LETTER: LDEC a ‘white elephant’

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

It sickened me to read an article where three elected officials – Parish President Tommy Martinez, Parish Council Chairman Pat Bell and Sheriff Jeff Wiley –  encouraged citizens to vote for the tax on the Nov. 4 ballot that will saddle Ascension Parish for 20 years with the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center.

When a local plant manager exercised his right of free speech to oppose this tax, these three officials had the arrogance to complain the manager should have discussed his position before sending out an e-mail. Martinez was quoted as saying Shell Chemical plant manager Glenn Bucholtz “should have had the courtesy to sit down and discuss the issue with us.”

Did President Martinez, Sheriff Wiley and Chairman Bell discuss the tax with him or other plant officials before putting it on the ballot? Apparently not. Who lacks courtesy?

This tax was snuck on the ballot. Newspapers and media outlets were silent about the proposition until there was opposition. Millions of tax dollars have been lost out of the general fund over the last three years on the operation of Lamar-Dixon. The cost of maintaining this “white elephant” will only increase. Lamar is nine to 10 years old.

We will be asked to vote on other tax increases in the near future for things such as schools, roads, fire protection and sewerage. If taxes continue to increase, plants will shut down and jobs will be lost. The cost of living continues to rise. Over taxation will be a burden on those who have a fixed income as well as those in the work force.

Vote “no” Nov. 4 for the “white elephant.” We don't need another tax burden on the people and businesses of the parish.

Gerald Laiche

St. Amant