Tammany IG panel to hold 1st meeting Aug. 8

A 24-member task force charged with figuring out whether it’s feasible to create an inspector general’s office in St. Tammany Parish will hold its inaugural meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 8 at the St. Tammany Parish Council Chambers, following a call from Parish President Pat Brister.

Under the Senate resolution that created the task force during the last session, Brister was given the responsibility of calling the first meeting.

Her office also has been working to reach all 20 of the civic groups and governmental entities that have been given slots on the panel.

Some were slow to name their choices, but the process picked up steam as Thursday’s deadline to call the first meeting approached.

Brister will begin the meeting next week with opening remarks, followed by the election of a chairman, the introduction of appointed members, an outlining of the responsibilities of the task force and the scheduling of future meetings, according to a news release.

“The detailed and deliberative discussion of the creation of a Parish Inspector General is an important dialog and merits the input of all vested interests,” Brister said in a prepared statement.

“The citizens of this parish deserve an honest and open deliberation about the prospect of creating, implementing and funding an Inspector General’s Office.”

As of Tuesday, 21 of the 24 members had been named.

Appointing bodies that have not yet named their choice are in the process of doing so or did not have a meeting scheduled before the first meeting, the news release said.

Folsom, Madisonville and the St. Tammany West Chamber have not named their choices.

Brister named Trilby Lenfant to the panel, and lawyer Neil Hall will represent the Parish Council.

The St. Tammany Parish legislative delegation has two appointees: Col. Evans Spiceland and Jack Francioni.

Appointees named by governing bodies are: Terry Hand, St. Tammany Parish District Attorney’s Office; First Deputy Assessor Troy Dugas, the St. Tammany Parish Assessor’s Office; Gus Davis, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office; and Charles Branton, the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office.

St. Tammany Parish Clerk of Court Malise Prieto and St. Tammany Parish Superintendent Trey Folse will represent their agencies on the panel.

Appointees named by municipalities are: City Councilman Mark Wright, Covington; City Councilman Rick Danielson, Mandeville; City Attorney Bryan Haggerty, Slidell; Mayor Greg Lemons, Abita Springs; and Town Attorney Ron Guth, Pearl River.

Appointees named by business and civic groups are: Carl Ernst and Jim Blazek, Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany Parish; Susan Bonnet, Northshore Business Council; John Smith, St. Tammany East Chamber of Commerce; Chad Collings, Northshore Legislative Alliance; and Sandra Slifer, St. Tammany Parish League of Women Voters.