The Rankin-Hinds Levee Board met yesterday. The interesting part starts at the 20:00 mark. The Pearl River Vision Foundation is assisting the Levee Board in developing a "One-Lake" plan to present to the Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg. The draft agreement (not executed yet) states
"at the April 4, 2011 meeting of the District’s Board, PRV proposed to utilize the expertise and services of John McGowan of McGowan Working Partners and several engineering, environmental and legal professionals, with all such services being provided at no cost to the District, as a means to address the District’s desire to complete the flood control project study, and to accomplish this goal by the District authorizing PRV to directly negotiate an updated agreement and FCSA with the Corps. In that regard, PRV would develop a more timely approach, while allowing maximum funding flexibility, or develop alternative procedures which may provide a better process to reach the District’s flood control goals.
WHEREAS, on April 11, 2011, the Board adopted a resolution authorizing PRV, “at no cost to the District, to assist in and represent the District in negotiating a revised agreement with the Corps and developing alternative procedures, which may provide a more innovative process to reach the flood control goals of the Jackson Metropolitan area.."
So far so good. However,the Corps requires the Levee Board to adopt a conflict of interest policy. Board attorney Keith Turner (Watkins Ludlam) drafted a proposed policy (posted below) that was the subject of some discussion (The discussion starts at 20:00 and last for about 15 minutes.) as it was questioned whether the proposed policy was too strict. The Board agreed to move forward and revise the proposed policy before its final adoption.
By the way, the phone going off twice was George Smith's. He happened to sit right in front of me. He didn't stick around for questions. ;-)
Here is the PROPOSED policy and agreement between the Levee Board and Pearl River Vision Foundation.