Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President announces streamlining workgroup to assist with 2019 budgeting process; group to review spending and expenses
MANDEVILLE, LA. – St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister today announced the formation of a budget workgroup comprised of community and business leaders to analyze Parish revenues and assist in streamlining expenses as the Parish prepares its 2019 operating budget.
The move by Brister is in response to a pending $18 million budget shortfall which resulted from voters’ decision to reject two 1/5th cent, 10-year sales tax renewals. Said Brister, “Our citizens have made it clear that they would prefer for us to operate within a more streamlined budget. I felt it was important to have fresh eyes look at our Parish government expenses and consider how best to allocate the financial resources that we have. The team that I have assembled is made up of community and business leaders who understand our Parish Government, know the services we provide, and recognize the expectations of our citizens and business owners. I am calling on their expertise, and dedication to St. Tammany to help us consider every option.”
Brister began preparing to overcome the deficit in 2017 when she instituted an across the board hiring freeze and eliminated the possibility of merit or cost of living raises. Said Brister, “We will work within the resources we have and manage our finances responsibly while attempting to protect every service that we provide our citizens. The streamlining workgroup will review every expense in Parish Government, meet with Parish leadership to attain important information, and will offer suggestions on how to best proceed with our 2019 budget while keeping every public service in mind.” The workgroup will present their recommendations to Parish administration by the end of May.
The Parish President’s 2019 Streamlining Budget Workgroup is comprised of the following citizens:
Northshore Technical Community College Chancellor, Will Wainwright; President and CEO of St. Tammany Parish Hospital, Patti Ellish; President Kehoe France Northshore, Kyle France; former St. Tammany councilman, former chairman of East St. Tammany Chamber and Vice President of First Bank and Trust, Al Hamauei; Gulf Coast Bank Vice President of Government Relations, Kim Carver; Republican Parish Executive Committee member and President of Leadership Northshore 2018, Pastor John Raymond; Pastor Michael Sprague; former Chairman of the Slidell Memorial Hospital Board of Commissioners and Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman, Dave Mannella; Finance Authority of St. Tammany Board member and St. Tammany Parish Schools’ Director of Accounting Services, Ron Randolph; and former Loyola University Board member and Coin du Lestin Homewoner’s Association President, Jim Walter.