Blink defers after agonizing over mosquito control fee

Richie Blink was clearly torn at the Sept. 26 Plaquemines Parish Council meeting in Pointe a la Hache.

Blink, the District 8 council member, was wrestling with himself in real time as the council took up his proposal to add a $9 monthly charge to every parish water bill in order to fund the Mosquito Control Department. The move would free up approximately $1 million over the next year for a council that, at that very meeting, authorized borrowing $7 million to pay bills through the end of the year.

Multiple times Blink asked his colleagues on the dais and citizens in the gallery to weigh in on the proposal in an effort to establish a consensus.

“This is our chance to look within and do what we can to repair the budget,” Blink told the council. “It isn’t what I would like to be doing. It’s triage. We’re bleeding out.”

If consensus was what Blink was after, he didn’t get it. District 4 council member Stuart Guey said he would support Blink’s ordinance. District 5 council member Benny Rousselle suggested lowering the monthly fee to $5. Commenters from the audience called the fee unfair because landowners with significantly more resources but only one water meter would be paying the same as struggling households with one water meter.

 

 

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