa requested that his St. Tammany Parish counterpart be afforded 30 minutes to counter four ABA experts who took up seven hours of the committee’s time on May 14 and 21.

What’s the Point?

Matassa penned, or at least forwarded, the following letter to Committee Chairman Roy Quezaire…

I have watched with dismay as the Home Rule Charter Revision Committee has morphed into a rubberstamp for a corporate takeover of parish government by A Better Ascension.  This shadow organization is attempting to erode our democratic government with unknown funders and unaccountable cash.  They have flown in so-called experts to preach a gospel that less democracy, less participation by citizens and more “yes men” middle managers is the way forward.

It is time for this committee to hear voices calling for more civic participation and fewer special interests seeking to run the people’s government.  I have contacted St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister to attend your committee meeting next Monday, June 18th in order to urge this committee to stop heading down this destructive path.  She has graciously agreed to attend.

Mrs. Brister is in her second term as Parish President of St. Tammany.  She also served two terms on the St. Tammany Parish Council and she was appointed by President George W. Bush as the Head of Delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.  Like Ascension, St. Tammany has seen residential and commercial growth over several decades and benefited greatly from an elected President to guide its executive branch.

I formally request you place her presentation on the June 18th agenda and grant her the same 30 minutes given to ABA’s presenters.

On May 30 the committee’s 6-4 vote approved a recommendation to the Parish Council: “The Council-Manager form of government be put on the ballot in December; and that we finalize the word for word language of the Council-Manager Charter no later than June 18.”

What Matassa expects to achieve by having the committee listen to St. Tammany’s president for 30 minutes…

St. Tammany President Pat Brister

is anyone’s guess.  Will this committee consider undoing its May 30 vote?  If not, this is a complete and utter waste of President Brister’s time and everyone else’s.