On the Political Horizon…

by John Settle

If a reader were to poll his neighbors about what to expect the rest of the month, no doubt that hot weather and no rain would be on the list, -and, probably at the top. For those neighbors that follow politics, this month will have a few happenings of interest.

For starters, all readers should be thankful that the latest episode of political sausage making is over, –the 2012 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature ended on Monday, June 4th. Nonetheless the daily headlines of doom and gloom from Baton Rogue will most likely continue for the rest of the month (year?), as state agencies try to adjust their budgets to live within the reality of today’s economic times. In any event, taxpayers should get some relief that this annual circus has ended, and that a few months will pass before the presidential election starts revving up on the local level.

For supporters of Bossier’s Operation Exodus, the end of the month could be the death kneel for one of Bossier Sheriff Larry Dean’s most ignominious ideas. Julian Whittington will take office on July 1, and hopefully he will promptly disband Dean’s paramilitary group that is equipped with heavy artillery to protect the parish from unknown, unidentified insurgents. It is expected that new Sheriff Whittington will make several changes as soon as Dean takes off his star.

For the “customers” of Shreveport City Court, i.e. the lawyer crowd primarily, June may bring progress in the long stalled process of selection of a new Clerk for the Shreveport City Court. Several months back, a selection committee chaired by Zelda Tucker was named by Chief Judge Bill Kelly. Unfortunately, no committee meeting have been held as of this date, albeit Tucker promises to try to schedule one this month.

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Bossier property owners, who are anticipating a substantial tax hike from the four year re-assessments this year, may be heartened by pleadings to be filed in mid month to void the recent Bossier Parish School Board (BPSB) tax renewal for expenditure of $210 million of capitol spending. This writer has previously disclosed unlawful expenditures by the BPSB urging passage of this tax renewal. In the free state of Bossier public officials are rarely slowed down by laws and regulations, and one can only hope a Bossier District Court (or if needed, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals) will have the moxy to penalize the BPSB for pushing the envelope way too far in its campaign for an economic stimulus package for local construction firms by upsetting the election.

Progress” in the long stalled completion of Interloop 3132 to the Port will depend, in large part, on the actions/inactions of the Caddo/Shreveport Metropolitan Planning Commission in considering various provisions to be recommended for amendment of two Caddo Parish Ordinances affecting the development of Tim Larkin’s Esplanade subdivision. Actually, this land is now in the City of Shreveport, and the most controversial political hot potato of the decade is slowly moving its way through the city’s legislative process, –as well as a Caddo District Court. All involved expect litigation to ultimately resolve Larkin’s requested curb-cut onto Flournoy Lucas and the impact of the same on a future route(s) of the Inner Loop. No finality can be expected this month, but the “plot will thicken” no doubt.

So, there will be events of a political nature to follow in the next few weeks, and depending on one’s perspective, to either commiserate over or celebrate. Let’s hope that those topics listed above –and others not mentioned-are followed by the public closely to ensure elected officials properly perform their functions. Now that would be a breathe of fresh air much needed in what is, already, a hot, sweltering month.