On the Ballot

City Council’s powers over S&WB are limited, councilman says

By Letters to the Editor

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

December 3, 2018

In a Dec. 2 editorial titled, “No on adding a council representative to S&WB,” the Times-Picayune editorial board quotes a recent Bureau of Governmental Research report. The BGR says, “The council has recently taken steps to strengthen its regulatory oversight of the S&WB, which calls into question the necessity of the amendment for achieving greater S&WB oversight, communication and accountability.”

While it is undisputed that my colleagues and I have shined a brighter light on Sewerage & Water Board, anyone would be mistaken to say the council exercises complete regulatory control over the two most important functions of the board – governance and operations. The council’s powers are limited by law. Notwithstanding those limitations, our offices are swamped with calls, emails and letters about how S&WB is managed and run.

As chair of the Public Works Committee, I remain committed to publicly scrutinizing and holding S&WB accountable. That scrutiny should not be confused with the council controlling or overseeing the S&WB.

Joe Giarrusso

District A

City Council member

New Orleans

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