In The News › Election recommendations

Nov 16, 2011

Source: The Times-Picayune

Filed under: Jefferson Parish, On the Ballot, Orleans Parish

Election recommendations

November 16, 2011
The Times-Picayune Editorial Staff
The Times-Picayune

This newspaper makes the following recommendations for Saturday’s ballot.


To prohibit a new state or local tax or fee on the sale or transfer of immovable property


There currently is no state fee on real estate sales or transfers, and the city of New Orleans is the only local government that charges such a fee. It would take a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to levy a transfer tax in most, if not all, cases, according to the Bureau of Governmental Research. That is a fairly high threshold and would give constituents the ability to argue for or against such an effort rather than forbidding it altogether. This amendment is another unnecessary addition to the Constitution, which is already a cluttered document.



2nd District

Elton M. Aubert

Mr. Aubert of Vacherie has extensive experience as a St. James Parish councilman and in the state House that would serve him well as a senator.


56th District

G. “Ram” Ramachandran

Mr. Ramachandran, a former St. Charles Parish Council member, is an engineer by training and has shown himself to be dedicated and well-informed on issues.

57th District

Randal L. Gaines

Russ Wise

Both candidates have good qualities for this position. Mr. Gaines, a LaPlace attorney and retired Army lieutenant colonel, has held a number of leadership positions that would serve the district well. Mr. Wise is a veteran St. John the Baptist Parish School Board member and is well-informed on issues.

81st District

No recommendation

105th District

Rocky Asevedo

Dr. Asevedo’s background as a professional counselor and his experience as director of Jefferson Parish’s Juvenile Diversion Program would serve him well in the Legislature.



3rd District

Mark Spears

Mr. Spears is a former teacher, Orleans Parish prosecutor and former assistant Jefferson Parish attorney. That broad experience would serve him well on the Parish Council.


To double the homestead exemption to $150,000 for certain disabled veterans


The sacrifices made by disabled veterans — and by all veterans — should be appreciated. Members of the military who are disabled, held captive or killed in service to our country should get assistance from this nation. But this property tax proposition is problematic. It would double the homestead exemption to $150,000 for certain disabled veterans and their surviving spouses. However, this exemption excludes many veterans. A disabled veteran who doesn’t own a home wouldn’t get this benefit. Nor would families of service members killed in action.



To renew 1.14-mill property tax for sewerage


This is a routine renewal of a tax that supports essential public services.


To renew a 1.61-mill property tax for garbage collection


This is a routine renewal of a tax that supports essential public services.


To renew a 7.40-mill property tax for fire protection


This is a routine renewal of a tax that supports essential public services.



Clare Jupiter

Ms. Jupiter’s education and legal background are impressive. She is a graduate of Yale University and Duke University Law School and has more than 30 years of experience as a lawyer. She is currently on the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct.


To reduce the number of members of the Public Belt Railroad Commission and allow the appointment of members from outside New Orleans


This is an important effort to reform the operation of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, whose former general manager pleaded guilty in September in federal court to misusing a credit card and in state court to nine charges of theft. After a state audit in 2010 found extensive misuse of the Public Belt’s credit cards, vehicles and restored rail cars, Mayor Landrieu appointed a new commission and asked it to create a plan for reform. The group recommended reducing the commission from 17 members to 10, shortening the terms of office and revising the appointment procedure. This amendment is needed to allow the changes to occur. It is vital for the Public Belt, which manages 123 miles of rail lines serving the port, to be run efficiently and effectively. The unwieldy size of the commission and excessively long terms for its members are not conducive to that.


Clerk of Court

Charles “Charlie” Oubre Jr.

Mr. Oubre, the longtime incumbent, operates a well-run office and merits retention.



At-Large, Division A

Lucien J. Gauff III

Mr. Gauff, who won the seat in a special election in the spring, is a reasonable voice on the Parish Council. He merits retention.

1st District

Arthur “Art Dokie” Smith

Mr. Smith, an Edgard resident who serves on the St. John Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, understands district issues.

2nd District

Demetria Robinson Carter

Ms. Robinson Carter is a CPA, which should serve her well in this post. She pledges to focus on removing or refurbishing blighted houses.

3rd District

Lennix “Tweet” Madere Jr.

Mr. Madere, a veteran high school teacher and coach, knows the district and what is needed to make improvements.

4th District

Matthew Ory

Mr. Ory was an active and informed member when he served on the St. John School Board. That experience would be helpful on the council.

5th District

No recommendation

Nov 16, 2011

Source: The Times-Picayune

Filed under: Jefferson Parish, On the Ballot, Orleans Parish

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