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      RS 38:330.1     

  

PART III-A. SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA

FLOOD PROTECTION AUTHORITIES

§330.1. Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East and Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West Bank; territorial jurisdiction; board of commissioners; appointments; terms; compensation; vacancy; officers; meetings; domicile

            A.(1) The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East and Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West Bank, referred to herein as "flood protection authority" or "authority", are established as levee districts pursuant to Article VI, Sections 38 and 38.1 of the Constitution of Louisiana.

            (2) The authority shall be subject to Part II of Chapter 2 of Title 49 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

            (3) It shall be the position of the authority that the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet navigability is no longer necessary and the value associated with it remaining open is far outweighed by the danger it poses to the citizens of St. Bernard Parish, the Lower Ninth Ward of Orleans Parish, New Orleans East and surrounding areas.

            B. Each flood protection authority, through its board of commissioners as provided for in this Section, shall exercise all authority over and have management, oversight, and control of the following territories as provided by law for the boards of commissioners of such levee districts to which the authority is a successor and to the extent provided for in this Part:

            (1)(a) The following levee districts and parts of levee districts and parishes shall be included within the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East:

            (i) East Jefferson Levee District.

            (ii) Lake Borgne Basin Levee District.

            (iii) The Orleans Levee District.

            (iv) Repealed by Acts 2014, No. 303, §3, eff. May 28, 2014.

            (v) Tangipahoa Levee District.

            (b) These lands and all property thereon situated, not exempt from taxation, shall be subject to the provisions of this Chapter.

            (2)(a) The following levee districts and parts of levee districts and parishes shall be included within the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West Bank:

            (i) West Jefferson Levee District.

            (ii) The Algiers Levee District.

            (b) These lands and all property thereon situated, not exempt from taxation, shall be subject to the provisions of this Chapter.

            C.(1) There is hereby created a board of commissioners for each flood protection authority as follows:

            (a) The board of commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East shall be composed of nine members, of whom there shall be at least, and not more than, one member from each parish within the territorial jurisdiction of the authority. The members shall be appointed by the governor from nominations submitted by the nominating committee as follows:

            (i) Five members who shall either be an engineer or a professional in a related field such as geotechnical, hydrological, or environmental science. Of the five members, one member shall be a civil engineer.

            (ii) Two members who shall be a professional in a discipline other than that occurring in Item (i) of this Subparagraph with at least ten years of professional experience in that discipline.

            (iii) Two members who shall be at large.

            (b) The board of commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West Bank shall be composed of seven members of whom two shall reside in Jefferson Parish on the west side of the Mississippi River within the jurisdiction of the authority, two shall reside in Orleans Parish on the west side of the Mississippi River, and three shall reside outside of Jefferson and Orleans parishes. The members shall be appointed by the governor from nominations submitted by the nominating committee as follows:

            (i) Three members, each of whom shall be either an engineer or a professional in a related field such as geotechnical, hydrological, or environmental science. At least one of the three members shall be a civil engineer.

            (ii) Three members, each of whom shall be a professional in a discipline other than those identified in Item (i) of this Subparagraph who shall at a minimum hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning with at least ten years of professional experience in that discipline.

            (iii) One member who shall possess the qualifications set forth in either Item (i) or (ii) of this Subparagraph.

            (2)(a) The nominating committee for each board shall be composed as follows:

            (i) A member or designee of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana.

            (ii) A member or designee of the Council for A Better Louisiana.

            (iii) A member or designee of the Louisiana Geological Survey at Louisiana State University.

            (iv) A member or designee of the Association of State Floodplain Managers.             (v) A member or designee of the National Society of Black Engineers.

            (vi) A faculty member or designee of the College of Engineering at the University of New Orleans.

            (vii) A faculty member or his designee of the School of Science and Engineering at Tulane University.

            (viii) A faculty member or designee of the College of Engineering at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College.

            (ix) A faculty member or designee of the College of Engineering at Louisiana State University.

            (x) A member or designee of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

            (xi) A member or designee of the Louisiana Engineering Society.

            (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph for the purpose of nominating persons to serve on the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West Bank, the committee shall also include, a member or designee of the West Bank Business and Industry Association and a faculty member or designee of Our Lady of Holy Cross College.

            (c) The chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board shall be the custodian of the records of the nominating committee. The chairman of the authority nominating committee, or in his absence, the chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board, shall call the meeting of the nominating committee. The chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board, or his designee, shall serve as secretary for the nominating committee.

            (d) After August 1, 2017, all nominating committee members shall be appointed for a term of eight years. A former nominating committee member may be reappointed to a nominating committee four years from the completion of a previous term. Service of four or more years of an unexpired term shall constitute a term.

            (e) For purposes of this Paragraph, the nominating committee shall be considered a "public body" as defined in R.S. 42:13, and the Open Meetings Law, R.S. 42:11 et seq., and Public Records Law, R.S. 44:1 et seq., shall apply to such committee.

            (3)(a) Within ten days after the occurrence of an unexpected vacancy on the flood protection authority board, the board shall notify the chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board of such unexpected vacancy. For purposes of this Paragraph, a vacancy shall be unexpected whenever it occurs for a reason other than the expiration of a term. The chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority shall cause notification of the unexpected vacancy to be published in the official journal of the state and of each parish within the territorial jurisdiction of the authority. Such notification shall be published no later than thirty days following receipt by the chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of notice of the unexpected vacancy.

            (b) The nominating committee shall meet to determine the nominations to send to the governor to fill each unexpected vacancy no sooner than thirty days after the latest date of publication set forth in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph and no later than ninety days after the latest date of publication set forth in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph. The committee shall consider each name submitted to the committee from whatever source and the committee members may propose names of persons to be considered. After review, the committee shall select the nominees for each unexpected vacancy who meet the requirements of this Section. The committee shall submit one nominee for each unexpected vacancy in a position provided for in Item (1)(a)(i) or (b)(i) of this Subsection and shall submit two nominees for each unexpected vacancy in a position provided for in Item (1)(a)(ii) or (iii) of this Subsection or Item (1)(b)(ii) or (iii) of this Subsection. A majority vote of the total membership of the nominating committee shall be required to nominate persons to positions on the board. The committee shall submit its nominations for each unexpected vacancy to the governor for consideration no later than one hundred twenty days after the notification of the chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of the occurrence of such unexpected vacancy. The governor shall appoint one of the nominees submitted by the committee within thirty days of submission of the nominations for any unexpected vacancy and submit such appointee to the Senate for confirmation within forty-eight hours following the appointment, regardless of whether the legislature is in regular session.

            (c) If the nominating committee fails to submit a nominee within one hundred twenty days after notification of the chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of the occurrence of such unexpected vacancy, the governor shall appoint a person meeting the requirements of this Section within thirty days of the expiration of such time and submit such appointee to the Senate for confirmation within forty-eight hours following the appointment, regardless of whether the legislature is in regular session.

            (d) In the event that the Senate fails to confirm an appointment made pursuant to this Paragraph by taking no action at all or voting not to confirm an appointee in open session by the end of a regular session, the position shall be considered as having an unexpected vacancy and the process required by this Paragraph shall occur until such position is filled. Any appointee the Senate fails to confirm shall not be appointed to the same position during any recess of the legislature.

            (4)(a) Each July first, the board shall notify the chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of any vacancy which will occur on a board in the following year due to expiration of a term, hereinafter in this Paragraph referred to as "expected vacancy". The chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority shall cause notification of each expected vacancy to be published in the official journal of the state and of each parish within the territorial jurisdiction of the authority. Such notification shall be published no later than thirty days following receipt by the chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of notice of an expected vacancy.

            (b) The nominating committee shall begin to meet and continue to meet as necessary to determine the nominations to send to the governor to fill each expected vacancy no sooner than thirty days after the latest date of publication set forth in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph and no later than ninety days after the latest date of publication set forth in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph. The committee shall consider each name submitted to the committee from whatever source and the committee members may propose names of persons to be considered. After review, the committee shall select the nominees for each expected vacancy who meet the requirements of this Section. The committee shall submit one nominee for an expected vacancy in a position provided for in Item (1)(a)(i) or (b)(i) of this Subsection and shall submit two nominees for each expected vacancy in a position provided for in Item (1)(a)(ii) or (iii) of this Subsection or Item (1)(b)(ii) or (iii) of this Subsection. A majority vote of the total membership of the nominating committee shall be required to nominate persons to positions on the board. The committee shall submit its nominations for each expected vacancy to the governor for consideration no later than thirty days prior to the start of regular session. The governor shall appoint one of the nominees submitted by the committee not later than thirty days after receipt of the nominations and shall submit such appointee to the Senate for confirmation within forty-eight hours after the appointment is made, regardless of whether the legislature is in regular session. If confirmed, the appointee shall take office the day after the expiration of the term of the board member whose term is expiring.

            (c) If the nominating committee fails to submit a nominee for an expected vacancy thirty days prior to the start of regular session, the governor shall appoint a person meeting the requirements of this Section. The governor shall submit such appointee to the Senate for confirmation within forty-eight hours after the appointment is made, regardless of whether the legislature is in session. If confirmed, the appointee shall take office the day after the expiration of the term of the board member whose term is expiring.

            (d) In the event that the Senate fails to confirm an appointment made pursuant to this Paragraph by taking no action at all or voting not to confirm an appointee in open session by the end of a regular session, an unexpected vacancy shall occur the day after the expiration of the term of the board member whose term is expiring and such unexpected vacancy shall be filled in the manner set forth in Paragraph (3) of this Subsection. Any appointee whom the Senate failed to confirm shall not be appointed to the same position during any recess of the legislature.

            (5) Each appointment made to the board shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate.

            D.(1) The members of each board initially appointed shall at their first meeting determine by lot their terms of office, which terms shall commence immediately upon their appointment and shall expire, respectively, as follows:

            (a) For the board of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East: two members in one year, three members in two years, three members in three years, and three members in four years, from the first day of July immediately succeeding such appointment.

            (b) For the board of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West Bank: one member in one year, two members in two years, two members in three years, and two members in four years, from the first day of July immediately succeeding such appointment.

            (2) All commissioners thereafter appointed, except a commissioner appointed to fill an unexpired term, shall be appointed as provided in Subsection C of this Section for staggered terms of four years. No member shall serve more than two consecutive terms. If a person serves two years or more of an unexpired term, such service shall constitute a term. A former board member may be reappointed to the board after sitting out four years from the completion of his last consecutive term.

            (3) Notwithstanding R.S. 24:14(K), no person shall serve on the board beyond the expiration of a term unless reappointed to a position on the board by the process required by either Paragraph (C)(3) or (4) of this Section.

            E. Immediately after the members of the board of commissioners have been appointed, or as soon as thereafter is practicable, they shall meet and organize by electing from their number a president, vice president, and secretary who shall perform the duties normally required of such officers. In case of death or resignation of the president, the vice president shall call the board together to fill the position of the president. In case of absence, inability, or failure to act of the president, the vice president shall perform all the duties of the president.

            F.(1) A majority of the sitting commissioners of the board shall constitute a quorum to do business. They shall designate the time and select the place for holding their regular sessions, which shall be convened each month. Special meetings may be convened at any time upon the call of the president. Regular monthly meetings of the board shall be convened on a rotating basis at a place to be determined by the board in a levee district under the jurisdiction of the authority.

            (2)(a) In recognition that the primary purpose of the authority is regional coordination of flood protection and in order to promote such coordination over parochial concerns, approval of a proposed project shall require the favorable vote of at least two-thirds of the total voting membership of the board, regardless of whether the project is limited to one or more levee districts within the territorial jurisdiction of the authority.

            (b) As used in this Paragraph, "project" means a program or engineering activity, either new or continuing that will be planned and implemented with the primary goal being the reduction of existing flood damages. "Program" means the flood control system which may include, but not be limited to, floodproofing, waterproofing, ring dikes, relocation assistance, information programs, formulation of codes, and engineering studies. "Engineering activities" means functions which may include, but not be limited to, dams, reservoirs, levees, dikes, floodwalls, diversions, channel alterations such as snagging and channel straightening, on site detention, spillways, and land treatment.

            (3) Except as provided in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, a favorable vote of a majority of the total voting membership of the board shall be required to take action.

            (4) The members of the board of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East appointed as residents of St. Charles or St. John the Baptist parishes from the east side of the Mississippi River shall be nonvoting except for any project which includes the parish or a portion of the parish. When these members are eligible to vote, they shall be included in the total voting membership for such purposes.

            (5) Repealed by Acts 2007, No. 475, §2, eff. July 12, 2007.

            G. Each board member shall have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the board and shall serve the board's mission without any undue influence. In case of neglect of fiduciary duty or any other duty by any board member or of his failure, without good cause, to attend three successive regular meetings, on request of the board, the governor shall remove the commissioner.

            H. A vacancy created by reason of death, resignation, removal, or any other cause, other than the expiration of a term, shall be an unexpected vacancy to be filled according to Paragraph (C)(3) of this Section.

            I.(1) The official domicile of an authority shall be determined by the board. An authority shall maintain an office at its domicile for the transaction of its business.

            (2) A flood protection authority may also maintain branch offices within the territorial jurisdiction of the authority.

            J. No member of a board, or any of the immediate family of the member, shall own or have any interest or part in any business, company, or entity conducting business of any kind with the authority or levee district within the territorial jurisdiction of the authority or any of the facilities controlled by the authority or any such district. "Immediate family" as used in this Subsection means his children, the spouses of his children, his brothers and their spouses, his sisters and their spouses, his parents, his spouse, the parents of his spouse, his spouse's brothers and their spouses, his spouse's sisters and their spouses, and his spouse's children.

            K.(1) No former board member may qualify as a candidate for any elected office within twelve months of the termination of his term on the board.

            (2) No elected official or former elected official may serve as a member of the board within twenty-four months of the termination of his term.

            (3) No public employee or former public employee shall serve as a member of the board within twelve months of the termination of his employment other than as a member of the board. Any person who is a member of faculty or staff of any state university or any individual serving on any state board or commission where the individual is not compensated for that service shall be excluded from the provisions of this Paragraph.

            (4) No person shall be eligible for selection who has been registered as a lobbyist before the legislature within two calendar years of the date of appointment. Should any member serving on the board thereafter register as a lobbyist, he shall immediately resign his position on the board.

            (5) No member of a board and no officer or employee of a board shall participate or engage in an effort to support or oppose the election of a candidate for political office or to support a particular party or issue in an election; be a member of any national, state, or local committee of any political party or faction; make or solicit contributions for any political party, faction, candidate, or issue; or take active part in the management of the affairs of a political party, faction, candidate, or any political campaign, except to exercise his right as a citizen to express his opinion privately and to cast his vote as he desires.

            (6) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, except for membership on the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board, no member of a board shall serve at the same time on any other board or commission, the membership of which is appointed in whole or in part by an elected official or by a public body the majority of the membership of which consists of elected officials. "Elected official" as used in this provision means any person holding an office in a governmental entity which is filled by the vote of the appropriate electorate and includes any person appointed to fill a vacancy in such offices.

            (7) No person shall be eligible for selection who is a party to any contract with an authority established by this Part or levee district within the territorial jurisdiction of an authority.

            L.(1) In lieu of the compensation provided in R.S. 38:308, the members of the board of commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East shall receive a per diem equal to the rate allowable for per diem deduction under 26 U.S.C. 162(h)(1)(B)(ii) for its official domicile during their attendance on that body. In addition to the per diem, each member shall be paid a mileage allowance for going to and from meetings and for other travel authorized by the board equal to the rate established as the standard mileage rate for business travel for purposes of 26 U.S.C. 162(a).

            (2)(a) In lieu of the compensation provided in R.S. 38:308, the members of the board of commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West Bank shall receive a per diem equal to the rate allowable for per diem deduction under 26 U.S.C. 162(h)(1)(B)(ii) for its official domicile for each day such member is in actual attendance at a meeting of the board or one of its committees or performing duties authorized by the board. If the president of the board also acts as its administrator, he may receive a salary not to exceed the sum of one thousand dollars per month in lieu of the per diem.

            (b) In addition to the per diem, each member shall be paid a mileage allowance for going to and from meetings and for other travel authorized by the board at the rate established as the standard mileage rate for business travel for purposes of 26 U.S.C. 162(a). Members shall also be reimbursed for properly documented actual expenses incurred for air travel, meals, and lodging when traveling in the performance of duties authorized by the board.

            Acts 2006, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 1, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007; Acts 2007, No. 475, §§1, 2, eff. July 12, 2007; Acts 2009, No. 521, §1; Acts 2010, No. 97, §1; Acts 2012, No. 604, §2, eff. June 7, 2012; Acts 2013, No. 106, §1, eff. June 5, 2013; Acts 2014, No. 303, §3, eff. May 28, 2014; Acts 2016, No. 430, §4; Acts 2016, No. 572, §1, eff. July 1, 2016; Acts 2017, No. 269, §1, eff. June 16, 2017.



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