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Ascension Parish president to officially be removed from drainage oversight in November

2 years 10 months 14 hours ago Thursday, September 23 2021 Sep 23, 2021 September 23, 2021 3:57 PM September 23, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

A letter of termination has officially hit the desk of Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment nearly three months after council members voted to remove him from his position overseeing the area's drainage projects.

In the letter, councilman Dempsey Lambert informed Cointment his termination will become effective within 60 days of the notice.

"This notice is pursuant to the action taken at the East Ascension Gravity Drainage District meeting held on June 28, 2021, whereby the District voted to exercise the termination provision of the intergovernmental agreement."

In the meeting Lambert referenced, council members with the East Ascension Drainage District voted 6-4 in favor of removing Cointment from his position. Before the verdict, residents of the parish took turns speaking against the proposed removal for around two hours.

Not long after the vote, residents started pushing for the recall of those council members who called for the removal.

Early Thursday afternoon, Cointment released his own response to the letter of termination:

"Today I received an official letter from the Chairman of the East Ascension Drainage Committee, Dempsey Lambert, officially notifying me that in 60 days I will be terminated as administrator of East Ascension Drainage. This in effect puts the Parish Council in charge of drainage. 

It’s unfortunate because negotiations have come a long way and a compromise is/was very close. My office received the latest compromise from parish attorney Kenneth Dupaty on 9/15 and my office was preparing a response. I have been told by council members that in the email I was told that I had 7 days to respond to their latest offer. However, nowhere in the email did it say I had 7 days to respond. 

Today’s letter was a surprise, because though I have no idea who wrote the latest compromise, nor do many of the council members I spoke to about the latest compromise, it was a very good document and something that could, with minor adjustments and legal scrutiny, result into a permeant compromise.  

As most citizens of Ascension Parish know, my administration has been busy with Hurricane Ida recovery, the 2022 budget, phase II of our budget transparency project as well as planning to turn dirt on well over $100 million in flood protection projects. My administration has been busy conducting the people’s business. 

Before today’s termination letter from Councilman Lambert, I really thought that both sides were sincere about a compromise. In closing, my administration has every intention on countering with modifications to the council’s latest compromise. I honestly think we are close to having a compromise that works for everyone."

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