Letter of Support for Rep Patrick Connick’s HB266

May 2017

Seven weeks after the levee breaches during Hurricane Katrina, a group of business people demanded that the Louisiana Legislature abolish the Greater New Orleans region’s local levee boards and create a single flood protection board to oversee the US Army Corps of Engineers.

In February of 2006, the Legislature approved two reform authorities, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority (SLFPA) East and West. This was followed by the passage of a Constitutional Amendment by voters later that year.

These two Authorities actually do not have authority to oversee or directly influence the corps. However, the SLFPA East and West do control how more than $60 million of taxpayer money gets spent every year.*

The legislation took control of who gets to award lucrative contracts out of the governor’s hands and gave it to a small group of people.

This small group is the SLFPA Nominating Committee and they appear to have their positions for life. There are no term limits. This committee – at the end of the day – decides who will spend upward of $60 million of taxpayer dollars annually. And are at least indirectly responsible for protecting multiple parishes from flooding.

HB 266 in its current form takes into consideration input from multiple stakeholders and is a good government bill that will better protect flood protection dollars.

We, the undersigned, support Rep Patrick Connick’s HB266 which requires term limits for the SLFPA Nominating Committee.

Respectfully,

Sandy Rosenthal, Founder of Levees.org
Keith Twitchell, President, Committee for a Better New Orleans
Dawn, Hebert, New Orleans East resident & candidate N.O. City Council District E
Stacy Head, New Orleans City Council Member-at-Large
Susan Guidry, New Orleans City Council Member, District A
Latoya Cantrell, New Orleans City Council Member, District B
Chip Badeaux, President, City Council of Thibodaux
Harry Shearer, actor producer New Orleans part time resident
Lower 9th Ward Homeownership Association
William P Waiters, President, Holy Cross Neighborhood Association
Dillard University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Sandra T. Herman, Friends of LA Center for Women in Government & Business
Cyn Sarthou, Gulf Restoration Network
Len Bahr, author of LACoastPost
Lt General Russel Honore, Leader of the GreenARMY
If you would like to add your name or organization, please contact Sandy Rosenthal at sandy@levees.org

* Produced with data from page 17 of SLFPAE’s financial report and page 13 of SLFPAW’s financial report for fiscal year ending June 2016