I have volunteered at Otis House Museum in Fairview-Riverside State Park in Madisonville for 15 years. Over that time, I have seen funding for programs and outreach go from adequate to almost nil.
Currently, two air conditioners need to be replaced, but there are serious doubts whether the money can be found to do this. If the units are not replaced, the house and artifacts in the house will be put in jeopardy.
I have given tours to people from all over this country, Canada and Europe, and when I apologize for the heat in Otis House Museum, I make sure they know that it is the fault of Gov. Bobby Jindal and our legislators.
So when I read David Hammer’s recent article, I was very angry. How can Helena Moreno sponsor legislation giving $2 million to Irvin Mayfield to build a concert hall and bar? Oh, I know he is also doing a community center. I know there are a number of community centers helping young people.
If Mr. Mayfield wanted to help them, he could have volunteered at one of these. So I have to believe that taxpayer dollars are going to help a private citizen build a for-profit business.
So, yes, I am angry that our state parks and historic sites are without adequate funding and staff while my tax dollars are going to a concert hall and bar. Jindal has sacrificed this state on the altar of his ambition and left us deeply in debt. It is way past time that legislators find the courage to ensure Louisiana’s financial stability. That won’t happen if we continue to fund citizens’ private enterprises.