Letter to the Editor – 10/22/18

Keep Term Limits for Parish Council as the Charter requires

In 1991, after years of development, our current Home Rule Charter was adopted and the Council/President form of government, with term limits, was established After many debates, two-term limits was determined to be more than sufficient for anyone looking to public service. We don’t need more career politicians, just community-oriented public servants. Now our politicians want to increase the number of terms for council members, They say it is being done for better representation, in this instance, they’re simply wrong or only looking to serve their own self-interest. If we want better representation, we need new voices.

I’ve been a business owner in St. Bernard for over thirty years. After Hurricane Katrina, I was back in my house within a few months. My family has been here since before the Great Depression of the 1930’s. I grew up with many of our local politicians and most are good people. Our elected officials can ‘game’ the system by building up government retirement pensions that far exceed anything available to the average person. The retirement that they receive, is paid by us, the taxpayers. When we’re facing budget cuts on many programs and services, this is certainly not a wise use of our limited funds. They’re putting this proposal on an off-year election ballot so that less people are likely to vote against it. If it was truly in the name of better government, put it on the ballot when voter turnout is going to be high.

If we really want to improve our local government we should look at why we have 5 council districts but have the need for 11 school board members, 11 justices-of-the peace, and 11 constables. Seems to me that we have far too many of them.

As I grew up, I always looked at politics as a way to give back to the community. Sadly, it seems, many politicians today see it as a way to enrich themselves and their families.

I would like to encourage everyone to vote AGAINST any change to the Charter that would increase the number of terms for any politician.

Thanks, Emile P.