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Public invited: John Barry inaugurates Lens’ Newsmaker series; arrests decline

For all of the beauty of its big vision, [the BioDistrict] hasn’t secured a reliable source of annual funding. It hasn’t successfully lured a biomedical business to New Orleans with its offer to help secure financing using its bonding authority and tax-free status. And it hasn’t yet garnered much visible political backing — including that of the mayor.

“The United States lacks the appropriate information necessary to determine whether Louisiana’s voucher program discriminates or impedes desegregation,” according to court papers.

Wait. Wasn’t that what the lawsuit claimed in the first place?

Given its micromanagement, bickering, focus on matters that don’t involve the classroom and lack of a cohesive strategic plan, the School Board needs to fix its problems before it interviews a single candidate, [consultant Bill] Attea said.

When cobbled together, the average taxable income of a Louisiana legislator in 2012 was $41,755, based on all payments made by the House and Senate, which includes small paychecks to outgoing lawmakers who served only a few days last calendar year.

Many, however, earned well above the average taxable compensation level. Nine sitting lawmakers had incomes between $50,000 and $59,000; two made greater than $60,000; one received more than $70,000; and another more than $80,000.

A companion story by NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports that government watchdog groups believe campaign finance transparency may not be enough to fix Jefferson Parish’s contracting problems, and urge reforms that would “curb politicians’ ability to award some professional contracts without regard to technical rankings.”

*Correction: This post originally said the City Council would vote on the trash fee on Wednesday, but the meeting is Thursday. (Nov. 20, 2013)

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About Mark Moseley

Mark Moseley blogs at Your Right Hand Thief. Until mid 2014, Mark Moseley was The Lens' opinion writer, engagement specialist and coordinator for the Charter Schools Reporting Corps. After Katrina and the Federal Flood he helped create the Rising Tide conference, which grew into an annual social media event dedicated to the future of New Orleans.