If More Hot Air Wanted Just Read Mayor Tyler’s 6 Month Progress Report

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015As if the brutal summer heat wave that has virtually suffocated Shreveport for the last few weeks was not enough, a detailed reading of Mayor Ollie Tyler’s much ballyhooed 6 month progress report will certainly raise the ambient temperature in one’s office or home. Give her credit—Tyler’s high dollar ($99,000 plus salary and benefits) Communications and Public Relations hire Africa Price has put together one slick 6 page report; it reads “good” if quickly scanned while taking care of nature’s business or sitting in a waiting room. A look at the so-called “facts” utilized to support most of the puffing and chest thumping is disappointing to say the least—but not all that surprising since Tyler used smoke and mirrors to sell her performance as Caddo Education Superintendent during her mayoral campaign.

City Attorney, William Bradford, Jr.
City Attorney,
William Bradford, Jr.

Initially Tyler brags about assembling the “best team to support our vision”; practically no one was hired from the perspective of credentials versus political payback. CAO Brian Crawford was a requirement for Read more

Cynicism & Sarcasm Take the High Ground While Citizen & Officials Disengage

Ken Burns-Documentarian Filmmaker
Ken Burns

by Marion Marks

I think we too often make choices based on the safety of cynicism, and what we’re led to is a life not fully lived. Cynicism is fear and it’s worse than fear – it’s active disengagement.”  Ken Burns

The “Winners” of the Republican beauty contest this week appear to be those best able to make cynical addresses about anything President Obama, the Democratic Party or “Big Government” stands for related to social justice. Beauty contestants should be so lucky, as they must generally sway judges on far less objective standards. The greatest slight, the biggest laugh or the most absurd comments seem to nudge the polls and may determine the top ten contestants in the next round of presidential musical chairs.

Donald Trump may the the greatest influence the electoral process has seen in years if he changes the tone of discussion toward real problem solving, however the tone today seems to be geared toward cynical disengagement to protect turf. Trump could be seen as the explosive that sparks discussion, but if constructive dialogue does not follow, the Republican party continues to self destruct.

Clown MobilePoll winners in the early rounds appear to be those least likely to be prepared or have capacity for government Read more

What it means to me to be the D.A.

Mark Rogers-oval crop-Portrait
         Mark Rogers

by Mark Rogers

I’m a lawyer, a former public defender, and a former professor. I resigned this year as an adjunct professor at LSUS. I have taught Human Resource Management for Nonprofit and Public Organizations in their Masters in Nonprofit Administration program since 2005.

When explaining law and policy to my students, I tell them that all legal principles can be extracted from our most basic unit of government, the family, and applied across the board all the way up to national government. Principles such as justice, fairness, due process, and punishment are the same for a family as they are for the city, parish, state, and federal government. These principles can be analyzed and applied through inductive logic. Families are our most basic and most important unit of government.

A good D.A. is like a father-figure in our parish. The D.A. administers discipline, certainly, but tempered with wisdom, patience, honesty, and a desire for things to get better for all involved. That is justice. Read more

–Discussion Items/Readings– District Attorney Race 2015

Election 2015
Election season is upon us and candidates, at least for the office of Caddo District Attorney, will be provided a forum to present themselves in writing and address issues that reflected their positions and qualifications to serve citizens. The next Caddo Parish District Attorney will have large shoes to fill following Charles Rex Scott.

The following reading material cover issues that spark questions candidates should be qualified to address:

Caddo Sheriff frustrated by failure to prosecute public officials by DA
Compare Caddo to East Baton Rouge Parish DA message
State Attorney General on prosecution of local officials
The Prosecutor who could save Baltimore
Read more

Defining the Role of District Attorney

Lee Harville oval
Lee Harville – Candidate, Caddo District Attorney

By Lee Harville

A District Attorney serves two important roles: the prosecution of cases and the administration of the office. In these times of economic turmoil, it is important that a District Attorney have successful real world experience in managing and running a law office.

As the recent budget woes of the Public Defender Office show, funding for the criminal justice system is not guaranteed. As any citizen knows, taxes are high enough and public officials should know how to run and budget an office.

I am the only announced candidate who has successfully run a small business for almost 8 years. I started renting a 1-room office, grew to rent a 4-room office, and now own my own building.

I did this during a recession. I did this as other solo attorneys had to move from office to office or join or associate with Read more

Commissioners Illegal Money & Extremely Poor Legal Counsel

Bad Luck...
Poor choice of a parachute…

by Marion Marks

The Caddo Parish Commission has been splashed in every media from print to TV stations, blogs, FaceBook page and email alleging serious illegal activities of elected officials, administrators and those hired to handle legal issues and guidance for citizens of Caddo Parish. However, glaring legal failures like potholes in the CPERS retirement system appear to have sidetracked far too much of the discussion about criminal activities, and factual errors in reporting seem to discredit many well-meaning people. I suggest those who should have known of the illegal participation are the most guilty – the paid legal team.

bad-newsI’ve watched as the topic has degenerated into bitter feuds among well-meaning good people. Friends have stopped talking and bitterly hammered each other because bad decisions that may turn out to be criminal conduct, in the opinion of good legal minds, and the court decision, have dragged us into this Read more

OMG—Caddo Commission Incumbents to be Challenged in Fall Elections?

John Settle-Opinion-May 2015What is the world coming to in Caddo parish politics?

First an upstart not-from-here businessman (Mario Chavez) is running for the Caddo Commission spot to be vacated by termed-out David Cox. Yes, Chavez is Hispanic—and if successful he will be the first Hispanic to be elected to any political office in northwest Louisiana.

If that is not enough to shake the pillars of old line Caddo politics, then get this—at least 3 Commission incumbents will be challenged in the October primary! Yes, the days of cake walks for sitting Commissioners who hope to stay on the public payroll by merely qualifying are beginning to end—thank goodness! And if ever there was a golden year to challenge Commission incumbents this is it—probably the best time in the history of the Parish Commission. Challengers can have a field day with the voting records of and actions of Commissioners who seek re-election including, for starters, the following issues.

Blind Voters
   Legally, it won’t fly.

In 2000 the Commission voted to create the Caddo Parish Employees Retirement System (“CPERS”) which included the Commissioners. In 2013 and 2014 the Commissioners paid themselves a CPERS match rate exceeding 15%; the normal rate is 6% or less. There are very serious questions Read more