North Louisiana Council of Governments and 3132

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ODDS FOR AN EXTENSION OF HWY. 3132 TO THE CADDO-BOSSIER PORT? N.L.C.O.G. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETS THURSDAY, 10:00 AM

For several months, there has been a quieting of the public controversy about the Inner Loop / Hwy. 3132 Extension to the Caddo-Bossier Port.  That relative quiet, however, belies the fact of uninterrupted political interference in what was originally conceived and designed to be the serious and important business of public transportation planning.

3132 Anyone?

Craig Durrett, in an editorial in this morning’s Shreveport Times, comments on this piece of our public business.  In my words, not his, this is all about how “public” transportation planning is too many times as full of political influence as it is devoid of a bedrock commitment by all involved public officials to selflessly serve the needs of the taxpayers who foot the bill.

As the Times piece particularly notes, there will be a meeting of the Executive Committee of NLCOG (Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments) on Thursday of this week at 10:00 AM:

” … Among the complicating factors are the major improvements to Flournoy Lucas that allowed it to become a major route for trucks servicing both the Port of Caddo-Bossier and Haynesville Shale exploration. Then there is the absurdity of possible extension corridors requiring the displacement of existing multi-million dollar developments. Add in the suspicions of political intrigue that have swirled about this project. In that light, Finish 3132 Coalition representatives will appear Thursday morning before the NLCOG Executive Committee to make sure the public understands what “everything in the public record on 3132 really says,” says Elliott Stonecipher who has been researching documents for eight months.”

On behalf of the 3132 Coalition, I ask everyone who supports this project to attend.  To say this carefully and politely, it has taken a lot of e-mails, phone calls and time to get the meeting moved to Governmental Plaza from the tiny NLCOG meeting room in the American Tower where it was originally set, and to have some expectation that our presentation will actually be heard.

We have not gained a firm commitment for such a hearing, nor do we know what time and other limits will be placed on us, nor do we know that a quorum of the Executive Committee will attend.

The presentation of this information is important, and the general public cannot have been previously aware of much of it.  Though we hope the information will make it into the public record by way of the hoped-for Thursday presentation, that may not occur.  If true public servants among the public officials involved act to assure a full and complete presentation, then the people of our area have a fighting chance for a 3132 Extension to the Caddo-Bossier Port.  If, on the other hand, key facts remain buried by hidden political influence, this project will likely end up with the 1-49 inner-city connector:  in our area’s What Might Have Been boneyard.

It is my standard practice to end these commentaries by noting that I do this work in the public interest, with no compensation of any form or manner either solicited or accepted.  I do so again, here, but I want to expand that personal note in this case:  those facts also apply to all – every bit – of the work I have done on the 3132 Extension issue.  Carefully preserving that basis for this work has never ended the assertions and attacks from some public officials and their seemingly countless water-carriers – most of whom we pay, one way or the other – but it is, nonetheless, the basis for my work.

Elliott Stonecipher

Evets Management Services, Inc.
6658 Youree Drive
Suite 180, #367
Shreveport, LA  71105
Phone:  318-424-1695

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