At the April 9th city-parish council meeting various council members voted to take $10 million away from an $18 million drainage ordinance to spend on libraries and recreation. While performing this action, councilman Kenneth Boudreaux said, “maybe drainage is a priority… maybe it’s not…”
Then, on May 4th, the council passed another ordinance authorizing the library to spend $12 million on TWO capital outlay projects. One project is to build another, brand-new library in an “underserved” north-east sliver of the parish. That new branch would likely be situated two-miles or less from the Chenier branch. That branch itself is about one mile from the Main Branch and less than a mile from the Butler Memorial branch.
The second project is a major expansion of the Carencro library, in Jay Castille’s district. Councilman Castille wholeheartedly supported moving $10 million out of that $18 million drainage resolution.
And then it rained
On May the 6th, just two days after the controversial vote to expand library services despite public outcry, a flooding event occurred to remind everyone of what our priorities should be. This will be the first council meeting since that event. We usually check for the meeting agenda on Friday afternoon immediately preceding the Tuesday meeting. That’s when we knew the council had no interest in addressing drainage.
Because of council rules, no vote can be taken to approve anything new. Instead, a council member must “introduce” the ordinance at one meeting, and then the vote occurs at the next meeting. An introductory drainage ordinance is what we expected to see. Maybe they would bring back the $18 million drainage ordinance that failed to gain sufficient support the last two attempts. Nope – nothing about drainage was on the agenda.
Special meeting called
Now we’re getting somewhere. There’s a special meeting immediately after the regular meeting. Maybe the reporting requirements wouldn’t allow them to squeeze an introductory ordinance on the regular meeting so they did it this way? Nope again.
Agenda item #1: Recognizing the month of June as LGBT+++ “Pride Month.” Well, that’s obviously not drainage. Apparently, thought, it’s enough of an emergency to Kenneth Boudreaux that he put it as the very first thing on the special meeting agenda.
There is a second item on the agenda, and it’s an introductory ordinance. That one has to be for drainage, right? Nope. It’s just telling Louisiana Department of Transportation to the cut grass “or else.” Last time we remember hearing about cutting grass was when Kenneth Boudreaux treated everyone with an illustrated, 45-minute presentation on that topic way back on July 24, 2018. While it’s great to see it come up again, why aren’t we talking about drainage?
“Fix Drainage” is the new hate speech
On Sunday, we posted an abbreviation of these findings on our Facebook page and immediately became the subject of an intense disinformation campaign. You know, because no one should want drainage solutions presented during gay pride month.
One of the local drag queens for toddlers activists shared our post with the following editorial: “Please give these people a piece of your mind. The hate and ignorance has to stop.” She went on, “I’m so disgusted over the hate being spewed from [Citizens for a New Louisiana] today that I can’t rest…” Followed by, “Do NOT stand for this hate. Don’t.”
Another drag queens for toddlers activist added to the false narrative, “Oh honey there are no rights you lose honey. Meanwhile the ‘haters’ are sending death threats to a city-councilman.” Another false claim; one which has even been independently debunked by the Advocate’s Claire Taylor.
Let’s talk about ANYTHING but drainage!
If we had been on the council for the three years since the devastating 2016 flooding… If we had been on a council that met ninety-six (96) times since the deviating 2016 flooding and area residents were flooding yet again, we’d want to change the subject, too.
What’s an incendiary topic that would get (almost) everyone’s mind off of drainage? Come on, now. We’re just brainstorming here. There’s no wrong answer.