As the season of family gatherings, food, and giving winds down, receivers of gifts are assessing which to keep and which to return. For a fortunate few, it’s time to pull out the adding machine to help tabulate just how well they did. One of those will be SUN CHDO, a private, non-profit corporation, will be doing after receiving a huge gift from the Lafayette Consolidated Government just in time for the holidays.
Back in September of 2021, tax and spend City Councilman Nanette Cook introduced joint ordinance JO-069-2021 to the Lafayette City Council seeking to donate public property to SUN CHDO. Parish Councilman Kevin Naquin moved to introduce the same ordinance before the Lafayette Parish Council. The joint ordinance came before the City and Parish Council for final adoption on October 5, 2021 where they were approved unanimously by both the City and Parish councils.
In doing so the Lafayette City and Parish Councils gifted seven properties within the Lafayette City limits with a combined tax debt of $122,573.50 to a private entity. That essentially wiped out the tax revenue owed to various public bodies. According to the Lafayette Parish Assessor’s Office, the seven properties have a combined market value of $59,880. All told, that’s $182,453.50 in taxpayer money that’s simply been thrown away.
Merry Christmas to Chris Williams
The application submitted to Lafayette Consolidated Government by SUN CHDO seeking to obtain the properties was signed by none other than Chris Williams. Interestingly, in his sworn affidavit submitted to Lafayette Consolidated Government it is Chris Williams, not SUN CHDO who is listed as the “landowner” and who deposes that he has applied to purchase the adjudicated property, that he is not the present owner of the adjudicated property and that he is not a “tax debtor” in the Parish of Lafayette. So, who exactly is Lafayette Consolidated Government gifting the property to?
With that single act, the combined tax debt of $122,573.50 was erased and properties which could have been put up for public sale in an effort to recover tax revenue owed to the Law Enforcement District, Sheriff, School Board, Library, Courthouse & Jail, Road and Bridge maintenance, the Lafayette Public Library, Tax Assessment District, Bayou Vermilion District and many other public bodies were donated to a private entity or perhaps a private person.
If Chris Williams’ name sounds familiar…
Many will remember Chris Williams as having played a role in the 2019 Mayor-President and City and Parish Councils elections. As a member of Team Carlee, he operated a political action committee (PAC) called United Ballot. As part of the effort to get Carlee elected, his organization created a mail piece delivered into Lafayette’s minority community. It displayied an artistic rendering of Josh Guillory, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump, Eddie Rispone, and Mark Pope overlying KKK imagery.
If you’ve been wondering who’s keeping mud slinging politics well paid and well fed, wonder no more. It’s you, dear taxpayer. In the words of Thomas Paine, “we furnish the means by which we suffer.” More specifically, it was spendthrift Nanette Cook, a big supporter of Carlee, who introduced the $182,453.50 ordinance that is marked, “no fiscal impact.” More on that soon…
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