John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Yep, its that time again—for Caddo (and for a change Bossier) voters to have another special election’ for a tax renewal. Not that there are not enough special elections in what is almost a home grown Louisiana sport— tax elections on dates that do not coincide with regular elections. This time the vote is to renew a 2.5 millage for the Caddo Bossier Port on April 9th.

On April 3, 1993, the voters of Caddo and Bossier Parishes approved a special tax of 2.5 mills to be levied on the property subject to taxation in the Port Area, consisting of Caddo and bossier Parishes for a period of twenty -five (25) years, commencing with the year 1993. The purpose of the tax was for site acquisition and for constructing, acquiring, improving and equipping docks and wharves, transfer and storage facilities, commercial and industrial facilities and other port, transportation and infrastructure facilities and improvements with the Port. The revenue from this tax has increased from $2 million in 1995 to over $6 million in 2014. In 21 years over $80 million has been generated by this assessment.

port of shreveport bossier
port of shreveport bossier

The Port has approximately 700 acres of it’s 2300 hundred acres owned left for development; only 145 of these are contiguous which limits Read more

Has Matthew Linn Cut Off His Limb?

sawing_limbby Marion Marks

Matthew Linn has raised more issues in his first month as President of the Caddo Commission than any commissioner in modern memory. One of three possible results will probably be the end product of issues raised.
#1 – An embarrassed Linn will reverse course, perhaps even step down, because his actions were based on erroneous interpretations of the law.
#2 – The Caddo Commission will have to reverse course because illegal actions have been “business as usual,” because they have broken or they ignored the law and have illegally conducted business in this manner for years. Or,
#3 – NLCOG, as well as other bodies, have ignored or failed to recognize the law as Linn and other attorneys are now interpreting it, and their prior actions will be under the microscope for years to come. Failure Counts

Linn has taken the position that commissioners have delegated the parish’s obligation far too much to the parish administrator, Dr. Woody Wilson, and that Read more


John Settle-Opinion-May 2015In less than 2 weeks as the new president of the Caddo Commission, Matthew Linn has caused quite a stir—as well as a wave of embarrassment for the Commission—by his actions, both as a Commissioner and as the president of the Commission. The first was an attempt to use his office as a Commissioner to unduly influence (and apparently successfully so) to have Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator have an investigator chase down the writer of a Facebook post that Linn did not like. Now Linn, and perhaps the Commission as well as the Sheriff, face a possible civil rights suit by a local attorney claiming that the email and subsequent actions of a Sheriff’s deputy violated her rights to free speech, unlawfully threatened her employment by a public agency and racially slandered her clientele.

Commissioner Matthew LinnLinn’s latest antic is to replace Parish Administrator Dr. Woody Wilson on the NLCOG (North Louisiana Council of Governments)—who is serving as chairman this year. Linn first sent a letter to Read more


John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Its always exciting to have new faces in public offices, and even more so when newcomers immediately jump in and tackle the “bull by the horns”, so to speak. And that is exactly what happened at the first work session, and then the first meeting, of the newly sworn in 2016-2120 Caddo Commission.

The presence of 4 newbies—John Atkins, Mario Chavez, Steven Jackson and Mike Middleton—on the Commission made the difference between night in day on this 12 member body in the first 2 meetings. During the initial work session on January 19 Steven Jackson offered 3 ordinances to be put on the agenda for the January 21 agenda. The first was to delete the Commissioners from participation in the highly contested and now being litigated retirement plan (CPERS). The second was to stop automatic pay raises for Commissioners for cost of living adjustments (COLA), and the third was to reduce the annual unmonitored expense allowance for Commissioners from $15,000 per year to $8,000.session-cutting-back-like-citizens 

Out going president Johnson tried to de-rail the CPERS and COLA ordinances by making substitute Read more

Can 2016 be the Year Caddo Parish is Proud of the News?


by Marion Marks

January should be a hopeful month, yet early Mardi Gras celebrations and the MLK memorial activities seem to temper the new year, particularly with losses of those we have buried long before we felt their time had expired. Our frenetic pace and electronic networks make it difficult to just sit back and absorb life. It is appropriate to take personal stock, without too much commentary, even when it hurts to see others’ mistakes, because we just can’t fix everything all by ourselves.

The boisterous social media and blogging stories about Caddo-Shreveport failing to recognize needs of interstate commerce, I-49 corridor routing and inner-city growth neglects a history of the city that has been stagnant far too many years according to a clear record of demographers and analysts who Read more


John Settle-Opinion-May 2015The question for the day: When is a Facebook posting a threat to life and limb? Does a posting under a picture of a person holding a fishing rod saying that “I know him personally and it bothers me that that rod is not shoved down his throat” a threat? The picture was of Caddo Commissioner Matthew Linn.

Linn signed an email to Caddo Sheriff Prator  as “Matthew Linn Caddo Commissioner” complaining about this posting. Linn said the posting “by Kathryn Bloomfield would not be as bothersome if she did not work as an attorney for the Public Defender’s Office/Caddo Parish. In her role as a public defender she is in constant contact with people who may feel they owe her a favor for her representation of them in court…My only concern is that someone she represents may want to do her a favor…”Commissioner Matthew Linn Read more

Political Anger Takes No Prisoners

Doyouhaveanangerproblem copyby Marion Marks

It’s not really about right or left, Democrat or Republican, voters vote their pocketbooks. The quote that originated from Alexis de Tocqueville, “A democracy can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury,” becomes a rally for political handlers who warn candidates of the power of purse strings politics. Bill Clinton and his speechwriters had to be constantly be reminded by James Carville’s sheet on the wall, “It’s the economy, Stupid!” Focusing on economic issues continues in 2016 as it always has because so many people are still hurting, angry and need a boogie man in government to blame. “They are getting more than I am!”

Trumplings and the Sandernistas* are not angry because the government did not “properly stuff their Christmas stocking. They have many good, and quite a few far from good, reasons to be very angry. They are the people who lost their homes, a good part of their life savings, and jobs during the recent Great Recession. Those who got new jobs are paid much less and receive fewer benefits. And for each one who Read more