Thursday, October 20, 2005

La Bond commission $45 million pork barrel

Washington Parish Reservoir opposed

Listen to Jalon Pittman Beech at Bond meeting on 10/20/05
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At the July 22nd Bond Commission meeting, my father, Nevels Pittman and I testified before you regarding our objections to the funding of the proposed Washington Parish Reservoir.

My dad and I told you about our historic family home, the Oak Grove Community and cemeteries that would be taken and destroyed by the Washington Parish Reservoir Commission.

Yet you proceeded to approve funding that will wash away everything but my memory of where I grew up, and where I call home.

Again, I request that you reconsider your decision to fund pork barrel projects such as the Washington Parish Reservoir, especially when our state is overwhelmed with crisis and debt.

It is my understanding that you have the power to rescind any funds that are allocated to the reservoir projects. I respectfully ask that you rescind and void any funds for unneeded and unwanted reservoirs in our state, and in particular, Washington Parish.

The reservoir projects in this state have become clouded with controversy. The Washington Parish Reservoir is to be modeled after the Poverty Point Reservoir.

This week, it has been reported that the Poverty Point Reservoir Commission is under investigation, and the secretary for the commission was arrested.

The same people who have promoted the Poverty Point Reservoir are involved in the Washington Parish Reservoir project as well as every other reservoir project in Louisiana.

I ask you to please look into this matter before you proceed with allowing funds for the Washington Parish Reservoir.

I don’t believe that this commission fully understands what is involved with the reservoir projects that it is funding.

At present, there are approximately 14 reservoir projects that have been sanctioned by the governor’s office. Each parish has their own handpicked commission to oversee these projects.

Combined, these projects will cost the taxpayers of Louisiana over 1 billion dollars. These reservoirs are touted for economic development and recreation, and for potable water of which no proven need exists.

To obtain property for the reservoir, the reservoir commission has the authority to expropriate, or take without asking, the private property of the citizens who reside on the proposed reservoir site.

For the state of Louisiana to seize private property for economic and recreational development is the epitome of the abuse of the eminent domain law. Eminent Domain was put in place to obtain property for public use such as roads and bridges.

You are approving money for reservoirs that is designated for our Department of Transportation projects. I don’t believe that the average taxpaying citizen of this state would appreciate DOTD funds being diverted from our roads, bridges, and other much needed infrastructure to unneeded reservoirs so that a select few can make some huge deposits in their bank accounts.

This commission has the opportunity and obligation to rescind funding for controversial and unneeded reservoir projects that send our state spiraling into debt.

The state of Louisiana has to accept the charity of other states and the federal government just to pay our basic necessities.

If you tightened Louisiana’s purse strings and put a stop to the self-serving legislators who have been wooed by cunning real estate developers to go along with reservoir projects, our state could stand on its on.

You would at the very least, have another billion dollars to budget to worthwhile projects such as infrastructure, levee systems for our coast line, pay raises for state employees, hospitals, and I could go on and on.

Louisiana is wealthy with resources, but these resources are commonly exploited and misused. Louisiana consistently proves to the world that we are incapable of handling business without the appearance of impropriety.

The buck literally can be stopped here today, and what a proud day this would be for the citizens of Louisiana.

Again, I respectfully ask that you rescind any funds that have been designated for the Washington Parish Reservoir, and stop the waste of any future monies that would be allocated to this harmful and wasteful project.

Jalon Pittman Beech

Monday, October 17, 2005

Letter to all Bond Commission members

Dear Bond Commission Member,

In Louisiana, a state drowning in water and political corruption, money continues to flow like water to build Reservoirs.

While citizens statewide are fighting building 14 new Reservoirs, Hurricane Katrina breached a levee, and a reservoir flooded and destroyed New Orleans.

The October 20, 2005 Bond Commission meeting lists $ 3.2 Million for Reservoirs while money has been rescinded for many worthwhile projects.

Will Reservoirs continue to be one of our top priorities, and a foolish waste of our tax money? With the budget problems Louisiana faces this money is badly needed elsewhere.

Should the old and poor suffer, and taxpayers spend $40 to $50 million a lake to make developers wealthy? Will Louisiana change it’s foolish ways, and Politics as usual?

With Louisiana’s budget problems it is foolish to fund projects requiring continued funding year after year that we can’t afford.

The proposed Washington parish Reservoir will desecrate cemeteries, and take the homes of the old and poor.

It is not too late to stop the waste of money on this foolish project before construction begins.

Please, stop the waste of taxpayers’ money for unneeded foolish pork barrel reservoirs.


James Moore

Community Preservation Alliance

Foolish economic development

Dear Bond Commission members,

I'm writing this letter out of sincere concern for the residents of the State of Louisiana; specifically, Washington Parish. Until Hurricane Katrina, I lived in Louiana and remained active in my local and state government.

The issue with the construction of reservoirs continues to baffle me. Especially in light of the fact that the Bogue Chitto State Park (also in our parish), when completed, will boast 8 lakes and plenty of recreational opportunity.

Louisiana, claims to be suffering financially, yet continue to make foolish decisisons under the guise of economic development.

A reservoir in Washington Parish is not only a waste of tax payer money, but it's way ahead of it's time.

It would appear that vast improvements to the infrastructure should be a top priority versus another recreational water hole.

Washington parish boasts an abundance of water and other natural resources - visit their industrial park website.

Common sense dictates that connecting Washington Parish to the Interstate and a serious look at education prior to spending millions on a reservoir would be the first step towards sound economic development.

As a tourist, I doubt few will be inclined to hook up their ski boats and man their RV's in hopes of looking for Washington Parish.

Thousands have already been wasted on feasibility studies and research.

If money continues to flow towards a reservoir project in Washington Parish, many stand to loose their homes. Cemeteries will be flooded and some of the most historic areas of our parish will be washed away.

The dangers of constructing a 90 foot high dam that stretches one and a half miles long in our parish is paramount. Should a dam of this magnitude fail, it will jeapordize the lives of thousands of residents and infrastructure.

The question you need to ask yourself in the decision making process for funding is, "Can we afford it?" The answer is simply, "No."

I respectfully request that money proposed to further reservoir projects in the State of Louisiana be reallocated to education and disaster relief.

Yours Truly,

Lee Kelley
Las Vegas, NV

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