This week on Behind The Lens, host and producer Tom Wright talks to State Health Officer Jimmy Guidry about Louisiana’s aging water infrastructure.
Eighty-eight percent of Louisiana residents get their water from public systems. And more and more of those public water utilities are on the edge of failure. Guidry tells Tom that some communities are facing tough — and potentially expensive — choices if they want to maintain clean, safe water service.
Also, the New Orleans City Council is poised to revisit its 2018 vote approving Entergy New Orleans’ proposed $211 million gas power plant in eastern New Orleans. After several lawsuits, an astroturfing scandal and the threat of a $5 million fine against the company, three council members are planning to introduce a resolution to rescind the vote. Reporter Michael Isaac Stein talks about what’s next.
And education reporter Marta Jewson discusses this week’s contentious Orleans Parish School Board meeting. Board Vice President Leslie Ellison was expected to be one of two candidates vying for Board President John Brown’s seat. But after a candidacy over Ellison’s past opposition to protections for LGBT students, the board instead voted to keep Brown as president, suspending a policy that would have term-limited him out. Ellison retained her position as vice president.
The board also voted to approve a budget for Harney elementary school, which it recently took over from a charter operator after repeated allegations of mismanagement. Earlier in the week, a board committee wavered on the budget amendment. Without an approved budget, the school district may not have been able to pay Harney employees next week.