EDITORIAL: Dry days ahead on water crisis

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 10, 2003

St. John the Baptist residents can expect a drought this summer. Not only will they have to endure the hot weather without an adequate supply of water; they will thirst for wise leadership.

Last Tuesday, a majority of the parish council rejected a win-win solution that would have improved water quality without a tax increase.

The resolution, which was presented by Parish President Nickie Monica, Bond Attorney Hugh Martin and Director of Works and Utilities Henry DiFranco, would have approved the issuance of $8 million worth of general obligation bonds. Councilman Steve Lee said it was a “cheap way to borrow money.”

In an earlier editorial, L’Observateur challenged parish officials to step to the plate on the water crisis. Instead, by defeating this resolution, a majority of the council have backed away from our challenge.

These politicians appear content to have their constiuents drink sub-standard water that was found in violation of Environmental Protection Agency minimum standards.

Last Wednesday in our Mid-Week edition, a frustrated Lee stated that he has been strugling with water issues during his three years in office. He blames this current setback on the fact that it is an election year.

However, when it comes to issues that effect public safety, wise leaders must not base decisions on politics. They must always do what is best for their neighbors regardless of how it affects their personal agenda.

When a cost-effective proposal, such as the one presented last week is possible, there is no sense to reject it. This resolution would be good for the people, especially those with lower incomes. By rejecting it, these five representatives have left a bad taste in the mouths of many voters.

Water quality and capacity improvements are critical to the growth of this area. It is time that all of the politicians get their feet wet before they leave their constituents out to dry in the drought.