Fireworks at PPC on creation of “Quality of Life” OfficerFeb 18th, 2013 | By Jessica Gonzalez | Category: news
An ordinance approving a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between Plaquemines Parish Government and the Sheriff’s, to create the position of a zoning and permits enforcement officer, was deferred after a heated exchange between District 9 Councilwoman Marla Cooper and District 7 Councilman Jeff Edgecombe, who
offered the legislation. The legislation had been previously deferred and carried over from the January 10 and 24 PPC meetings.
If approved, the CEA would allow Parish Government to contract out a Sheriff’s office deputy.
The position, coined “Quality of Life” officer by Councilchair Byron Marinovich, would require the hired deputy to travel the parish to assist with zoning and ordinance
enforcement, including borrow pit law compliance. Marinovich says that having an actual deputy travel and doing the enforcement would give the position some teeth to enforce the laws, as opposed to someone from the Permits or Zoning department.
“Where’s the Sheriff?,” asked Cooper. “Where is someone to answer our questions?”
“I will not ever again be involved for creating a job for someone, like I was at the last council meeting,” said an irate Cooper, referencing a vote at the January 24 meeting that created a part-time position at the Empire Boat Harbor.
That legislation was also offered by Edgecombe.
“A part-time position to clean the docks at Empire was opened up when there was a full-time person there already,” Cooper continued. Cooper added that after she voted for the legislation to fund the position, she was approached by a constituent who alleged that the position was created for someone who had worked for parish
government previously, quit, and wanted to come back.
“If we’re going to start creating positions for family and friends, then it’s a pitiful day in Plaquemines Parish,” Cooper stated frankly, her statement met with applause.
Additionally, she questioned the need for the position since there is adequate staff in the Zoning, Permits, and Health Departments, to come out and inspect properties.
The legislation will be taken up again at the Feb. 28 PPC meeting.