Terrebonne councilman split on Bayou Cane millage request

Reader: Boustany mailers wrongly credit Landry for ‘The Fair Tax’
October 30, 2012
Move over, Saudi Arabia
October 30, 2012

Dear Editor,

I will vote “yes” for the Bayou Cane Fire Department renewal levy, but I will vote “no” on the Bayou Cane new millage request.

Why a “no” vote for the new tax request? Members of Bayou Cane Fire Department are saying all paid staff will receive a pay raise on top of the 2 percent annual increase given under Louisiana law. Most people are not blessed with any salary increase each year; let alone an additional amount paid by the hard-working taxpayers. Isn’t a 2 percent increase per year enough?

Why a “no” vote for the new tax request? In a “Capital Items Needed” document provided to me by the Bayou Cane Fire Department, the new millage money is being requested for items I do not believe necessary to efficiently and effectively run a fire department. The public is being told that without this new tax passing, firefighters will be laid off. Here are some of the capital items for which the new millage would be used:

• $4,000 to replace carpet in fire station No. 1

• $10,000 for a new sign in front of fire station No. 1

• $5,000 for landscaping for fire station No. 1 (Why not have the firefighters do landscaping while waiting on calls like many other fire stations around the country?)

• $85,000 to pave the training field road for fire station No. 1 (Why isn’t the gravel road already there good enough?)

• $3,000 for flooring on second floor of fire station No. 2

• $3,500 for a new mower for fire station No. 3 (If purchasing landscaping services as earlier noted, why would a new mower be needed?)

• $4,000 to paint the interior of fire station No. 1

• $5,000 to replace the fence at fire station No. 4

Why a “no” vote for the new tax request? Many residents of Terrebonne Parish District 3 have contacted me about the excessive number of fire engines and staff members seen on every emergency run. I have also been contacted about fire department employees using fire department vehicles when they are out eating, shopping, or other places in public while on the clock. It sounds like a bad joke, but how many Bayou Cane firemen are needed to look at shorts at a local sporting goods store or pick up lunch?

It is your right and responsibility as a U.S. citizen to vote. Be informed on the issues and candidates. Do research. Call Bayou Cane Fire Department or drop by and ask your question(s). Contact me for a copy of the “Capital Items Needed” document. You, the taxpayer, provide the money for these services. You are making an investment. Choose wisely.

Folks, I am not condemning the Bayou Cane Fire Department or any member of the department. In fact, I am thankful for and respect them for protecting and serving our community. As a retired captain with the Houma Police Department and now a councilman for Terrebonne Parrish District 3, I know it takes dedication and a love of community to serve the public.

Please join me in voting “yes” for the Bayou Cane Fire Department renewal levy. We need to keep the services currently being provided. And, please join me and vote “no” for the Bayou Cane Fire Department new millage.

Councilman Greg C. Hood Sr.,

Houma, La.