We have another out-of-control federal judge in south Louisiana threatening a school board and the parish’s taxpayers with retribution if taxes are not imposed to his liking.
Ivan Lemelle of the Eastern District of Louisiana – based in New Orleans – is threatening the Tangipahoa Parish School Board (TPSB) with contempt if they don’t place a 1-cent sales tax and a 29.5 mil ad valorem (property) tax on the ballot for next April.
NEW ORLEANS — The federal judge presiding over Tangipahoa Parish’s 45-year-old school desegregation suit sternly warned parties in the case Friday that if they did not act to follow the court’s orders, he would.
“I have resisted efforts to draw me into micromanaging the school district,” U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle told the parties and others during the 2 1/2-hour hearing.
During the hearing, Lemelle made it clear that it was within his power to order the School Board to impose taxes on the parish if voters rejected the ballot propositions.
There is also some news today on the St. Helena school system.
GREENSBURG — Lack of a quorum prevented the St. Helena Parish School Board from taking action on a proposed sales tax proposition Thursday night.
Board member James “Bull” Baker, who was defeated in the Oct. 2 primary in his bid for re-election, told the audience — mostly members of the board’s newly formed biracial committee — why he placed the tax issue on the meeting agenda.
Baker said he did so in case the next School Board, which takes office Jan. 1, wants to consider putting a sales tax proposition on the April ballot to ask voters to raise revenue to fund new schools and teacher pay raises.