The St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation is going to be dissolved. Over the years, in my role as a correspondent for Covington Weekly, I am asked by some, “Why the STEDF”? Despite being a non-profit foundation, it also involves public officials accessing public money, along with private investment. The opinion of Covington Weekly is that if public money is involved, the public has a right to know the details of how it is used.
Historically, the STEDF does not share this sentiment. When I endeavored to get a statement with regard to the implications of ACT 242, my phone calls inspired power outages at Senator Donahue’s Office and one City Officials’ cell phone malfunctioned. The Parish did not return my call, but a rumor surfaced that confidential details of a board meeting were reported (presumably by me). It is not possible to discuss confidential details of a meeting that: 1) is public with a public agenda, and 2) I didn’t attend.
If the STEDF is operationally correct, it would not be dissolving. Covington Weekly looks forward to a new era of accountability in St. Tammany Parish, one where questions from the public are not considered to be trespasses on hallowed government ground, and the trail of public dollars is clear and present.
-Timothy Achan Gates (985)288-9609 covweekly@gmail