Wherein we actually give City-Parish Council Chairman Brandon Shelvin an attaboy. Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Well-deserved kudos to Lafayette Parish School Board President Shelton Cobb and Lafayette City-Parish Council Chairman Brandon Shelvin for making an effort to get their respective entities working together again. Although it was postponed at the end of April due to scheduling conflicts - no make-up date had been set as of this writing - a joint meeting of the LPSB and CPC to discuss tax proposals and other matters of mutual interest was a welcome change to the silo approach the bodies have practiced for the last couple of years. In 2008, the groups announced plans for joint quarterly meetings and did so for a time. But by 2011 those meeting had ceased. As one council member tells us, "It wasn't a priority for some of our past chairmen, for one reason or another." The CPC and LPSB account for virtually all expenditures of the local tax base. It's reasonable that they meet a few times a year to ensure they're working in concert, and never more so in light of the parish's tight finances. We hope last month's postponement was just that.
High heaven, meet Bruce Greenstein, the stink on that DHH-CNSI scandal. In defending its decision to void a $200 million dollar contract with Client Network Services Inc. for administering Medicaid services, the state Division of Administration recently released a letter showing that Greenstein, while secretary of DHH, exchanged "hundreds of telephone calls and thousands of text messages" with management at CNSI, his former employer, leading up to CNSI winning the bid for the Medicaid contract. The governor's office canceled the CNSI contract in March; Greenstein resigned his post at DHH a week later. The feds and state attorney general are probing the matter. Greenstein had told state senators during his confirmation hearings that his past employment with CNSI had nothing to do with the company getting the contract. Hundreds of emails and thousands of texts suggest otherwise.
You know what they say, "Big gun, little trigger." State Rep. Jim Morris, R-AndroGel, is clearly half-cocked in his desk-banging insistence that Louisiana should bankrupt itself rather than capitulate to Uncle Sam and his insidious plan to confiscate our guns, melt them into plowshares and shoot us with gay lasers. Morris is all hot and bothered about the feds placing any reasonable restrictions on gun ownership - for the criminally insane, felons, ladies with delicate constitutions, people with poor aim - and wants to outlaw enforcement of any laws federal lawmakers might decide are necessary and within the scope of the 2nd Amendment. His House Bill 5, if passed, could send an agent of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to prison for two years and face a $5,000 fine for doing his or her job. When told his bill is clearly unconstitutional, Morris, according to the Associated Press, replied, "If we've got to spend every dime we've got defending our rights, it would be worth the money." Um, no, it probably wouldn't.