Responding to hypocrisy

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 16, 2001

DEAR EDITOR: In response to the letter to the editor, dated June 9, by Keith Gillies, I would like to state when Mr. Gillies used the word, “hypocrisy,” he should have stated the facts that on Nov. 12, 1992, the parish council “authorized Mr. C.J. Savoie to apply for preliminary approval to Farmer’s Home Administration for funding to replace the Ruddock Waterline. Voted on unanimously by Councilmen Terry, Wolfe, Lewis, Duhon, Perrilloux, McTopy, Haydel, Maggiore, Lee.” “To award the project (replacement of Ruddock Waterline) to Mr. C.J. Savoie until completion pending Legal Counsel review of Mr. Savoie’s present contract with parish, for a variance to his contract if required. Vote on motion was approved with one nay (Duhon).” On Dec. 10, 1992, the council approved “to grant a variance to allow C.J. Savoie to proceed with the Ruddock Waterline Project. Vote on motion passed with one nay (Duhon) and one absent (Wolfe).” On March 9, 1999, the council approved to “authorize administration to enter into contract with C.J. Savoie for design work to upgrade the Lions Water Plant to five million gallons per day. Vote on motion was unanimously approved with Mr. Wilson absent (voting in favor were Councilmen Wolfe, Duffy, Bailey, Duhon, Perrilloux, Monica, McTopy, Thornton).” On March 20, 2000, the council approved “to authorize administration to proceed with preliminary design and cost estimate for the mechanical treatment facility in Reserve, with the firm, CH2M Hill Engineers, not to exceed $15,000 and report findings to council. Vote on motion was unanimously approved.” (Rainey, St. Pierre, Wolfe, Wilson, Boucvalt, Faucheux, Lee, Duffy, Farlough). Now I ask, was that “hypocrisy?” Were those past councils hypocrites? I don’t think so, Mr. Gillies. I’m sure they must have put in long hours of work, research and careful thought before they made those decisions. The past councils used their intelligence to select Mr. Savoie because they knew his meticulous record. Mr. Savoie has saved this parish hundreds of thousands of dollars since he has been on board. Mr. Savoie has a proven record. We know we can trust him implicitly. From his proven record, we know we can rely on Mr. Savoie to always do what is best for the taxpayers of this parish. This is good-government business sense. We did not need a fox to watch the fox then. As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Savoie is the “cream of the crop.” We need to keep good people like him working for this parish. The reason for the newly-created guidelines for bidders and contractors is to make sure we don’t get “lemons” In the future. As it is so often stated by some, “We should operate government like a business.” Makes me wonder what kind of business that statement alludes to, with so many businesses going under because of bad management? Mr. Gillies, it is so easy to write to editors to say what is on one’s mind. However, you should have at least checked the records for the facts before speaking your mind. You never wrote a letter to the editor in 1999, not in 1992, when previous councils awarded additional contracts to Mr. Savoie. It was legal then and it is legal now, unless you are including legal counsels in your statement about being hypocritical. I’m sure you must have been around then.

Allen J. St. Pierre Councilman, District Two Garyville