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WWL>Topics>>12-2 1:10pm Angela, JP President John Young

12-2 1:10pm Angela, JP President John Young

Dec 2, 2013|

: Jefferson parish president John Young…talks about the East & West Jeff hospital controversy, the flood insurance rate hike, economic development and lots more.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well I hope you'll have a wonderful wonderful Thanksgiving holiday hopefully the whole weekend. We're so lucky it was beautiful it was easy. It was nice and now we start a new fresh week so many things to talk about and I'm thrilled that we're gonna start with this. In the latest UNL quality of life surveyed 90%. Of the Jefferson Parish population. So they're happy with where they live. And that's good news -- -- leaders. But it doesn't mean that there are serious issues facing Jefferson Parish and that's why we're glad to have a whole hour with parish president John Young. And if you have any questions or comments from wanna talk to the parish president. Please give us a call 260087. To all right mr. parish president first of all thank you so much for. Think there it's a pleasure to be with the until well you're visiting enemy -- are great Thanksgiving and look forward to agree Christmas yes heaven that way it's coming very quickly. Correct but what was so nice was what the weather changed absolutely could think in terms of. Not sweating. We have annual football game -- my sons and play touch football it was just a great Chris morning. On Thursday so we are very -- and you want. A -- team didn't put my the other two definitely my sons of allotment. And I lost -- -- -- those lost -- and so do you ever win or do you let them on actually this is the first time that my team has lost but it you know getting older so I guess they get their revenge. Well your busy all the time to correct that's going to keep you young. In the UN no poll -- an -- here you have a -- you had a 70% approval rating. On that serving and that is superb. And overall very -- survey but it did show that some residents have become. A little less optimistic in Jefferson Parish about the future and I'm just wondering what your thoughts are meant. Well I think you know there's there's certainly a lot of issues and certainly we always connect I have challenges wherever we live in this region. I think a lot of it has to do with the national economy. Which is affected our local economy. Obviously with -- and demographic changes in Jefferson Parish. A -- some of higher. Net worth individuals have moved out and some some people have come and that with -- and -- -- -- to challenge we're attacking blighted housing. You don't. Crime is is a concern of people all the certainly the sheriff's office and columnist police departments are given high ratings. We have a great criminal justice system and I DA's office and I and I judicial. Bench. The good news is is that if you look at that you know in the past flooding has been a big issue with Jefferson Parish residents and that's gone down. Right now I think you know on this is part of it kind of ties in with the series the advocate is done recently endless. You know what I challenged on falling jumps in parishes you know the growth and economic development trends that propelled our growth and economic development in the last fifty years of the last century. I'm not gonna be the same trends. An economic. Development that's can propel our growth during the first fifty years of this century. We've seen that a lot of people in the you know suburban sprawl is kind of coming back people moving closer into the city. So that's presents some challenges for us. I challenge is how to we attracting capture the young -- -- class jumps and trash -- they want different housing options it's like that. That commercial is not -- follows those mobile world. The people today that -- the young people that are coming to this region that's the good news first to blow that are coming people coming -- rose. To the new walls metropolitan region about two years ago. Tulane University have more applications in any time in its history in fact Tulane University have more applications. Than any of the private university in the United States of America. So they're coming here and then you know they're living in the warehouse district they like the urban lifestyles who we have to do in Jefferson. -- we have to look at different housing options that's why. The redevelopment of -- city so. Talk about that since you -- what you know when I moved here in 1975. The first extra literature I lived in fat city. How did I find fats and feel part of the of on guard back I was very often I think for -- I'll say -- it was a cute little story. I asked the lady at the airports. Car rental lady now where at the places to live she had a map -- she is wilders dissonance and there's -- -- that's funny name. Ended up working with a realtor and I ended up professor because I just sixty pound bass account and not everybody would take dogs should. Love to my apartment it was all me young people and it just worked out beautifully again just for six months. And but when I told Phil Johnson. Beloved Phil Johnson to -- where did you find a place since please call fat city. She thought he gasped because it was back then. The wild thought that was that was included the -- in real life is it was what it's like a Roman candle will burn brightly but nod to law. And you know now we're strata within the year. The remnants of of fat city but again a lot of progress has been made a lot of credit goes this councilwoman Cynthia Lee Chang. You can see right -- tomorrow will open in new restaurant that several new rash onset of opened. Is going to be major static clinic being put in there and there's a lot of -- development we've we've. Change is zoning to encourage that type of development we're working with the regional planning commission to do some landscaping and some. Bike -- down some -- which is going to be gateway into fat city. And it it it it it. It is our version of the warehouse district the only thing is we don't have the old warehouse. Type buildings in their -- that's where young people become its next to a major. Shopping mall -- has the infrastructure which the warehouse district did in terms of Hiroshi stores cleaners -- that sort of thing. So it's not gonna happen overnight as we can get to this this point. That we're in with -- city overnight but it but that is going to be version of the warehouse district was the warehouse district for awhile not not -- -- fat city for a while. Having to crime issues -- -- yes and as affected cattle a lot of crime issues in this is this is an important thing to bring up and I'm glad you essay question. Since the changes were when made and the zoning and we we put -- a limit on the hours of -- were opened and in phased out the strip clubs. Calls for sheriff's office services have gone down 68%. Of that nature so that's a major change. And again that was a drastic approach which normally in my limited government philosophy I would've been in favor of but we had talked about doing so many things intensity for so long in -- so many studies. That it call for drastic action and the thought being that as we -- attracted different clientele. That the businesses within that city would make more money operating less dollars and we we would bring people with. With more disposable income to that area and that's what we're trying to do. -- if you can rolled back that clock in 1975 it was a fun place to our laws and it was they didn't have the grocery store of course there's them all right they're very workable. And and it did attract young people. Again what we're looking at doing is we're trying to make it even more pedestrian friendly. At some point we're gonna need to do something about parking and Angela because. It did as a limited amount of parking. Generic drug goes has been the anchor there that -- run a successful business for many many years. And we see a lot of potential there and and we're that's that's our big challenge on the east bank because. These bank is built out but fat city who is now an example of how we've become urbanized and we need to renew that urban area. President John Young president of the Jefferson Parish or special guest today a -- Very always appreciative. We have a caller Leon from Metairie. Yeah well might eventually do is doing great. Okay to call market returns -- you know try to according lot of haven't shipped via. Most time according I was employed but I'm Leo and I noted below a thousand people. I can tell -- it was don't know if there's anything going move. Sheila. You know I haven't -- ship yard. Is going through. A change in transition. Initially when they first announced that they would. Scale back -- we're gonna close in July of Tony thirteen will pass that benchmark. Right now we're told that they have worked through. A September of -- when he fourteen. They're refocusing and pivoting to go after the offshore oil industry fabrication a ball -- oil platforms and also to do. Some of the refinery construction. Up and down the Mississippi River 'cause the good news is we gonna have more jobs. Then we've seen in a long long time up and down the Mississippi River with south salt coming in. In Jefferson Parish -- don't know bell is building a new ammonia producing plant of one billion dollar project. So the the the good news isn't gonna have more jobs and we can shake a stick get them the the challenges that -- -- have to have skilled. Workforce to fill those jobs. But going back specifically to Allendale. About. Six months ago they opened up an office in Houston a lot of people take that as a negative that's actually a positive because. Houston is where all the major oil companies located in the making a big push to try to. Land contracts in the offshore oil industry -- -- said obviously that's a challenge to them because they've been a commercial I'm not a commercial but shipbuilding company. For many years it's a very large facility. It's gonna probably get. Worse before it gets better accused they're they're probably down -- 300 engineers right now they can stay at that. But hopefully they can land some contracts will which will allow -- the bring back some skilled work do you know if they have anything in the pipeline. Well Angela we've had several meetings with them and we talk on the phone with -- from time to time in and because of the nature of the work in a nondisclosure agreements they can't tell us any specifics but they tell us they're making some headway. But we don't have any specifics is a matter of fact. Right after the show I'm participating in a conference call at 215 with Stephen Moret. LED. Michael packaging you know he can -- -- you object to that we're all been working with. Executives of and to see where we're going to continue to be proactive in that regard we have offered all of us services. There have been several companies -- of common wanted to sublease portions of that facility but -- Annandale not interest in that at this time so. I guess for the foreseeable future. They have that on the other side they had negotiated a contract with the union that allow them to be competitive. In the marketplace on the market there that targeting the offshore oil industry and and refinery. Fabrication. And construction. But on on in the interim they're gonna be there and Taylor has. Had a reduction in force. -- to me if I'm work in progress yes and -- now one of the largest. In letters private employers -- list though you mentioned a couple of new companies coming him in the ammonia plant and he all of this is so important. But do we have the workforce that is was there any thought of retraining. Some of the thousands who lost their jobs. Oh yeah absolutely and and at the state level and certainly you know Delgado is open or a river city campus in Jefferson Parish to focus on the merits on. And automotive industry. This has been in in work. For about two years because at the state level we realize and that's why there's been kind of a focus on and on no less than traditional college. Education so that we can train skilled workforce because there's going to be a lot of good jobs. That require you know skills but not necessarily a four year college. Education. That the the state has been retooling on because that's going to be a challenge the good news as I said its rules we will have more investment. In Louisiana who have seen in the long long time in fact even the offshore all industry that's why haven't bill. Is pursuing that because all the experts predict the next ten years we'll see you boom that we haven't seen since there. The seven innings with goodness but again and he did challenges getting the skilled work force put people that have -- -- for instance. Who had worked at -- have those skills already so hopefully weakened connect them connect them to these new job opportunities but. More importantly in and my hope is skews Avant -- been the path in the middle class a multiple generations of Jeffersonian and certainly some time to popped in there I remember when -- Campaigning in 2003 the first Obama -- -- worked the gate at 5 o'clock in the morning there will pulling people that that two. Even from Alabama and Mississippi. So. You know we're -- we're very committed to that but again I'm -- -- loans of facility Allendale. It's called the shots right right at this time and we're we're working with them to try to system. Whichever way we can buy it right now they're keeping things got a close to the -- because of volleys nondisclosure agreements but they're working -- -- mobile to sign up hopeful thought threat. And we will stay on top of. OK on David Airpwn. But beyond you don't. First thought spot like that what met John I think you don't marble Strobl with the work well but I but I think a lot that you like -- -- -- parish president. People can't but it got -- got absolutely well it's hard -- -- lieutenant government when you watcher council meeting. And you see it gentlemen speak it. And yet that the -- Jewish council president. Our. Eagle or get just be a civil -- to throw out of that meeting that he got a great witty -- Seems like -- that hits the spot -- that was very embarrassing. And -- see anybody and -- an audit and they should just -- that you happen. In the second -- different you're saying yeah. That we can achieve that mode -- -- but each -- -- -- shop and it's still vote for it now contract. So I would just like -- comment on that -- -- much which you don't bore. Well what I'd like to say is and -- know -- -- you're referring to but you know. Was a council chairman and you have to have some decorum and everyone's entitled to. To address the council. But certainly they have that they have to do it in there. In a proper manner and not to accuse people of illegal activities and that's not the forum for that. So council chairman Roberts who's exercising his authority. I think appropriately at that time to. Make sure that we week with we held the decorum that was necessary certainly that that gentleman that -- referring to comes to every council -- now and he's allowed to speak just like everyone else. But again you have to you have to exercise your right within the confines of a public forum. Slew. Everyone's entitled speak no one's been denied the speaker at the same time. If they if they have. Accusations allegations that that something's illegal. The in the proper form is is we've always said and I'll say here on on the radio. You know take take it to the district attorney's office US attorney's office the FBI. And that's a problem for him to do that. Thank you very much will we are talking with the Jefferson Parish president John Young. And -- -- to touch on the hospital situation very important sure it's just gotten extremely complicated confusing. And sort of a stalemate right now but the concept was to was Albright was to join the hospitals. For efficiency and everything correct and then match them with a larger group. And then they -- The consultants who ultimately really wouldn't give a final thoughts aren't and now. Both sides east -- want to want to question at once another and kind of back at square one and I'm just wondering. -- what's gonna happen and ultimately it's the best thing for the parish. Vs what's the best thing for any individual host. Correct that's correct in the you do it you hit the nail on the head -- me first and foremost. Let me go back to the the the original process was started. To try to bring each chipped in question together as parish president I'm adamantly opposed to splitting two hospitals that's not. How this process started. That that was not the purpose in this process and I think it would further divide the parish. And had those two hospitals competing against each other. Plus the whole process was started with with marketing them as as a unit question and -- -- together and that's how the proposals came in. The purpose of that in addition to the marketing those to hospitals for at least partner against not a sale -- long term lease. Wasted to not only maintain -- enhance the quality of medical care. For the citizens of Jefferson Parish an agreement to -- America's both west Japanese -- the respected. Yeah institutions. So when the when the process was approached that way. That that's how it started. So we wanted to. Make sure that we not only maintain the quality of medical care but enhance it so. Again. National consultant was was was chosen and at different parts of the process apparently there to consultants recommended all three suitors at one time it's my understanding though. A wasn't in the meetings posh here at one time. LC and see your children's and then Kaufman hall Aminu and then HCA -- Kaufman hall was was the of the consultant so. Right now. We're waiting on the final draft of the inspector general's report again I think couple major things at that. One of stress is number one in the hospital should not be split in my opinion. Number two I think a decision needs to be made it needs to be made fairly quickly a lot of not only citizens but a lot of doctors up talked to. A lot of nurses a lot of staff at both hospitals -- future hangs in the balance and some of them already leaving because of the uncertainty soon. It behooves -- salty to reach -- decision soon and the selection -- -- in the move forward to the negotiation of that contract with due diligence. But it's very polarized right now and if they finally make a decision on the final two let's say of HCA and children snow seemed to be the most popular. Then somebody's going to be unhappy camper well you know. That's what democracy's all about I mean -- two at the end of the day the counsel's gonna have to make a selection. And as stock government operates a majority rules and at that time it is going to be who every one -- -- you worked together. To negotiate with which -- with with whichever suitors selected. And to make that work for the for the betterment of of the hospitals. And for the betterment of the the citizens Egyptian -- Bush in -- we did -- show last week with. The corner. Jury Stenavich understand that you really was -- let's just start over not totally over but let's take those original money suitors. And say okay let's set a different criteria. And which use what you've got but make it very clear are you meeting this criteria and thought that might be the way to do it. But he's agrees agreeing with you we gotta get both. The -- hero Jerry Jerry's a good friend of mine fact ran into him he told me was going to be on your show and I respectfully disagree with his approach because. We did go up the boards did go through that process in in whittling it down with. The cooperation and assistance of this consultant Kaufman hall. And that's how we got to the three finalists I rushed there LC MC. Our children's and HCA and to -- the whole process over. I don't think we have the luxury of time. And again. You're looking at the future these hospitals you looking did the medical staff the nursing staff and administrative staff. Some of whom is a set already making decisions so that would that would prolong the process. I think. That the criteria. You know again and it there was a matrix that was developed as -- standing -- -- and Holland. And again that's what you have to -- I mean it is this financial considerations their quality of care considerations. This investment in jobs and cash for instance. Just to give you a couple items Children's Hospital has committed to building a 300. And employing. 300 people shared services complex in Jefferson Parish. As good as compared HCA which says he'll move forty existing employees from the loans to Jefferson. HCA's for profit. Assurances is not for profit. Meaning one bullpen that love that god is nothing inherently wrong with awful profit obviously that's capitalism that's what this country's based upon but. They are two different distinct business model slew of for profit -- -- fiduciary duty to there shareholders. As opposed to -- not not for profit which. As a fiduciary duty to the community in the net revenues of of not for profit or reinvested in the community. Where the the net revenues of a full profited distributed shareholders. Then you have that the property tax implication. And again has been disputes about the Adam and you know based upon. A certain. Analysis. The property tax that's being floated by HCA could be speculative at best and then HCA. Unlike children's or option has a buyback provision which. Some have estimated that based on calculations -- scene could be as much as half a mile -- half a billion. Conservatively to a billion payback at the end of thirty -- you have to factor in all those considerations to -- really who has the more attractive. Financial proposal. And it's not necessarily HCA depending upon how. Those are calculated so. Those are the issues and that's why. An external. -- may be employed by the council again -- the council's decision. To confirm those numbers so you dealing with -- apples and apples as opposed travels and launches. Here are some very good news out of Jefferson Parish you don't have to pay back 55 billion dollar loan. Correct isn't that beautiful plus eleven million in interest so again wanna emphasize it that's a great development that we worked on. Buffalo with three years. But wanna let everyone know that doesn't mean we got 66 main house and we don't have a windfall of money but at least you don't have to put way this is for six to ten million every year to pay it back. You know this was the day the special community disaster loan and a lot of communities guy new laws got two or forty -- and they got that forgiven and and Jefferson and saint Tammany had to fight a lot harder to get there it's -- and and it wasn't until. About a month or two ago that we got the news we actually we actually had to work -- our. Congressional delegation Angela to change the -- so that we -- we could re apply because we had been both denied. And we we change a law to allow it. Two. When when they pass this after Katrina. They they allowed more money to beat loan have been dating dating changed back and certainly damage your three years as opposed to five a seven so we had a -- change it once we did that we were able qualify. So that takes a big burden off the backs of us citizens. Also while you were there when Maxine ripped into Mexican model Raymond. Are you hopeful that they're going to change that law -- so on believe. I am and I have to say this about Maxine Waters went and met with their for an hour down a plaque of NC and a very graciously we were on different. Into the political spectrum she's a very liberal Democrat among very conservative Republican but I I told the group when I was -- producer after the private meetings that. It's a sign of true leadership when someone who authored the bill concern names on that bill. Admits that it was a mistake and it had unintended consequences and she was not gonna arrest until she changed. She told is that the time that she she was confident optimistic that'd be changed by the in the this year that doesn't appear to be the case. With -- all the issues that have risen in DC. But I think over the long term we will we will be successful on is that there's a major coalition we went up there Angela in May with but he parish presidents. And we when we first went up there in May of this year. We were told that no one else complain and I remember telling the staff up in DC who worked for Maxine Waters that we may be the first group who won't be the last and since that time. It's gone from -- parish presidents. Two. Over 175 organizations and 25 states. That a part of this coalition. And what what's happened quite frankly as it did no one is is -- that the National Flood Insurance Program -- to be financially sustainable. But the -- they going about it there actually. Getting. Reach an opposite result because they gonna make. How homeownership affordable. We just we have specific examples where people who have double flooded the insurance premiums going. From 638. Dollars per year to like seventeen to 27000. Dollars per year. And they took away the grandfather provision these -- people Angela that. Built according to the code built according to -- regulations at the time now FEMA is coming back so we use after the fact and changing the rules. So these are not people that have led repetitive flooding. And these are not people. That built against the Dakota at the time salute. You've basically threatening homeownership so it's gonna have an effect on the real estate market ultimately the banking industry because everyone has a -- test their flood insurance. If they can't afford it. They can't even sell that house because no one wants to buy a house that has -- 171027000. Now flood insurance. How could they had mark an arm and back to. The point and that bill that will be here's here's here's the other thing and I'm trying to be quick because there's so much to. In the legislation that was passed the -- waters bill. They head. In it over a mandate that they conduct and affordability -- well two months ago when Craig if you gate the FEMA director testified before US senate hearing. He said not only have they not completed the affordability studies haven't even started and it's not going to be completed and -- when he fifteenth. So it seems to me you have the clock for the offs you have to do the affordability study first and that's why. Joseph parish council passed a resolution that's before you delay that's what everyone's trying to do let's take a four year delay in the reason for four years it's gonna take two years to do the affordability stunning. And then once that's done you have to figure out how how of that -- works and how you go about fixing this so that we have. Financially sustainable National Flood Insurance Program without putting people out of their homes people who have played by the rules. So that's why they think it's gonna take four years so that's the president bill that's being pushed through congress. And that's what Maxine Wallace said she was hopeful would be passed by the end of this year at this point time it doesn't look like we're gonna make that deadline but it. That's what needs to be done to allow everyone to look at it and see how -- we how to recount which we go without throwing people out of their homes without. A running the American dream of homeownership. And then ultimately. Crashing. The -- program anyway because no one's gonna the participating because they can't afford to. I -- -- and on the West Bank we are gonna get to server real quick to the parish president. What is happened with the theater for performing arts isn't moving forward at all. Yes it is in fact what we did it's. In October were actually we authorize of the council authorize it to. A month and a half or two before October we've reached a global resolution. With a contractor has. Signed an agreement to finish it by date certain so -- hands up until October of 2014. For some certain so there will be no more change orders. We're hoping that he can finish it a little bit before that but. By October 2014 if not earlier. Some thought it may be openers as early as June 2014 so will anybody be. All -- responsible for. The fact and the cost overruns were enormous on the length of time and it's not open it. Correct and in this is a case study in how not to do public -- attracting and certainly. A legislative -- looked at -- Angela and certainly that report's been made available to law enforcement authorities in. Certainly welcome. A -- looking to have been at the end of the day. We inherited. And we -- we needed to completed in -- we didn't have a good choice but we re do the least to the bad choices -- to finish it. On I think at the end of the day let let the investigation command let the chips following there may have been at the end of the day. It -- -- Another asset for Jefferson Parish and how it absolutely totally bombing ought societies anxious to get in there or anxious to get it open and have some great perform very good. Very quickly we're gonna go to -- on the West Bank mr. patient thank you so much. While mr. young -- standard million dollars to improve drainage so the Irish. -- every star -- I noticed the same thing citizens. Wouldn't be below the balloon that you cook grass and everything except market. Including dozens. In I'm sure notices obstruct and discourage. Did this ordinance that prohibits. Just -- as there is an audience that prohibits that and we we try to preach as much as we can and if you see that. You need to call our code enforcement division. You know the problem that -- have to Tom once -- called and usually the culprits are gullible we ask. Obviously homeowners not to do that because obviously it's gonna complicate the drainage in their system in their neighborhood but also they have grass got as a -- You to make sure they don't do that but if anyone does it just reported -- there is an ordinance prohibiting. Take a picture with a cellphone and I appreciate your holding on and and I cannot thank you enough parish president John Young for spending a whole hour with this. Updating us on what's happened with Jefferson Parish. And we're gonna have you back. And I hope everyone will stay with this because the next hour we're going to be talking to Doug wrote John yes server going to be talk about that game tonight but now let's join Chris Miller in the newsroom.

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