Per your instructions, I followed the link to the Chamber Forum you provided and and read all of the responses provided. No one should be surprised or shocked by the lack of responses by those who oppose the Home Rule Charter form of government. They should at least be applauded for their honesty in showing the voters of this Parish that we are not worth their time.
I must admit that I read through your responses several times and kept going back to your claim that personnel costs have been lowered by more than $400,000 annually. I urge you to read through the Parish’s audit for fiscal year 2018. (Online) In it, you will find that the Parish saw a nominal savings of $15,870 in 2016 over the previous year for payroll. 2017 and 2018 both saw progressive increases and these figures only represent those employees enrolled in the retirement system. Parish employees have been granted cost of living pay increases of as much as 3% in at least three of the last five years. The Parish has also seen noticeable increases in its health insurance costs. Perhaps I don’t understand how to read or comprehend the information provided in the audit, but I find your claim of such substantial savings in personnel costs, at the least to be very misguided and, at most, to be a blatantly false claim.
I am also perplexed by your eagerness to use the limited resources of Parish tax revenues to assist incorporated areas of the Parish. The Parish struggles to fund the 25% match for its own Capital Outlay projects as it is. Taking money from our coffer to prop up the incorporated areas of the Parish is, in my mind, a reckless position. Municipalities are tasked with seeking funding for all types of projects within their municipal limits and they are in direct competition with the Parish for the limited “free money” available through State grant programs.
I urge you to reconsider your stance on this position for the sake of the rural residents of the our Parish.
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