Posts filed under ‘Caddo Parish Commission’

3 years, $600,000+ taxpayer funding, NO intention of final report?

By Murray Lloydtoo-bored-to-do-nothing-too-lazy-to-do-anything

Every organization is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” – David Hanna

So, what happens when all of our institutions are designed to do nothing?

Rarely do we get to witness the absolute ineffectiveness of all levels of government to address the most basic needs of our community – water.

Safe-Water-To-DrinkIn the three years since this emergency situation has been declared, not one government, economic, civic, or academic institution in this community has held a single meeting to address solving this crisis.

No elected official has even proposed a “next step” to be taken to avoid the same damage and hurt happening once again when, not if, we cycle into the next drought.

The most glaring example is the Caddo Parish Commission Regional Water/Utility Master Plan study.

Three years ago, in the middle of the last drought, with water wells in south Caddo Parish going dry, causing (more…)

Add comment July 28, 2014 12:11 pm

Shreveport & Caddo … and the Matter of Facts and Truth

by Elliott Stonecipher

Its_No_Secret–Shreveport_Resisted_ChangeIt is certainly no secret to any who have spent a lot of years learning how our city and parish tick:  most of our “leaders,” elected or (self ?) anointed, have historically resisted anything but cheerleading.  We are more than a tad bit resistant to bad news … even if it’s just the truth, and even if it begs over time to be acknowledged and remedied.

Such is, of course, precisely the way a place finds itself in a hole, busily digging away, for decades.  It is, too, how the City Council could do to the community what it did last Tuesday in our Hwy. 3132 Extension debacle.  According to the Mayor and those five council members, Tuesday’s vote endangers nothing, and simply helps a “valued business” improve Shreveport.  That houses will be built in the only remaining undeveloped land for the highway did not matter.  Rah, rah, rah!! … pom-poms flying.

Telling TIme-Secret-2014As those who can handle and attack the truth stow the pep rally gear, this morning’s (Shreveport) Times has an article of interest in this context, for which I thank them, about our recent population loss.

Earlier Report of This Data

For the record, these are earlier-reported data.  As the Census Bureau released the data, I reported on the (more…)

Add comment June 15, 2014 4:38 pm

MPC to Get Professional Planner, FINALLY!

Shreveport Attorney John Settle

by John Settle

Yes, it’s hard to believe, but Shreveport may have, for the first time ever, a well qualified professional planner to head up the Shreveport/Caddo Parish Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC).

Earlier this year, Charlie Kirkland retired as MPC executive director; many wonder how he was ever hired for that position to begin with, much less held the post for 30 years. Kirkland has been under pressure for the last few years by many who believed that the MPC staff had failed to achieve modern planning standards, including revision of the zoning ordinances.100-percent-guarantee-logo

As the Commission debated the selection process for the new executive director, members of the Shreveport City Council and the Caddo Commission attempted to flex their political muscle, i.e. the funding of the MPC, in this process. Both the Council and the Commission initially wanted to have three votes each on the new hire. After a push back by the Commissioners as well as public criticism by good government advocates, both bodies asked for a seat at the table in an “advisory capacity”. Lead by first year chairperson Lea Desmarteau, the Commissioners stood their ground and refused to allow any participation by either the Council or the Commission.Hiring_qualified-Nothing Less

The Commission established the minimum qualification for the position to be a bachelor’s degree in urban planning, public administration or a related field, at least five years of progressive planning experience and a minimum of four years of supervisory work. The 47 applicants for the position included three in-house applicants; not surprisingly, none of these were in the ten finalists selected. (more…)

Add comment June 5, 2014 3:00 pm

Elio Motors – Betting on a Hunch

by Marion Marks*

Coming?

Coming? 2014, 2015?

 

Any vehicle that claims to be getting more than 50 mpg will naturally attract attention, by their fact that all we researched are anomalies or strictly one-off prototypes. Yet, Elio Motors claims its three-wheeled car will rate 84 mpg on the highway, far exceeding any car currently on the market.

Yahoo’s Daily Ticker indicates they have driven the car, something few outside the company have so far been able to do other than a few Shreveporters in a parking lot or on a very controlled environment.

Elio-profile(2014)

$6,800 coffin on three-wheels?

While there’s no definitive verdict on the real impact this car will have outside the wallets of the inner circle who have received great incentives, the car tested is barely a prototype. There aren’t even seat belts in the video or any test drives we have seen! Wouldn’t this be like a motorcycle in more ways than not?

Those who have tested it claim to have had a struggle a little with the lack of power steering and even the lack of a rear-view mirror. We keep referring to it as a three-wheeled coffin.

However, the crash ratings claim to be far more solid than the (more…)

Add comment June 5, 2014 2:27 pm

In Defense of the Pulpit, from a BBC Defender

By Marion Marks [NOTE: KSLA TV Story-Interviews][KTBS Story- Interview]

rewrites 4Any articles I sign my name to are subject to review, and I am never going to say I am without fault, therefore I have decided to address one email challenging the recent article regarding Broadmoor Baptist Church and their neighbors. Please don’t post more crazy items, because this is the first in the last 23,000+ I have even read completely! and this particular story had over 20,000 readers in the first 24 hours it was posted.

True, I only completed limited research, and yes BBC has years of experience with their neighbors. However, listening to some neighbors, reading several of the responses to the applications and speaking with both elected officials and city planners on this matter, I felt I had a grasp of many of the facts regarding the relationship. It was also evident in the votes and reports of the various boards that BBC fell short of the requirements they needed to achieve their expansion goals.

We hope to publish some of these reports and studies soon to give additional substance to the contentions, and this will be done as soon as we have digital versions of all documents.

I also encourage the church to supply any official records and conduct a personalized neighborhood development initiative.

Now for the “Friend of the Church” response:

From: cap_phd@.******.com
Submitted on 2014/06/03 at 4:52 pm
It is one thing to oppose what BBC is seeking to do, and I uphold and protect your right to do so. But, in the interest of integrity, you should not so misrepresent the one you are opposing.

I have intimate knowledge of all the events you mentioned. I will now outline where you comments were patently false. And I guarantee the comments to be mentioned below are 100% false.

You wrote, “Now, the church has become an enemy, refusing to take “No” for an answer when they tried to (more…)

Add comment June 3, 2014 10:26 pm

Shreve Memorial Library – Still in Violation

by Marion Marks

Can we get away with it?

Can we get away with it?

Since the last Board of Control meeting, a small group of citizens has requested a number of PRR responses to evaluate in response to the library board and executive handling of the Sunshine Forum and other issues under scrutiny. SML has addressed these matters by shuffling staff at least three times that we can tell, and has chosen a path of destroying records and communicating in a manner of secrecy we believe to be consistent with a pattern of deliberately refusing to follow regulations a public organization must follow. We believe the majority of the board is not aware of many of these issues, but because of the board actions at the last meeting we must assume they approve of them. Specific discriminatory policies of the administration against minority and non-minority employees have been rampant because of overt and covert actions of the administration.

teaching-diversityThe public has been asked to believe that “the Shreve Memorial Library Board of Control ALWAYS approves all library programs and diversity of programs and participants is a requirement for ALL.” Public Records Requests prove this is not evident in any policy or procedure of the library and certainly it has not been evident in any programs except the Sunshine Forum. We again publicly ask that (more…)

Add comment June 2, 2014 2:16 pm

Some (A Lot?) At Caddo Commission Refuse to Hear and Learn

by Elliott Stonecipher

HELLO CAPTAIN(narrow)We in Caddo Parish made it less than 48 hours before confirmation that the Caddo Parish Commission completely missed the point in its rebuke by voters on Saturday.  Given how dramatic and emphatic that rebuke was – a 77% to 23% “No” drubbing of a proposed property tax millage renewal – some of the more foolish among us hoped for public comment from the Commission that was respectful of voters and taxpayers.

Alas, such was not to be, and the Commission’s bad government beat goes on.  Speaking to a KTBS television reporter at a Commission work session on Monday, parish administrator Woody Wilson summarized his understanding of events this way: 

Missed_the_Point“If I was a business person and I was taking my business somewhere, I wouldn’t want to take my business to a community where there are no resources because that community will have to maintain its infrastructure of roads or whatever that I may use,” Wilson said.

The context for that analytical wizardry, as hubris-filled as everything else the Commission says in such circumstances, is that the defeat of the millage will prevent “recruitment” of new businesses to the parish.  No, I’m not making this up … video linked above. (more…)

Add comment May 6, 2014 5:10 pm

Monday Reload: Caddo Commission Poor Judgement

by Marion Marks

hogs-pigs-happy

October 19, 2013 the Caddo Commission bond election was a minimal blip on the ballot. Along with a referendum to allow for almost “unlimted” terms for commissioners, the commission added this item that utilized the AAA Bond Rating of the parish to demonstrate that the parish was fiscally responsible. It may have been that the audacity to ask that commissioners be allowed to remain in office as an almost lifetime appointment was the tipping factor in this election that barely failed. Administrator Woody Wilson explained the needs briefly at a BNA (Broadmoor Neighborhood Association) meeting HERE.

The issue failed May 3, 2014 with over 77% voting down the “REDO” and (more…)

Add comment May 5, 2014 10:55 am

Voters to Caddo Commission: Enough!

by Elliott Stonecipher

stop_signYesterday, Caddo Parish voters went to the polls to approve or reject a Caddo Parish Commission 1.75-mill property tax to borrow money for capital projects.  It would have renewed the Commission’s program of borrowing money – a $23,000,000 pot of it – for such work, even when the Commission had, as of December 31, 2013, a tad bit under $50,000,000 in stashed cash in three spending funds which are 100% discretionary.

Parish-slush-fundSome of us consider those funds to be political slush buckets which should be used before money is borrowed, especially given that Shreveporters – some 80% of the parish population – pay the highest property taxes in the state.  (Some say Zachary, Louisiana, is #1, but given its relatively small population of just under 16,000, I have not verified that.)

We just wouldn't drink it!

In trying to measure how many of us feel the Commission is a taxing and spending machine, we voted yesterday … for the second time.  In October, we turned it down in a bit better than a tie – by 59 votes – but the Commission simply would not take “no” for an answer, so they plunked another $145,000 of our money down to take another shot.  With Commissioner John Escude in the lead, I am told by other Commissioners, the group overstepped … well, “stepped in it,” might put it better … and the proposal went down this time by a margin of 77% “no” to 23% “yes.”

The result is all the more important for (more…)

Add comment May 4, 2014 8:32 pm

The “FEED ME MENTALITY” of Caddo Government

by Marion Marks

FEED with PurposeCaddo Parish government must be transparent, and the facts prove that transparency in Caddo is a far more elusive issue than the reality of the May 3 Bond Election. Caddo Parish government is an entity that must follow the law, ALL Laws. The litigation regarding Haynesville natural gas leases and the Caddo Parish decision to “take bonus checks & royalties they are not entitled under Louisiana law” reveals citizens must deny new taxes in the May 3 bond election.

Does the sun ever set on a government program?

Does the sun ever set on a government program?

Admit that government programs ALWAYS need more money. All government programs, by the nature of supporting government workers, rely on taxes to maintain public services. However, when was the last time Caddo Parish determined that a program could actually be cut or “sunset” because specific services were neither effective or tax payers were not getting fair value for money being spent? I bet it would be difficult to really justify “Yes, I’ve heard of such cuts.”

The bottom line is Caddo Parish, flush with (perhaps ill-gotten) Haynesville Shale bonus money, is finding more NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) that require funding to “make our parish a better place to live.” I’m also betting that the truth is that too much of this money is windfall sharing the wealth to benefit some official’s friend or even family pet project. Since 1990 the growth of some parish programs has outpaced the national economic growth rate at unparalleled rates as described in a recent article (Soaring Revenue & Expenses). [chart of growth] (more…)

Add comment May 2, 2014 9:00 am

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