Sometimes I allow my impulsive nature to get the better of me, I can be my own worst enemy. But this morning, I counted to one hundred several times, called and touched base with two attorneys I feel have conservative-response tendencies before penned an email to the Shreveport Times, again, regarding an article I wrote last Friday.
As I read the transcript of the Michael Williams case, I recited the mantra of patience and inner peace so many times that I was forced at the end to go for a walk to keep from blowing a gasket. The acronym YCMTSU [You Can’t Make This “Stuff” Up] was boiling over in my conscience effort to remain calm. The steady and even demeanor of the Caddo Parish representatives in the courtroom through the interrogation during the sentencing phase must have been medically induced or simply those present were under strict muzzled orders.
There can be no valid excuse I would rationalize for a steward of the parish, particularly a highly-paid professional, to sit through this barrage of questions and jabs without showing some defense for citizens and particularly Read more
The recent federal court case of United States of America vs. Michael Dewayne Williamsshould have caused Caddo citizens far more pain than apparently I have observed, and it may be that we have accepted broken systems as the norm rather than the exception. I pray not!
I want to make it clear that I found Michael Williams’ use of public monies in the SWAG Nation case both offensive and degrading to a potentially good program and others in the field of juvenile justice, but I felt he was permitted to extend his violations and further harm others by the total failure of the administration of the Caddo Commission.
Judge Maurice Hicks, Jr. properly nailed the violations of the Caddo Commission administration in his opinion of July 21, 2016, but the repercussions of these violations seem to have treated like water off a duck’s back by the public and the media. This is news that must sink in and be properly digested, because it speaks of the ease with which the public is willing to accept abuse by government officials as well as elected representatives.
“… the Caddo Parish Commission’s lack of due diligence, oversight, and auditing of public funds is a disservice to every person in the parish of Caddo. And I realize full well that this Read more
I became aware of this work when I filmed the Bicycle Forum last October [Draft plan] along with following actions of the various agencies mentioned above that was related to the ongoing plans. As I recently followed public emails that indicated this program may actually become a reality, I am finding that some of the money spent to educate public officials and staff was money well-spent!
From one email: “The reason the Caddo Parish/Shreveport Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan was submitted to the federal government is because we recognized that what U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx outlined in his Transportation Vision was becoming and Read more
Understanding how “the system works” in terms of investigating, prosecuting and convicting public officials who abuse the public’s trust is often like tending a pecan orchard. With every good intention of electing citizens who will be true to their oath of service, we seasonally listen to candidates who chose to run for office, work in some campaigns and finally vote in hopes of electing the best qualified candidate to serve in making the community a little better at accomplishing the tasks required.
Too many citizens focus all their energy on electing a candidate, when in reality, although little can be accomplished by the unelected, the real work begins after the election. Just as planting a pecan tree does not guarantee you will have pecans, we all to often have found that elected officials all too often fail to accomplish most of the items they plan and also fail to live up to the oaths they swear.
Shreveport and Caddo Parish have too long been step children to south Louisiana, and the expectation that solutions will grow for the state from seed planted here is practically non-existent. South Louisiana easily forgets that Huey Long, for all his faults, began his political career in Shreveport. And many other pivotal Read more
I was fortunate enough last night to observe the interaction of law enforcement, prosecutors, elected officials and average citizens during a public forum concerning the general topic of “Public Corruption.” Sadly, not a single member of what we normally refer to as “the mainstream media” was there to observe and report, much less record the event for general public review.
The interchange of ideas and thought was often heated and, at times, anger and frustration was evident in some of the words of citizens who posed questions. However, the demonstration of patience and respect for law and the rights of citizens who chose to step up for public office was commendable. The temperament of the country in frustration with the presidential election was evident behind some comments and aspersions.
But what came out of the forum can best be described as “some steam was released from the local pressure cooker” for some officials, while others appear to have added new fuel to the public clamor for justice. Locally, claims by many
The Shreveport Commons plan seems too full of comparisons to the New York plan Jacobs fought that demand greater study and transparency. Just like the New York plan Jacobs opposed, “city planners” came to the table with plans and a cobbled together timetable to use public funding to create change that would seemingly fit the federal guidelines and mollify Read more
The Caddo Commission recently named the Charter Review Committee which is mandated to review the Commission’s Home Rule Charter every 4 years. The Committee, which may have its first meeting this week, has 6 members—Liz Swaine, Melva Williams, Rob Broussard, Billy Wayne, Ronnie Festervan, and Alex Washington. The Committee can make recommendations to the Commission—and then the Commission can place the recommendations for Charter amendments on the ballot for voter approval.
Unfortunately, problems have already surfaced. Commission attorney Donna Frazier has set the first meeting for Read more