Challengers to Incumbent Caddo Commissioners Have Great Opportunities

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Opinion by John SettleIn most elections incumbent candidates have a clear advantage over challengers–but this will may NOT be the case in this fall’s Caddo Commission elections. All 12 seats are up for re-election and only David Cox is termed limited after 3 four year terms. It is presumed that the remaining 11 will seek re-election; Ken Epperson has already announced his campaign at a recent fundraiser.

Caddo Commissioner Epperson

Caddo Commissioner Epperson

In the past, Commission seats were safe bets for unopposed re-election if for no other reason that the Commission members generally dodged controversial votes. The demographics of the Commission, unlike the Shreveport City Council, lends itself to more harmonious actions–6 Republican whites and 6 Democrat blacks. Additionally the Commission has enjoyed a very stable (more…)

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Add comment February 27, 2015 12:00 pm

BNA Meet Challenges CPSB Tax Plan

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Elliott_Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

They did it again!

That’s my take on the weather-threatened Tuesday evening gathering at Shreveport’s Broadmoor Presbyterian Church, sponsored by “BNA,” the Broadmoor Neighborhood Association.

Most else in town had been cancelled, but the event sponsors never blinked.  Eighty-plus folks dodged the ice, ignoring threats of even worse for later that night, specifically to hear the opposition case on the Caddo Parish School Board’s bond proposal set for a May 2nd vote.  The event was put together by BNA members Rob Broussard and Ken Krefft, with an assist from Linda Talbert and Lou Burnett, not to mention involved church members.

Standstill...

Standstill…

For those who do not know, such a response here is very rare these days.  Regardless, as those involved in our community have long known and understood, even if the rest of Shreveport is asleep at the wheel at (more…)

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Add comment February 26, 2015 2:45 pm

Where the Caddo Sidewalk Stops…

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Why a Run-Away School Administration and
Board
Need to be Told “NO!”

reinvest-in-caddo-january-2015-1-638by Marion Marks

Creating a great marketing title for a tax election is as critical a component for gaining support as anything, and Caddo Parish officials have an excellent record for constructively wording tax plans to obtain voter approval. Reinvest in Caddo, the name chosen by the Caddo Parish School Board(CPSB) for the bond election on the May 2nd ballot appears, on the surface, to be no more than a renewal of existing taxes. However the facts, chemistry and larger picture for Caddo is far more sinister as school leadership has crafted behind the scenes a long-range plan citizens must struggle to comprehend. The leadership of both the CPSB and the administration have resisted giving citizens a clear picture of the ramifications of their plans.

Empty Glass

Scenario…

The Caddo School School Administration(CPSA) and the CPSB have constructed scenarios the culminate in the current plan, and since Superintendent Goree was approved to take control from failed superintendent Gerald Dawkins in 2014 back-room maneuvers have only heated up. Currently CPSB is represented (more…)

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Add comment February 25, 2015 11:22 am

Let’s raise Louisiana’s cigarette tax

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Bob Mannby Bob Mann

There is no single fix for the $1.6 billion budget shortfall Gov. Bobby Jindal and state lawmakers face in the coming legislative session. They will have a virtual Chinese menu of revenue raising and budget cutting options from which to choose. It’s a long list that includes various tax and fee hikes, eliminating or reducing corporate tax credits, trimming the size of state contracts, creating tax credits for those who contribute directly to state colleges and increasing college tuition.

None of these ideas, alone, will prevent the looming catastrophe. But lawmakers must come up with something. They face some painful choices. If they don’t find a way to close the budget shortfall, universities will be gutted. Health care will sustain $800 million in cuts, which includes forfeited federal funds because of the missing state match. Other essential government services will vanish.

Would he lie to us?

Would he lie to us?

The situation is so critical that legislators may have to choose between risking re-election and allowing the state’s vital institutions to collapse on their watch. Raising taxes is never a pleasant task, much less a few (more…)

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Add comment February 20, 2015 9:38 am

Tyler’s Shake Up of City Attorney Office is Pure Political Payback

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Opinion by John Settle

In politics, the victor gets the spoils–which means that merit often gives way to who did what, and who is related to whom. From day one on the job, the new Mayor has targeted the City Attorney’s office to exercise her political power in a way that sends a message reflective of her days as Caddo School Superintendent.

William Bradford, Jr.

William Bradford, Jr.

Tyler let it be known during her campaign, that long time city attorney Terri Scott was not to be a part of her administration. Apparently Scott’s major transgression was that she did not have any kin folk close to Ollie and that she had been Mayor’s Glover’s puppet. One of Tyler’s old line supporters and close friends–going back to school board days–and then in the mayor’s race was a certain Mrs. Bradford; she is not related to Councilman Willie Bradford but is the mother of attorney William Bradford. Son William was also active in Tyler’s campaign and actually served as a spokesman of sorts in the run off; most political observers considered Bradford to be a figurehead in the pure sense of the (more…)

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Add comment February 20, 2015 8:40 am

The Brian O’Nuanain Lesson & Education Today

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by Marion Marks

Brian O'Nuanain

Brian O’Nuanain

Thanking Brian O’Nuanain publicly is my first intent with this writing, but his message [You should listen to the radio story…] has such a deeper resonance for citizens that most listeners of Red River Radio probably missed. Brian’s journey is a beautiful and also tragic tale on the surface, but a secondary message of his love for education and a value for true educators requires a second telling.

Brian is an educator whose words demand a greater audience because the mission of true educators, blessed and cursed with a deep desire to impart knowledge and wisdom to a larger audience, is always a tragic tale today.

Value the Apple!

Value the Apple!

The love of teaching Brian bares as he reveals the (more…)

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Add comment February 19, 2015 11:57 am

Perils of Polluted Process: CPSB’s Tax Campaign

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Elliott_StonecipherSome things about local and parish government around here are plain ol’ inarguable.  Near the top of that list is this:  when it comes to taxing the economic life out of this place, no government body has done more of it, or been better at it over time, than the Caddo Parish School Board. 

The political left-of-center, tax-and-spend machine of CPSB members and the administrative staff now wants $108,000,000 for new schools and other buildings.  I did not make that up.  New schools! 

CPSB hootenanniesThis time, Election Day will be May 2nd.  The story, however, is very different from CPSB’s many, many previous such spending hootenannies.  This time, our Caddo Parish home quite literally cannot – by any objective analysis – afford this. 

If the “greater good” still has meaning here, it dictates and demands that property taxes ONLY (more…)

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February 16, 2015 2:46 pm

Commissioners in CPERS: La. Legislative Auditor Says “… Appears Unconstitutional”

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Elliott_StonecipherAt the same time Caddo Parish Commissioners yesterday sued taxpayers to somehow keep their Caddo Parish Retirement System (CPERS) haul, Louisiana State Auditor Daryl Purpera notified the Commission of his determination that such … appears to be unconstitutional.”

In the course of researching and reporting on the issue (SEE articles, here, here, and here), I appealed to Mr. Purpera, along with many other investigative and prosecutorial officials.

In his letter to Parish Administrator Woody Wilson (read the letter here), Purpera in no way asserts that the CPERS plan is illegal or unconstitutional, but explains why Commissioners cannot legally participate. Even though the state auditor cannot legally sue to block the Commission (the Attorney General’s office can, and should), Purpera’s letter directly states what he can legally do:

JusticeAtStake“Therefore, based upon the Constitutional Amendments cited above and the AG Opinions cited above, it appears to us that for Caddo Parish to continue to contribute public monies on behalf of Commissioners … is improperI urge you to reconsider your position and to determine whether (Commission) Ordinances 3762 and 4343 should be repealed.

Given that under Louisiana Law, the constitution provision is presumed constitutional until finally adjudicated otherwise by the Louisiana Supreme Court, I will be assigning auditors who will review this matter (more…)

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February 13, 2015 3:02 pm

Tyler’s Fire Chief Appointment To Define Her Administration

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Opinion by John SettleNew Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler has her first real appointment to be made in the near future–and it will certainly say much on how she will manage the City. Part of the deal brokered with the old guard Shreveport power structure to put Tyler into office was her selection of former Shreveport Fire Chief Brian Crawford as her CAO. Now comes a totally discretionary choice–and what real criteria Tyler will utilize for her selection will probably never be known.

Narrow the choices

Who is in the running???

Thirty-six candidates applied to the position; 35 were approved to move to the next selection level and 27 of them took the required Fire Chief exam to qualify. The field has been narrowed–by somebody or group–to 6 finalists; perhaps Tyler’s transition team was involved (more…)

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February 13, 2015 12:00 pm

Free Understood to Mean “FREE” in Library Zoning

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Chained No More!

Chained No More!

by Marion Marks

The Little Free Library program in Shreveport is now defined as “FREE” after the City Council voted on Tuesday to pass a moratorium allowing Little Free Libraries(LFL) in the city. The definition of the LFL program is still subject to interpretation for those MPC officials struggling with the concept, and I believe a little behind the scenes education with MPC officials may have assisted the matter along.

Councilman Jeff Everson, using nimble political correctness, presented a resolution for a moratorium on the prosecution of the Little Free Libraries until the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) can re-write city ordinances for the free book swap program. Political CorrectnessThe issue should never have required council or MPC interaction in the matter, but over-aggressive ordinance interpretation by (more…)

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February 11, 2015 4:19 pm

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