Posts filed under ‘Caddo Parish School Board’

Patrick Williams – Agent for Change as Mayor

Shreveport Attorney John Settle

Opinion by John Settle

There is an old saying in politics that if you are not taking shots from opponents (and political critics), then you must not be doing a good job. Put another way, if you are getting some hits then you must do be doing many things well. Such is the case with Patrick William who plans on being Shreveport’s next mayor.Patrick Williams Button

Williams is a new face to many politicos and citizens alike, despite his prior service as a Caddo Commissioner and now as state representative from the MLK area.

That, plus his determination to be a positive agent for change, has upset many established political power bases and constituencies. And to top it off, Williams has NOT promised jobs in his administration to curry political favor.

Williams Walk

Williams Walk

There’s no doubt that Williams has upset the traditional “I will scratch your back if you scratch mine” mentality of Shreveport politics; its quite apparent that the old guard Shreveport business and (more…)

September 25, 2014 3:00 pm

Property Tax Comps: “Caddo, We Have a Problem …”

ill_windsby Elliott Stonecipher

Property tax winds are blowing yet again in Shreveport and Caddo, now from our Caddo Parish School Board. To put such taxation in context, this report contains new research comparing taxes in Caddo / Shreveport to other areas in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas.

The administration and board are now at work deciding when to schedule their move, and what to put on the ballot when they do. A mix of renewals are coming due before we know it, and an early CPSB miscue could taint them all.

Caddo Superintendent

Caddo Superintendent Goree

New Superintendent T. Lamar Goree is off to a positive, hopeful start, with perhaps several new school board members also coming aboard in November / December elections. Regardless, a “Give us the money!” tax renewal campaign would dash hope of reform.

(As I explained during the recent Caddo Commission tax (more…)

September 21, 2014 6:39 pm

Many New Challengers for Caddo Parish Board

Shreveport Attorney John Settle

Opinion by John Settle

With all the political hoopla in the past few weeks focused on other races, the upcoming election for all 12 members of the Caddo Parish School Board drew scant, if any attention. Not that these elected positions are not important – – quite the contrary. The large number of candidates who qualified for this 12 member board was a pleasant surprise to political observers.CPSB Logo

The general public’s dissatisfaction with quality of Caddo public education is clearly reflected by the challenges to incumbent school board members. Only 2 of the current members were unopposed; Lillian Priest and Curtis Hooks did not seek re-election. Thus 10 seats could change hands.

Opposing StatisticsThree board members have more than one opponents, – – a fact reflective of serious discontent; all of these had been considered to be stalwarts on the Board.

Jasmine Green (District 2), and Ginger Armstrong (District 11) (more…)

August 29, 2014 7:00 am

The Facts About Ollie Tyler As Caddo Superintendent

SUCCESSby John Settle

Ollie Tyler’s mayoral campaign hypes her “great success” as the Caddo school superintendent during her tenure (July 1, 2003-July 31, 2007). And in fact Tyler claims that her administrative experience in Caddo (and in Baton Rouge/New Orleans) make her the most qualified candidate to be Shreveport’s next mayor. The facts indicate that Tyler did not hang the moon as the Caddo superintendent, and that her Caddo track record is quite the opposite.

Defining BenefitNot surprising is the fact that Ms. Tyler’s campaign manager Linda Biernacki financially benefitted, – in a big way, – from the Caddo Parish School Board during Tyler’s term. Biernacki is the owner of Fire Tech Systems; her company was paid (more…)

August 1, 2014 12:00 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…)

June 15, 2014 4:38 pm

Gallup-Healthways Lists Shreveport Bossier 182 out of 189

By John Settle
It’s never fun to read about one’s home town in the national media in a negative way. If you are a reader of USA Today, the Tuesday (March 25) edition is a paper to toss; a column listed the top 10 cities for “overall well-being”, and there was Shreveport-Bossier listed at 182.

The 2013 Gallup-Healthways ratings are based on more than 500,000 interviews in which people were asked about their emotional and physical health, job satisfaction, community safety, and access to food, shelter and health care. This is the sixth year of the survey, and for the second time the Provo Utah area was first; others in the top five included Boulder Colorado, Fort Collins Colorado, Honolulu Hawaii, and San Jose California. The five worst cities were Huntington/Ashland West Virginia/Ohio, Charleston West Virginia, Redding California, Spartanburg South Carolina, and Hickory North Carolina.
(more…)

March 27, 2014 4:00 pm

Sunshine & Local Public Record Act Compliance

Shreveport Attorney John Settle

by John Settle

Louisiana’s Public Records Act sets forth simple guidelines that allow for transparency by governmental bodies. A written request (letter, fax, or email) to a public body requesting public records is to be complied within three business days. The public agency can make available the requested records for review, or as is more often the case, provide copies of the documents at a reasonable charge. Some public bodies readily comply with public records requests (PRRs) and some unfortunately do not, – as experienced from sending over one hundred (100) PRRs in the last two (2) years. Wanted OPEN Government by Order of the Citizens

The City of Shreveport is always very slow in responding to PRRs. (One notable exception was a recent request regarding pension plans that was promptly answered by CAO Dale Sibley). Seemingly the standard operating procedure of Mayor Glover’s office (and City Attorney Terri Scott) is to wait until one or two follow-up requests have been sent before document production.

We're looking for something unique in the answer...

Where’s the meat?

Initially the City would provide the documents at no charge by email or fax; now it is often necessary to go to the City Attorney’s office to pick up the requested documents and pay a copy fee. Additionally, the City adopted a policy of redacting substantial portions of invoices for legal services on the dog park litigation, claiming attorney client (more…)

March 18, 2014 6:00 am

WANTED: Open Government – Sunshine Forum

by Marion Marks

Wanted OPEN Government by Order of the CitizensSeldom do the stars cross at precisely the time we need them in education and “real life.” An educational – Governmental forum, Wednesday, March 19th just happens to be a “Predestined” coincidence.

Shreve Memorial Library is sponsoring at Cohab, in downtown Shreveport a discussion panel dealing with transparency in government, experiences dealing with public records, and the reality of open government in Louisiana. The program is scheduled from 7:00-8:30 followed by question-and-answer with the audience. Panelists scheduled to appear are Elliott Stoneciper (Evets Management Services, Inc.), Tom Arceneaux (attorney with Blanchard, Walker, O’Quin & Roberts), Alison Bath (The Shreveport Times), Danny Lawler (The Inquisitor) and Jeff Everson (City of Shreveport-City Council).

CoHab-SunshineWeek-March 19_TextCurrent public records requests with the City Council, Mayor and Parish Commission will certainly be part of the topic of discussion. In light of the struggle to control the leadership of the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) and documents that have been sent to us, a PRR (Public Records Request) was submitted to determine what other improper or potentially illegal email will be forthcoming from the two bodies and the mayor.

I am NOT an attorney, but the attorneys who we have engaged to assist with this utilizing the Public Records Act of Louisiana (R.S. 44:1 et seq.), told us to respectfully request the following information. And our request was as specific and narrow as possible so as to not give a chance to come back with a “too broad” response from the city or parish attorneys.

bullseye_darts

Bulls eye!

The specific information requested is “Bulls eye”clear. We asked for: documents, emails, texts, faxes, appointment calendars & logs containing reference (more…)

March 13, 2014 3:43 pm

All I Want for Christmas is a New School Board

Shreveport Attorney John Settle

by John Settle

Since it’s the Christmas season, it’s always good to have a wish or two ready in case Santa gives you a call. If you are a Caddo taxpayer, you can add this to your Christmas list: a brand new slate of Caddo School Board members to be elected next year.” This is not just a Christmas fantasy – it is a possibility.

CPSB-fail01For the past twenty plus years the Caddo School Board has been an absolute failure in performing its mission: providing quality education to all of the residents of Caddo Parish. This twelve member board is the perfect example of democracy at its worst, – with the most critical votes being cast along racial lines. Board districts that ensure six white and six black have resulted in petty politics of the highest degree, with children and taxpayers the ultimate losers.

The Caddo School Board needs statesmen/stateswomen – political leaders who are respected and who are promoters of the public good, not themselves. Presently many board members act as (more…)

December 12, 2013 4:00 pm

Caddo Parish School Board Editorial from City Council President

Michael Corbin

Michael Corbin,
City Council President

Forward-Now Note: This was offered to the Shreveport Times, and to this point has not appeared. We have added some notes for clarification as well as audits we uncovered that we feel bear on this letter. These were added without the knowledge or consent of Councilman Corbin. However, we feel these are relevant to understanding the position of education and the CPSB. [Note Audits below each relevant section i.e. Transportation here, where safety of children seems to be a significant problem Also THEFT of Property!]

The future direction of Caddo Public Schools is an important issue for our Parish, our City and future opportunities for both students and economic development. Without a good working relationship and common goals between the Caddo Commission, City of Shreveport and the Caddo Parish School Board we will not be able to take advantage of all potential opportunities to help our region grow and prosper.

Over the past 15 years, multiple Superintendents have presented their plans to the public and the School Board to address a declining student population, changing demographics and shifting populations. While some parts of these plans have been implemented, the idea of closing campuses, major consolidations and (more…)

October 26, 2013 5:39 pm

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