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Fixing something that isn’t broken? We suspect political jobs are the goal.



BATON ROUGE, La. – When our Legislature sets out to fix something that is not broken, what is the real agenda?

We suspect political control of tax money and the patronage jobs that would come with the “reform.”

A Baton Rouge case shows what happens very clearly.

The East Baton Rouge Parish parks agency, BREC, is what does not need fixing. Why? Because it is a repeat national award winner for excellence among the country’s park systems.

BREC has its problems, of course: You can’t run parks and recreation facilities across a large parish without making some people unhappy from time to time.

Expanding facilities cannot be done all at once for every part of the parish. Nor is maintenance easy in a far-flung archipelago of parks and playgrounds.

Overall, though, what’s wrong with BREC? Nothing, but state Sen. Bodi White, R-Central, is proposing to split off parts of the parish with local city councils to create separate park systems.

Local control is good? Baton Rouge has that in BREC.

We translate: White’s bill lets us name our friends to the jobs running parks in Central, Zachary or other suburbs.

Breaking up East Baton Rouge’s city-parish government has been on White’s agenda for a while. He is a big booster of a breakaway “city of St. George” in the southeastern suburbs.

We urge legislators to shelve this bill. A senator of deep experience in parks is Gerald Boudreaux, D-Lafayette, who worked for the Lafayette recreation system for 42 years. He said BREC was viewed as a model setup.

Why change a model setup? We suspect jobs, not efficiency.