Last week, the Lege Fiscal Office (“LFO”) reported that it was “cautiously optimistic” that tax revenues for the current fiscal year would come in as anticipated. ( See story here.)
Apparently, the leges took that as good news because they are telling everyone who asks not to worry; there won’t be any mid-year budget cuts for Higher Education or Healthcare. While that may turn out to be correct, it is based more on wishful thinking than accounting.
The focus of the LFO report was on the on-going tax streams that are subject to confirmation by the Revenue Estimating Conference (“REC”).
What the leges failed to take into consideration was the hundreds of millions of dollars that they appropriated from speculative, one-time, sources such as the sale of real properties and savings from government efficiencies (an oxymoron) including (more…)
Add comment December 8, 2013 3:35 pm
Mayor Cedric Glover controls the balance of Anger and Rage as he weighs his choices the next few days. Anger can be a constructive emotion when we see an injustice and our anger helps bring us to correct that injustice. Anger is the electric generator constructively harnessed. Rage, however, is the evil mirror of anger. Rage is the violent erupting volcano spewing molten lava on all, benefiting none through widespread destruction.
The SDPA (Shreveport Dog Park Alliance) is an alliance of citizens who feel true and righteous Anger at the actions of Shreveport’s mayor. As a united group, the alliance channeled constructive energy in a manner they felt was responsible. Never has the group been obtuse in action or purpose. No citizen joined this alliance with the thought of personally benefitting from the clearly established goal of adding an off-leash dog park to the city inventory of public parks all citizens would enjoy.
Unlike a volcanic eruption, rage is controllable. However, the time to (more…)
Add comment December 6, 2013 8:21 am
The City of Shreveport quietly settled its million dollar claim for unpaid parking fees for a paltry sum of $80,000 in March of this year. To collect this sum, attorney fees in excess of $96,000 were paid through June of this year to a Colorado law firm. Additional attorney fees were paid to two Shreveport law firms – - one to investigate the parking lot mess and render a report to the City Council and the other to coordinate and monitor the Colorado firm and handle local litigation. The total fees paid for legal services exceeded the settlement by at least $45,000, if all the settlement moneys are paid.
The Shreveport Airport Authority (“SAA”) is an agency of the City of Shreveport; its Board members are appointed by the Mayor. The Board members and the mayor hire the director, subject to the Council approval.
In 2002 the SAA board members awarded Nationwide Parking Service of (more…)
Add comment December 5, 2013 3:00 pm
There is a rule in competitive games: It’s not over until it’s over. As long as the game is still going, there is a chance that someone who started out not doing so well can “make a comeback” and do much better. Sometimes everyone is pulling for the underdog, pardon our pun.
The same applies to the life of governmental manipulations and legal battles. It’s not over until it’s over. As long as your bill, motion, proposal, assertion, case in court, whatever you are fighting to succeed has a (more…)
Add comment December 4, 2013 7:16 am
Controversy as well as investigations are nothing new to Shreveport City Marshal Charlie Caldwell or his key deputies. Voter intimidation is now added as the election cycle is less than twelve months out. KTBS reporter Gerry May found clear evidence that Caldwell’s senior deputy and former Bossier City Marshal candidate Carl Richard has begun intimidating voters who place challenger campaign signs in or on their properties.
Two voters stated clearly to KTBS that Richard had aggressively denied their right to support an opposing candidate. KTBS has gone so far as to ask the U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley of the Western District of Louisiana for an interpretation of the federal voter intimidation law. The response seems to leave no room for interpretation, as written by the technical legal writer for the U.S. Attorney, Henri Lejeune:
“U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley stated that voter intimidation is (more…)
Add comment December 2, 2013 4:47 pm
by Elliott Stonecipher
For those of you within reach of the Shreveport Times, you may have read in either its online edition or Sunday’s print edition an op-ed I have written about the LA Hwy. 3132 Extension. The op-ed is as precise a summary of this issue as can be written within a 400-word limit. Please consider these few additional points.
The current position of those on the other side of this issue was set out in a front-page Times article a few weeks ago. Among those of us who have done this (pro bono) work for 2-1/2 years, nothing surprises us anymore from these officials and those whose work they are doing, but this was a breathtaking corker. According to the spokesperson for the other side, NLCOG (Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments) boss man Kent Rogers, the Hwy. 3132 Extension is being blocked by the Finish 3132 Coalition. This from the man who, along with Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover, convened (more…)
Add comment December 2, 2013 10:03 am
No, this is not a trick question, – - but it’s a primary real reason Caddo Commissioners are considering a personnel policy change concerning residency. And the answer to the question is “no”.
At a work session this past week, an ordinance was introduced to require Caddo Commission employees to live in the parish. The ordinance applies to all new employees hired after December 31st of this year. Beginning January 1 2015, parish residency is a requirement for promotions to management, supervisory or director positions. The new ordinance grandfathers current parish employees, who would not be required to move to the parish.
The residency issue has been a topic of discussion for several years by Commissioners, and there is little doubt that Administrator Woody Wilson’s continued residence outside the parish is the primary engine pushing this debate. Dr. Wilson is the highest paid Commission employee ($175,000 plus benefits); he is (more…)
Add comment November 28, 2013 4:00 pm
Taxpayer money and city resources have been squandered in Mayor Glover’s unnecessary, ego-driven legal squabble with the Shreveport Dog Park Alliance (SDPA). Even when the City Council voted unanimously to compel Glover to sign for and initiate construction of a dog park on the river front, he refused.
At this point, Glover retained independent counsel, and taxpayers have covered the tab for over $35,000 as the mayor loses at each hearing in court. His next court date may result in a trip to jail or worse. So, Glover’s additional extension (more legal fees) on December 2 is just another waste.
Later, Glover recognized all reasonable channels of legal (more…)
Add comment November 27, 2013 9:49 pm
Mayor Cedric B. Glover has made history for Shreveport in his abject contempt for both citizens, representing the dog park alliance, and the City Council, in defying the will of a unified body. Now, with the Louisiana court system breathing down his neck for failure to comply with district court rulings and spending over $30,000 taxpayer dollars to justify his contempt, his last maneuver is to get the council to revoke their resolution in support of the dog park.
With a revocation of the resolution, Glover intends to tell the court that the council never really intended to have “that” dog park. And, in defying the intent of the citizens, he has paid for attorneys, provoked citizen rage and pushed all city projects backwards at untold cost to all except those supporters who feed at the public trough.
3:00 Tuesday City Council!
Tuesday, November 26, at 3PM at Government Plaza many dog-park advocates and upset citizens will attend the masquerade of the mayor to justify the failures of his management of Shreveport. Shame, shame on those who would condone these practices.
Citizens deserve far better leadership, so perhaps it’s time to start picking the next mayor.
Add comment November 26, 2013 2:31 pm
Even though the elections for local judges are almost a year away (November 4, 2014), Caddo lawyers are lining up to run for judgeships for both district and city judgeships. Outside the legal community, few if any local voters are concerned, — having just endured a lifeless judicial campaign in Caddo Parish that had a record low voter turnout. And in reality, judicial campaigns rarely invoke much public interest outside family, friends and the barristers who are bombarded with requests to donate to the campaigns.
Once elected, judges have virtual kingship; rarely are incumbents challenged, much less defeated. Thus, in most instances, a judicial election is for a well paid, lifetime job with very good benefits and social status. Whether deserved or not, the “judge” title opens doors and bestows certain privileges that many seek, and obviously enjoy. Be that as it may, here is the current lineup of known prospects to join the black robe club.
Caddo District Judge Scott Crichton is seeking (more…)
Add comment November 21, 2013 4:00 pm