by Elliott Stonecipher

As I said in my last report, we sincerely thank all of you who continue to e-mail your support to our Finish 3132 Coalition.  In our spirit of thanks, we wish each of you the very best in your Thanksgiving Day celebrations.

As we work, seemingly around-the-clock, to protect the likely route of a future Hwy. 3132 Extension, the focus continues to be the construction by Esplanade developer Tim Larkin of his roadway in the likely route of a future 3132 Extension.  To the many who communicate to us their outrage as the rule of law in Shreveport is so proudly and boldly trumped by official malfeasance, I again write to make readers aware of which public officials have the duty, authority, and power to stop this.

The City Council, Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) and Courts CAN Stop This

We should make no mistake about the fact that the roadway under construction is illegal, as I will partially explain in
the following section.  The issue, therefore, is who in a position of authority cares enough about Shreveport to protect the rule of law and the interests of the people and city they have sworn a public oath to serve.

As we have previously explained, when the MPC and City Council repeatedly voted against what Tim Larkin is doing, he simply went around them, getting his so-called“permit” from his partner in all of this, our mayor.  Specifically, the mayor directed the city engineer to give Larkin one, and he did.  The City Council and/or MPC must now go to Caddo District Court for quick issuance of a restraining order to stop the construction.

The courts are clear in their relative preference that these public bodies petition for such “injunctive relief”.  Before and repeatedly, the voting members of these bodies acted against the possibility that the law might thus be broken by such malfeasance.  Now, they must act as it is.

The Legal Specifics

The City Council members, and some on the MPC staff, continue to excuse their absence of action by repeating the specious posit authored and repeated ad nauseum by Larkin himself, i.e., that he is “building a private road on private land.”  He is not.  As I attached to my last report to you, Larkin’s so-called “permit” – which it isn’t, in legal fact – shows his signature under the paragraph in which he defines what he is building as a “public servitude of passage” which he
dedicates to the public.  Thus dedicated, by himself, how does he legally build a private road atop it?  Legally, in point of fact, he does not and cannot.

Then, perhaps even more clearly and powerfully, the Shreveport Municipal Code, Chapter 78, “Streets, Sidewalks, and other Public Places,” Division 2, Paragraph 78-56, dictates:

“The director of public works shall have authority to issue a permit for the construction of a driveway, approach or entrance in the residential area of the city, or upon or to property zoned for residential use.  Such a permit shall be issued by the director of public works as a matter of course, unless the director shall find that the granting of such a permit would be unsafe, dangerous or greatly inconvenient to the public, in which event he shall refer the application for the permit to the city council.  (b) No permit shall be issued by the director of public works under subsection (a) of this section for the construction of a driveway, approach or entrance exceeding ten feet in width at the property line.”  (Emphasis added.)

So, here it is, contrary to the oft-stated “out” now being used by some Council members and some MPC staff:

(1)  Shreveport’s Director of Public Works is nowhere to be found in Glover’s gift of a bogus permit to Larkin, only the City Engineer.  From the beginning, Glover’s go-to teammate in support of Larkin has been the city engineer.

(2)  Given that this “driveway” – wow, ‘ever see such a “driveway” ?! – is, depending on who one listens to, much wider than 10′ – somewhere between 30′ and 60’.  This permitting, by law, has to go to the City Council.  And, by the way, our legal efforts to get all the pertinent documents from the City Engineering office have been stymied at every turn until two days ago, but even then, only in small part.  There is no telling what these withheld public documents would reveal.

The City Attorney

As our mayor, city engineer and Larkin know very well, the City Council or MPC may be forced to sue to stop Glover from thus acting illegally.  As we
have just seen, when the Council acted to fund and build a dog park, Glover vetoed the action, the Council overrode the veto, and Glover told them where to stick the rule or law and separation of powers.  Though the Council is thus now required to sue Glover, they have not done so, nor, we are told, do they plan to.

The Council knows the problem and the remedy well, as some of us have made certain.  As with their investigation into Glover’s hand-picked “financial advisor,” getting around the fact that Shreveport has no real city attorney – rather an attorney with that title who only does what our mayor tells her – required the hiring of their “own” attorney, Frank Neuner.  Even after Neuner’s scorching report, the Council has not acted to nullify the “financial advisor’s” contact.

Something within those of us who are honest, and who give a damn, knows that when the law is so loudly and proudly broken by some in our own Shreveport City government, the city is irreparably damaged and diminished, in many untold ways.  “The Rule of Law” matters here, too, even though our government is putting on a clinic in support of the notion that Shreveport somehow need not follow or enforce the law.  When that bill comes due – here or anywhere else – it is hell to pay. 

As we watch Larkin building a publicly dedicated road for his personal profit without lawful right to do so, let there be no mistake about who is directly aidingand abetting what he is doing. 

For openers in this New and Worse Shreveport, anyone who is told to get a permit to build anything is being discriminated against.

Elliott Stonecipher
Finish 3132 Coalition, LLC

Elliott Stonecipher’s reports, essays and commentaries are written strictly in the public interest.  No compensation of any kind has been solicited or accepted for this work.  This work is protected, and no other use of it is permitted without the
written consent of Mr. Stonecipher.