I was very disappointed to read that the Metro Council declined to allow the mayor-president’s bond proposal on the council’s agenda Wednesday.

Following the news in The Advocate over the past several weeks, it appears to me that the council’s actions were in retaliation for the mayor not introducing the proposal at an earlier date. If this truly is the case, then I ask myself, if Metro Councilman Joel Boé was able to review the proposal, offer suggestions of changes to the mayor, and have those suggestions considered and approved, then why would any other council member have the argument of not having enough time for due diligence?

I understand that the relationship between the Metro Council and the mayor has been strained for quite some time now, and I find fault with both parties. I certainly understand and empathize with the council’s frustration regarding the mayor’s lack of communication on many critical issues.

However, I cannot accept the council’s willingness to allow these frustrations to manifest in this type of behavior.

When the council voted to decline to even allow the proposal on the agenda, it took away an opportunity for the facts to be discussed and debated in an open forum. I personally have not decided whether or not I am in favor of the bond proposal. I was very much looking forward to the flow of information over the next few weeks that certainly would have followed a vote to place the proposal on the agenda. Now, because of the council’s actions, it appears at best the proposal could be re-introduced at the Aug. 10 meeting, leaving precious little time for the needed debate and flow of information.

I hope the council will consider allowing the proposal on the agenda of the next meeting. I hope the mayor will consider a better communication style with the council.

I hope the bond proposal will be allowed to be placed on the November ballot and decided by the voters of East Baton Rouge Parish, and not the Metro Council.

And in conclusion, I hope that the mayor and the council will be able to repair bridges (no pun intended) and work more amicably together for the betterment of Baton Rouge, the city they represent.

Jay Montalbano


Baton Rouge