Perrilloux: Education Foundation leadership fails to represent the full public’s interest

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, September 21, 2022

 

Editor’s note: This opinion is in response to the August 27 story “Education Foundation builds momentum in St. John Parish,” which can be accessed at lobservateur.com. Marathon Petroleum made two $350,000 investments into the foundation which have thus far funded scholarships and certification programs for teachers.

Editor,

It’s greatly appreciated that Marathon is contributing to our community. However, the $700,000 contribution to the St. John the Baptist Parish Education Foundation does not outweigh the cost that our community suffered in millions of dollars of tax exemption. It is my strong opinion that, had our tax money been properly appropriated to our governmental agencies, we would have a much louder voice as it relates to the dispensation of that funding.

With all due respect to Marathon, I believe that it is an insult to the intelligence of educated minds for them to supplement through meritorious manumission over protecting the integrity and fairness of the system. It’s my strong opinion that such individuals that are appointed to the Education Foundation Board may not be aware of the insult this projects onto the public. It’s disappointing, discouraging and heartbreaking to see how our leadership has failed to represent the full public’s interest.

Why didn’t Marathon, instead of considering all elected current officials in their decision-making process, consider Civil Rights leaders, church leaders and other community organizers to be part of the directors for the Education Foundation?

It is my observation that because the current directors are elected officials, it’s a strong possibility of conflict of interest.

Why have they not contacted the oldest and boldest organization, which is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, known as the NAACP, if their intentions are for the best of the people? We are the civil rights movement for all persons in St. John Parish. Why have they not given us a seat at the table if it’s for the people and for fairness?

Marathon, I would say to you that this is not to disrespect you, but to shed light onto the projection of your actions towards the public. Elected officials currently serving on this board, no disrespect to you because it’s my honest opinion that some of you may have good intentions but for a disturbing agenda of industry versus the public.

I also want to know, out of every agency and church in the parish, why does every agency need to go through New Wine? It appears as a monopoly. I commend New Wine for their workmanship, but the fundamental question is what is the objective behind only using New Wine ministry when there are more than 100 ministries in St. John Parish?

I am asking that the Attorney General weigh in with an opinion as it relates to this matter inclusive of the legislative auditor.

 

Shondrell Perrilloux

Madame President

St. John Parish NAACP