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BGR urges changes to New Orleans area public pension plans to control costs

Oct 20, 2016

In New Orleans, which is hampered by the outsized tab to cover its struggling firefighters’ retirement plan, the city will spend nearly $106 million on pension costs in 2016, the report said, which eats up 16 cents of every $1 in the city’s general fund.

Source: The Advocate

BGR honors officials, citizens for good work

May 15, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research last week presented its 2016 Excellence in Government Awards during a luncheon ceremony. Established in 1994, the awards program recognizes government employees and citizens for outstanding performance and creative problem-solving.

Source: The Advocate

Term limits overwhelmingly approved for St. Tammany Parish Council

Mar 5, 2016

The private Bureau of Governmental Research supported the proposition, calling it a “a step in the right direction” even though it is not in line with the two-term limits imposed on most other New Orleans area parish councils.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Villere for Mandeville mayor; ‘yes’ on Parish Council term limits: Editorial

Feb 24, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research laid out the case for change: “Proponents say the proposed term limits are necessary to bring in new council members with fresh ideas. They say term limits prevent incumbents from amassing enough power through patronage, favors and campaign contributions to remain in office indefinitely.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Term limits finally coming before St. Tammany voters

Feb 23, 2016

While the Concerned Citizens group opposes the measure, the independent non-profit Bureau of Governmental Research supports it. It called the ballot proposal “a step in the right direction” even though it is not in line with the two-term limits imposed on most other New Orleans area councils.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Citizen group protesting St. Tammany term limit proposition

Feb 18, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research is encouraging voters to vote yes at the polls saying, “While the proposed three-term limit is not in line with the shorter two-term limits for most parish councils in the metro area, it is a step in the right direction. The proposed 12-year limit provides council members with more than enough time to make their contributions.”

Source: WDSU

St. Tammany DA rails against charter change

Nov 15, 2015

BGR said the amendment would eliminate potential conflicts that could arise from the current requirement that the parish president and council use the district attorney as their legal adviser.

Source: The Advocate

Chamber Connection: Important issues on the ballot

Nov 11, 2015

As stated by the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR), “while mandatory periodic review of the charter is important, the proposed amendment could undermine the integrity of future charter amendment efforts because the proposed charter advisory committee would lack independence from the Parish Council.”

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

9 proposed home rule charter changes await St. Tammany voters on Nov. 21 ballot

Nov 10, 2015

While current personnel ordinances require the hiring of qualified candidates and merit-based appointments and promotions, the Parish Council could change those provisions by amending the ordinances, BGR said.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Our recommendations on St. Tammany charter changes: Editorial

Nov 6, 2015

In addition, BGR notes, requiring the executive and legislative branches of government to use essentially the same lawyer can be a problem. They each may need independent advice about each other.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

St. Tammany Parish Council rejects call for popular vote on term limits

Jun 5, 2015

A ballot item that calls for the Parish Council to appoint one or more attorneys, one of whom will serve as its legal adviser, and for the parish president to appoint an executive counsel passed unanimously. Stefancik said that change has been recommended in the past, including by the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: The Advocate

Two St. Tammany Parish residents honored by Bureau of Governmental Research

Sep 24, 2013

Two St. Tammany Parish residents were among those honored Tuesday at the Bureau of Governmental Research’s annual Excellence in Government Awards presentation. Sandra Slifer, president of the Louisiana and St. Tammany chapters of the League of Women Voters, and Slidell Police Officer Mark Michaud were recognized at the event at The Westin in New Orleans.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Task force on Tammany inspector general draws mixed reviews

Jun 5, 2013

A recent Bureau of Governmental Research briefing on how to create an inspector general’s office, held in Covington, drew a packed house.

Source: The Advocate

St. Tammany officials, residents attend inspector general session

Apr 15, 2013

Elected officials and residents of St. Tammany Parish packed a breakfast meeting Thursday to learn how two neighboring parishes started their inspector general’s offices — a signal that the drive to do so on the north shore is gaining momentum.

New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux and newly hired Jefferson Parish Inspector General David McClintock spoke at the breakfast briefing sponsored by the Bureau of Governmental Research, and both stressed the importance of independence for the office.

Source: The Advocate

St. Tammany officials, residents attend inspector general session

Apr 12, 2013

New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux and newly hired Jefferson Parish Inspector General David McClintock spoke at the breakfast briefing sponsored by the Bureau of Governmental Research, and both stressed the importance of independence for the office.

Source: The Advocate

Area inspectors general weigh-in on idea of IG in St. Tammany

Apr 11, 2013

Source: WWL-TV

Inspectors general from N.O., Jefferson Parish address north shore crowd

Apr 11, 2013

The breakfast gathering was put on by the Bureau of Governmental Research and held at the Courtyard New Orleans Covington/Mandeville.

Source: The Times-Picayune

St. Tammany inspector general will be topic of BGR breakfast

Mar 25, 2013

St. Tammany Parish’s drive to establish an inspector general will be the topic of an April 11 forum sponsored by the Bureau of Governmental Research. New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux and David McClintock, the newly appointed Jefferson Parish inspector general, will be featured speakers.

Source: The Times-Picayune

St. Tammany coalition formed to push for inspector general

Mar 8, 2013

The organization has established a Facebook page and is planning to meet with the Bureau of Governmental Research in April. It plans to work with state Sen. A.G. Crowe, R-Pearl River, to pass enabling legislation in the legislative session that begins April 8.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Our Views: CABL marks 50th birthday

Jan 13, 2013

In this season of New Year’s resolutions, we urge readers to consider a pledge for the 2013. In the coming months, resolve to get involved in groups such as CABL, the Council for a Better Louisiana, the New Orleans-based Bureau of Governmental Research and other public policy groups in Louisiana.

Source: The Advocate

Jones Walker partner to lead BGR

Nov 19, 2012

J. Kelly Duncan has been elected chairman of the Bureau of Government Research, a nonprofit government watchdog organization based in New Orleans.

Source: The Associated Press

Our Views: Hopeful view for Washingto

Nov 18, 2012

As a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that studies public policy issues facing New Orleans, the Bureau of Governmental Research is a natural place for Republicans, Democrats and independents to join hands in the interest of the common good.

Source: The Advocate

What do we want? Pension reform. When do we want it? Now.—James Varney

Nov 10, 2012

A spate of reports looking at the issue statewide has drawn these conclusions, and they were buttressed again last week with a report by the Bureau of Governmental Research. The BGR looked at 18 public retirement plans in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes. What it found is infuriating, if unsurprising.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Public pension funds in greater New Orleans more generous than most in US, BGR report says

Nov 9, 2012

Public pension funds in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes are more generous than in most of America, and costs to local taxpayers have been rising rapidly over the past decade, according to a study released Friday by the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: Nola.com

Voters to face crowded ballot

Nov 5, 2012

The National Rifle Association-pushed change won overwhelming legislative support during the 2012 Legislature. Supporters, including the Republican Party of Louisiana, say the change would protect gun rights regardless of who in the future is appointed to high court positions or elected to the Legislature.

Opponents include Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, the Council for a Better Louisiana, based in Baton Rouge, and the Bureau of Governmental Research, in New Orleans. They claim that more than 80 laws could come under court challenge, including those stopping possession of guns by felons and banning possession of firearms in bars, at parades, on college campuses and the like.

Source: The Advocate

Election 2012: What’s on the ballot

Oct 31, 2012

The Bureau of Governmental Research in New Orleans looks at examines three of proposed constitutional amendments as well as two propositions that pertain to multiple parishes in the New Orleans area, a proposed change to the City of New Orleans charter and two local tax propositions.

Source: Nola.com

BGR President & CEO Discusses Items on the Nov. 6 Ballot

Oct 26, 2012

Source: WWL Radio

Election Recommendations

Oct 26, 2012

Too much toll money has been squandered over the years. The Bureau of Governmental Research reported in 2011 that only 19 cents of every dollar in tolls went to maintaining and policing the bridge.

Source: The Times-Picayune

DA Cannizzaro targets gun rights measure

Oct 25, 2012

‘‘It’s an attempt to expand gun rights beyond what’s guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and we can’t see any good reason to go there,” said Janet Howard of the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: Fox 8

What’s on your ballot: early voting begins Tuesday across Louisiana

Oct 22, 2012

he non-partisan groups Council for a Better Louisiana, Public Affairs Research Council and Bureau of Governmental Research have analyzed and taken positions on several of the amendments and all three groups urge voters to study the amendments beforehand to minimize delays at the polls.

Source: WWL-TV

La. could have strongest gun rights

Oct 18, 2012

Opposing the proposed change are the Council for a Better Louisiana, based in Baton Rouge, and the Bureau of Governmental Research, in New Orleans.

Source: The Advocate

Two-line proposed amendment could have huge effect on gun control laws

Oct 18, 2012

The Bureau of Governmental Research opposes the amendment, calling it “alarming” and a public safety issue.

Source: WWL-TV

School vouchers make a comeback, stir concerns about quality

Aug 21, 2012

“The state needed to establish academic eligibility requirements [on] the front-end,” said Peter Reichard, projects manager at the Bureau of Governmental Research, an independent research organization in New Orleans. In a statement, BGR officials said, “Short of no accountability standards at all, it is difficult to imagine a lower standard of performance than what the proposed system offers.”

Source: NBC News

Spurred by voucher program, state officials may tighten rules on who can open private schools

Aug 14, 2012

Peter Reichard, projects manager at the Bureau of Governmental Research, argued that even with a more stringent approval process, private schools won’t be held to quite the same bar as public schools.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Accountability for Louisiana school vouchers: An editorial

Jun 18, 2012

During the legislative session, the Bureau of Governmental Research laid out the pitfalls of lax or no accountability. “Under the proposed program, a student could use a voucher to transfer from an average-quality public school to a low-quality private school with no track record or qualifications,” BGR said in a report released earlier in the legislative session.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Cuts force changes in mental health care

Apr 26, 2012

Cuts to mental-health services at Interim LSU Public Hospital were “a punch in the stomach,” but they have forced necessary conversations and better identification of high-risk patients, according to city health commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo. “The system has started to talk to each other in a way that’s more meaningful,” DeSalvo said Wednesday during a forum on the impact of the cuts hosted by the nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Bipartisan push helped to pass education bills

Apr 22, 2012

Another nonpartisan watchdog group, The New Orleans-based Bureau of Governmental Research was critical of some elements of the Jindal voucher plan but did not condemn the concept.

Source: The Associated Press

New Year resolutions for one and for all: An editorial

Jan 1, 2012

We, the Metropolitan Crime Commission, the Bureau of Governmental Research, Citizens for One Greater New Orleans, Women of the Storm, Levees.org and other citizen advocacy groups, promise to continue to hold government officials at all levels accountable for their actions.

Source: The Times-Picayune

St. Tammany Parish voters to decide disabled veterans homestead exemption referendum Oct. 22

Oct 10, 2011

Last fall, the government watchdog group Bureau of Governmental Research estimated that 2,500 veterans statewide would qualify. The BGR opposed the constitutional amendment, in part saying it was the federal government’s role to provide benefits to veterans and noting that a provision in the amendment prevents local governments from replacing lost revenue through other measures.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Mayor’s assistant earns big honor; Kilpatrick a key cog in running town

Sep 29, 2011

In Abita Springs, that person is Donna Kilpatrick, who recently received much-deserved recognition for outstanding government service by the Bureau of Governmental Research, which awarded her with the Excellence in Government Award. She was nominated by Alderwomman Patricia Edmiston.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Public servants to receive awards

Sep 19, 2011

The Bureau of Governmental Research will honor the achievements of eight outstanding local government employees Thursday when it holds its annual Excellence in Government Awards ceremony.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Public employees who improve local government to be honored

Jul 16, 2011

The Bureau of Governmental Research, a private, nonprofit research organization, is seeking nominations for its annual BGR Excellence in Government Awards.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Community Impact Series - Bureau of Governmental Research

Apr 19, 2011

We periodically hear from politicians about trimming fat, sharpening the pencil and taking a hard look at priorities. Usually this talk comes up around budget time, or maybe election time. But throughout the year, the New Orleans-based Bureau of Governmental Research, or BGR, is at work analyzing the systems and the policies behind those budgets. It examines whether taxpayers are getting good deals for their money and how effectively government policies address community issues. The group lays out the facts, connects the dots and demonstrates what it all means for residents.

Source: WWNO

Is everyone paying their fair share of taxes in St. Tammany?

Mar 1, 2010

“When it’s assessed at use value, it’s assessed at a lower level than it would be for fair market value,” said Janet Howard, president and chief executive officer of the non-profit Bureau of Governmental Research watchdog group.

Source: WWLTV

Report sheds light on dismal commercial market recovery

Oct 12, 2009

As the commercial real estate market continues its downward plunge, its recovery may not be the robust, v-shaped surge in activity that many economists had been hoping for.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

Forum bullish on more parish growth

Oct 3, 2009

Discussing strategies that St. Tammany Parish can use to harness and maximize growth, University of New Orleans economic development expert Ivan Miestchovich Jr. had admittedly little to offer in the way of advice to leaders of the steadily growing parish Friday.

Source: The Times-Picayune

St. Tammany poised for growth, officials say

Oct 2, 2009

Despite a few recession-induced hiccups, St. Tammany Parish is poised for horizontal growth along Interstates 10 and 12.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

Report: N.O. subsidized units up 21 percent

May 15, 2009

The nonprofit research organization’s report, “The House that Uncle Sam Built: The Continued Expansion of Subsidized Housing in New Orleans,” found that the number of subsidized units in New Orleans jumped from 19,865 in 2005 to 23,999 in 2009, a 21 percent increase.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

Rate of housing aid up in N.O.

May 14, 2009

Group warns trend puts stress on city

Source: The Times-Picayune

Davis opposes group’s charter tweaks

Jun 18, 2008

St. Tammany President Kevin Davis told local business leaders Tuesday that he opposes term limits for members of the Parish Council and is against reducing the size of the parish governing body.

Source: Times-Picayune

Parish power shift urged

Jun 10, 2008

Reducing the size of the St. Tammany Parish Council and putting term limits on the parish governing body are the most-discussed elements of a package of proposed Home Rule Charter changes before the council.

Source: Times-Picayune

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