In The News › BGR recognizes Mike Teachworth’s effort to eliminate Crescent City Connection tolls

BGR recognizes Mike Teachworth’s effort to eliminate Crescent City Connection tolls

By Andrea Shaw | The Times-Picayune

October 23, 2014

A Harvey resident whose legal challenge led to the end of the Crescent City Connection tolls has been honored for his community service. Mike Teachworth was recognized for his effort during the Bureau of Governmental Research Excellence in Government Awards this week.

Seven awards were presented during a luncheon Tuesday at the Westin Canal Place. “The honorees have distinguished themselves by their outstanding performance and creative problem-solving to greatly improve government for the citizens of the Greater New Orleans area,” J. Kelly Duncan, BGR board chairman, said in a news release.

Teachworth, founder of the nonprofit Stop the Tolls, was given the Citizenship Award. He served on a legislative task force charged with studying bridge operations and cast the lone vote against a recommendation to extend the tolls for 20 years.

The nonprofit BGR also opposed the tolls, saying the need had not been established.

The issue was put before voters in Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines in November 2012, passing by a paper thin margin. Teachworth successfully sued the state over voting irregularities, forcing a second election six months later. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the measure, eliminating the tolls.

BGR also presented awards for merit, innovation and lifetime achievement. Those honorees included:

Merit Award

Katherine L. Cain, manager of Strategic Performance and Partnerships, Health Department, New Orleans

Jared E. Munster, director, Department of Safety and Permits, New Orleans

James E. Ruckert, chief financial officer, Port of New Orleans

Innovation Award

Charles E. West, director, Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team, New Orleans

Lifetime Achievement

Robert W. Becker, City Park chief executive officer.

Thomas M. Stone, St. Bernard Parish fire chief.

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