Category: Caddo Parish Commission

Caddo Parish Commission and related Caddo Parish entities

Caddo Parish Gave Away GM Plant

Caddo Parish-hope-in-our-handsby Marion Marks

Everyone, including the Caddo Commissioners, has been re-examining the transactions regarding the General Motors plant and how & why we don’t have any manufacturing jobs at the plant. There is a clear chain that all should understand. Here is the Cliff Note version of how the transactions transpired in the 2013 give-away of the facility. But it all started at the 2013 meeting and the clear facts start at 1:49:00 of this video. You have to start at this point to see the key discussion of the GM give-away.  

  1. Racer sold to Shreveport Business Park[IRG Subsidiary 100% owned by Stuart Lichter] who in turn sold it to IDB.   However, before doing so they granted Elio the right to mtg. the fixtures, equipment, etc. and the right to have access and remove the equipment.
  2. The IDB executed the landlord waiver and access agreement after they purchased the property.
  3. All of the following documents were recorded on Dec. 27,2013. 
  4. Quit Claim Deed from Racer to Shreveport Business Park LLC  bk. 4713 page 469  at 3:41 pm 
  5. Landlord Waiver and Access Agreement to Elio at 3:51 p.m. 
  6. Quit Claim Deed from Shreveport Business Park to IDB    bk.4713  page 594   @  3:54 pm 
  7. Landlord Waiver and Access Agreement which the IDB executed at 4:03 pm  (instrument number 2486687). [Here is a link to all Sales documents]

The 2013 act, ORDINANCE NO. 5330 OF 2013, creating the industrial Development Board of the Parish of Caddo(IDB), was slowed on two votes by Commissioners Stephanie Lynch, Matthew Linn and Lyndon Johnson, but finally approved, with the same dissenting votes.[Video at 1:49:00][The ordinance-supplements & explanation]

Never has so much authority regarding Caddo Parish industrial development been put in the hands of a single non-elected official. Even though the elected commissioners were asked to approve many of Wilson’s actions, at no time were the commissioners ever offered access to all documents without demands or Read more

Caddo Commission – Aim Fire!

SWAG-Caddo_Oarish_prisoner-barsby Marion Marks

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.

Caddo Parish-hope-in-our-handsThere 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

Caddo Commission Administration – Again…

Michael_Williams-SWAG-behind-jail-barsby Marion Marks

The recent federal court case of United States of America vs. Michael Dewayne Williams should 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.

Woody Wilson, Caddo Administrator
Woody Wilson, Caddo Administrator

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

Caddo Anticipates Diverse Transportation Plan

Bicycle-Pedestrian Friendly Sidewalks
Bicycle-Pedestrian Friendly Sidewalks

by Marion Marks

The use of local funding to initiate a codified “Transportation Vision” for Caddo Parish seems to now be nearing approval. This vision required joint action by “Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG), the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC), the City of Shreveport, the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LA DOTD), Caddo Parish Commission and other government entities.”

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

Pruning Dead Wood & Public Corruption

Pecan Tree Shaker-01
Shaking for nuts!

by Marion Marks

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.

Lots of nuts to be had
Lots of nuts to be had

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

BNA Forum – Corruption Questions

Thew forum representative speakers
The forum representative speakers

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

Shreveport Commons Funding Demands Transparency

Decision ahead
Decisions ahead

by Marion Marks

Shreveport’s claims of concerns about our perceived character, growth, assimilation and legacy as far as working with others should be as much a concern to citizens as our concern about how we use federal, state and parish funding in development contracts. Jane Jacobs in addressing change in American cities in her 1961 The Death and Life of Great American Cities, as well as in other works, understood that urban planning guidelines gave her and all other citizens affected by changing city transportation routes and economic development a mechanism to fight improper use of government funding. Abusive tactics that bullied citizens cause Jacobs and her followers to use all available tools to demand transparency and public input before funds were spent. Jacobs understood that what was at stake was the very character of historic neighborhoods in the cities that she loved. She also understood that powerful force sought to use the system to steal the very soul of those cities as well as the public purse.[Prior Jane Jacobs article]

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