EBR metro councilman targets parish attorney after storm water fee debacle
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A member of the East Baton Rouge Metro Council plans on introducing an item that could lead to the dismissal of the parish attorney, WAFB has learned.
Councilman Cleve Dunn confirmed his plans to introduce an item at a council meeting Wednesday, Oct. 26, that could get the ball rolling on the council’s potential firing of attorney Andy Dotson. Dunn declined to provide additional comment on the item. When contacted by WAFB Wednesday morning, a clerk in Dotson’s office said he had no comment.
The meeting and councilman Dunn’s actions follow the botched rollout of a proposed stormwater utility fee.
Metro Council members voted to create a Stormwater Public Utility District that was touted to allow the city parish to “better plan, build, and maintain the stormwater sewer system.” That newly formed effort would be funded by the utility fee, which would bill parish residents an additional charge based on the square footage of impervious surfaces on their property.
There would be no public vote on the matter, but metro council members scheduled public meetings to get feedback on the fee before they agreed to levy it. Public reaction was largely negative.
Things fell apart when Rep. Garrett Graves disproved claims from officials that there was a non-disclosure agreement in place between the city and the federal government which prevented them from answering certain questions about the fee. Graves also disproved claims that a deadline was in place for the metro council to approve the proposed stormwater utility fee.
East Baton Parish Mayor Broome requested the stormwater fee proposal be removed from the Metro Council’s agenda amid confusion regarding that non-disclosure agreement. The Metro Council also canceled the remaining public meetings.
Councilwoman Laurie White Adams introduced an emergency item to call break apart the Stormwater Public Utility District, calling it “fruit of the poisonous tree.” White’s item is also scheduled to be heard during the meeting Wednesday.
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