State Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, took over as chairman of the Algiers Development District’s board of commissioners Friday and immediately ordered a forensic audit of all the district’s contracts.
He also told those gathered for the new board’s first meeting that he is working to make the district subject to review by the state Legislative Auditor’s Office.
Carter said he and fellow new board member Gary Carter, a Democratic state representative and also his nephew, are working on bills in both chambers that would allow for regular state audits.
As for the audit, Troy Carter asked board attorney Richard Cortizas to solicit bids for a firm to “look at every encumbrance, every dollar past, present and future” and make the information available to the public.
Those initiatives, he said, will help bring transparency to the development district, a taxing district that owns Federal City, the 156-acre site of the former U.S. Navy Base in Algiers, and oversees its redevelopment.
“This is not something that belongs to anyone,” Troy Carter told the audience. “It belongs to you.”
The call for an audit “certainly does not cast aspersions on past leadership,” he said later.
The changing of the guard at the district follows last year’s elections. The board consists of the two state representatives and two state senators representing Algiers, Algiers’ City Council member, the mayor and the assessor, or their designees.
The Carters, along with Mark Major, are new additions to the board. They replace former state Rep. Jeff Arnold; his father, former Algiers Assessor Tom Arnold; and Tyrone Casby.
State Sen. J.P. Morrell, Joe Toomy, James Henderson and Paul Collins remain on the board.
Troy Carter, who defeated Jeff Arnold for the Senate seat last fall after a race in which Carter said Arnold wasn’t doing enough to move Federal City forward, said the review is what he considers standard for taking over any agency.
Carter said he plans to make sure board meetings occur regularly and are well-advertised, something he said he has heard the public complain was not always the case in the past.
Henderson was named the board’s treasurer and Major its secretary.
The board also appointed Gary Carter and Algiers lawyer Ed Markle to the Joint Development Committee, a body that includes members of various agencies and approves future developments on the site, among other responsibilities.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.