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
Local and federal government officials charged with enforcing anti-corruption laws will answer questions about their work at a Broadmoor Neighborhood Association meeting Tuesday, May 10.Speakers will describe their jurisdictions in the area of government corruption and how they work in tandem with other law-enforcement agencies. Audience questions will be taken and answered by panelists. Citizen confusion exists as far as understanding how the various governmental agenciesaddress reports regarding specific illegal acts alleged to have been committed.
Specific confusion among citizens concerns a belief that a one-stop shop opportunity should exist for citizens to Read more
The voters spoke, and tax millages have been renewed in Caddo Parish to support the Caddo Parish School Board [all children] and the Port of Caddo-Bossier. But, if ever a critic states that a city, a neighborhood or a district is a “bargain,” those seeking to experience a unique cultural experience should run as rapidly as possible in the opposite direction. Developers or politicians who seek to fashion Shreveport and Caddo Parish in the image of other southern cities should reevaluate the message they are peddling. Shreveport citizens need to study again what happened to other cities to guarantee Shreveport doesn’t fall victim to any similar schemes.
The concept of a unique cultural experience for a city cannot be packaged as mass marketers attempt to sell fast food or a vacation destination experience. The very concept of a neighborhood or a community that possesses a unique heart, soul and cultural identity or a measure of definable culture must recognize the slow, eclectic and necessarily old-side of the community, one devoid of a Read more
The debate over the last 3 weeks in regards to education and the CPSB millage renewal have exposed us to who we really are. We’re several communities: rich and poor, black and white, rural and urban, those that understand the value of education, those that feel that some of our children (especially African Americans) are so wayward that they’re not worthy of educating. Educating them is a waste of taxpayers dollars. Nothing can be further from the Truth!! Education is a right not a Privilege. – Everybody is Education Worthy. – Anybody can Learn.
So instead of being real about our true feeling, we’ve spend the last 3 weeks camouflaging them with gossip and rumors to justify Read more
Caddo Bossier Port Director Eric England has refused to answer 10 questions presented to him in early March, and it is very doubtful that he will respond to these additional inquiries, despite asking Caddo and Bossier voters to renew 2 years early a bond renewal this coming Saturday. These inquiries deal directly with the business affairs of the Port and the failure to respond to these should be a concern to voters who will be extending taxes on their homesteads and all other immovable property they own; already Caddo Parish has the highest ad valorem taxes in Louisiana.
Answers to these additional questions, as well as the first 10, are needed to properly evaluate the bond renewal.
11. Why does the Port need a lobbying firm and how Read more
By Concerned Residents of the Village of Robson, La.
The collective residents of the Harts Island Road area in the village of Robson, La., whose family homes are now surrounded by the Caddo- Bossier Parishes Port Commission, herein after referred to as “The Port,” would like to present a collective voice regarding the forthcoming tax renewal for the said Caddo Bossier Port. Not acting lightly or capriciously, the residents feel actions of the “Port” are neither wise nor fair to private property owners in both Caddo and Bossier parishes! This collective opinion is borne out by the following:
(1) The residents, whose homes that have been located on their respective tracts of property for years, — in one case, the late 1800s — moved to this area to be in the rural country area of Caddo Parish. “God’s country,” an oft-used metaphor to describe wide open areas of wilderness, woods and streams, untouched by
human encroachment and industrialization, was the attraction that drew residents to this area
For years this area has been just that — in fact, so much so that bald eagles Read more
Caddo Parish is too often several communities: rich and poor, black and white, rural and urban, one at peace with itself and one in turmoil.
But perhaps most of all, we are a parish dangerously split according to the condition of our children. The inertial forces seem plain; Children from intact households end to prosper, or at least have a fair shot at prosperity. The support components are here. But children born into single-parent or nontraditional households more often than not are born into poverty and tend to stay there; the support components are not always Read more
We are all aware of the budget problems that our legislature are confronting in Baton Rouge. When you get a chance to talk with these legislators, they will tell you that they have very limited options to build a balanced budget or even better a rebalanced budget. Many program funds are protected and cannot be reduced. Funds cannot be moved to programs that need more funding, health and education, because of the limitations placed on them.
So, there is the problem. Politicians want you to focus on each individual fund, project, or program and not look at the budget as a whole complete plan. Your household budget is looked at as a whole budget, not as individual expenses.
Bossier and Caddo residents have a chance to Right Size Government. In the previous post, I pointed out that the Port at Caddo-Bossier was operating at a profit and has $17 Million in excess profits in savings and is asking you to renew it’s tax subsidy so it can continue to operate at a profit for another 25 years when there are serious needs in other areas where your current tax dollars are needed. Doesn’t Shreveport need more money to fund upgrades and repairs to the water and sewer systems? Let’s say no to the port and move those funds to the City. Bossier Parish sends 2.5 mils of tax subsidy every year to the port but only uses 2.01 mils of tax revenue for highway and road maintenance. Let’s cut the port funding and move the milage to highway and road maintenance and keep your taxes the same.
You have an opportunity to send a message to your elected representative.
Let’s say NO to the Port renewal and yes to rebalancing the budget, moving your tax dollars to other areas and Right Sizing Government
By George Carroll, [property owner, one of 6 residents on Harts Island road whose property backs up to the 250 acre tract the Port purchased and attempted to have zoned heavy industrial.]
Since the voters of Caddo and Bossier Parish voted the Port it’s millage of $88,000,000.00 some 23 years ago, the question begs, “what really has been the return on the taxpayers investment?” Read the following facts based on reality and then, don’t let the Port tell you what to think, as they are hoping they can do, please think for yourself!
According to Port documents, there does in fact appear to be some seventeen companies located at the Port, currently employing, some 1745 employees! However, the facts are that SEVEN (7) of Read more
Should an individual with an outstanding judgment to the State Board of Ethics for campaign fines be appointed to a local commission? Or an outstanding judgment to the credit bureau? How about a conviction for simple battery that involved an alleged sexual encounter with a young lady who he had hired? And should Commissioners advise the board if the suggested appointment is a fellow church member? How about a person before the commission, should they be asked if any embarrassing revelation will be revealed should they be chosen? The nature of these should not only be embarrassing to Caddo citizens, but it is embarrassing to have to even discuss them for a candidate to serve on a public board.
Unfortunately these issues were not addressed at the recent Caddo Commission meeting on March 17 when the Commission chose a candidate to fill an open seat on the MPC. Theron Jackson was voted over other qualified candidates to the Caddo Shreveport Metropolitan Planning Commission to fill that open position.
Jackson has an outstanding civil penalty of $4,000 to the Louisiana Ethics Board for failure to file campaign finance reports; this is now a 2011 judgment filed in Caddo records that would be easy for any citizen to research. Jackson also has a 2010 judgment for $2,540 filed in Read more