By Sherri L. Jackson
Publisher of The Light, http://www.everythingcenla.com
In February 2009, Mayor Jaques Roy maintained that Von Jennings, his assistant in charge of devloping and implementing a program designed tohelp minority-owned businesses acquire city contracts, was failing at her job.
In November 2009, it appears Roy is suggesting that the city’s program is working too well. Alexandria Fairness, Equality, Accessibility and Teamwork, or AFEAT, is the program for which I am speaking.
You’ll remember that Roy claimed that Jennings was not doing enough to make sure people of color had an opportunity to do business with the city.
Therefore, I’m in complete shock that the mayor, or someone who is in his inner circle, is claiming that $71,000 is too much money for any one minority business owner to receive for work done with the city.
That’s the only excuse I can muster up to justify the reasons behind the argument that the Council, specifically Council President Myron lawson may have unlawfully spent more than $70,000 with Boutee’s Catering of Alexandria, who is ready, willing and able to do business with the city.
Come on people! It’s not like all of the money was spent so that the Council could party into the wee hours of the night every week.
The taxpaying public benefitted from money spent. More than $6,500 went toward the Louisiana Municipal Association convention. Another $8,500 was allocated to feed the Grambling State Univerwsity band during February’s Mardi Gras parade, and nearly $10,000 went for the December 2008 City Council inauguration.
It seems to me that the rules keep on changing. When minorities meet the cirteria to do business with the city, it seems that getting too much business was never a part of the deal.
I’ve always said that it’s easy to talk about the rules and the proper bidding process when it comes to people of color. The majority don’t make the rules for themselves. They make the rules so that they can enforce them when it’s convenient.
Yes, $70,000 sounds like a lot of money. It sure does when it does not happen every day. Besides, it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands upon thousands of dollars that other businesses have been receiving since the City of Alexandria was incorported in the early 1800s.