Category: Fiscal & Moral Deficit

WHAT RETURN ON OUR INVESTMENT?????

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port_logo_Red RiverBy 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

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DOES CADDO COMMISSION APPOINTMENT OF THERON JACKSON TO MPC REFLECT A NEED TO VET POTENTIAL APPOINTEES?

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Should 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.Theron Jackson-lectures

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

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LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM CONVICTION OF FORMER CADDO COMMISSIONER MICHAEL WILLIAMS

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015It came as no surprise to courthouse observers that former Caddo Commissioner Michael Williams was recently found guilty of all 11 charges of wire fraud by a federal court jury in Shreveport. The only real surprise, other than the fact that Williams did not accept a plea deal, was how fast the verdicts were returned—in less than 90 minutes. Basically that meant the jurors took a restroom break, got a drink of water, voted SEPARATELY on each charge with practically no discussion, and then returned to the courtroom. In legal parlance, that’s called a slam dunk by the prosecution. Williams will be sentenced on June 13; the maximum sentence is 20 years and it is anticipated his sentence will be at least 5 years.monopoly-go2jail

So what can be learned by this unfortunate chapter in the history of public officials who got greedy—and were caught? Several things! Initially, remember that the U.S. Attorney’s office does not mess around once it files charges; locally they rarely, as in very rarely, lose criminal prosecutions.

Secondly—plea offers should be seriously considered; Williams could have plead to one charge of wire fraud with a probated sentence, i.e. no jail time. He should have Read more

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Donald J. Trump – the Slick Voodoo Hate Monger

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Donald-Trump-Holds-Campaign-incitingby Marion Marks

Donald J. Trump continues to play the role of the authoritarian dictator demanding obedience rather than the ideologue who may lose the debate as he loudly demands that the public understand the complex principles of his argument. Trump is certainly no Barry Goldwater or George McGovern, whose complex principles drew crowds but lost voters who were unable to follow their logic to a winning conclusion.

trump-ohio-riotTrump is a slickly packaged ball of molten hate, a modern marketing technological time bomb morphing from reality TV and Home Shopping Network, breeding with extremes of greed who picks up allies from the uneducated who fail to fathom unsupportable economic theories. Trump is a slick voodoo hate monger who will destroy the Republican party.

This new glowing star of the Republican party is basically contriving a voodoo platform based on flat taxes and sales tax-type Read more

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QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED FOR VOTERS BEFORE PORT TAX RENEWAL VOTE ON 9 APRIL

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Here is a list of questions that the officials of the Port of Caddo Bossier should answer for voters before the upcoming tax renewals. The Port spends big bucks with a local ad agency for public relations, but Executive Director Eric England is tightlipped when asked “hard questions” about the internal operations of the Port, much less the upcoming tax renewal. This list was sent to England with a request that he answer the same; he has failed to respond to this email.

Executive Director Eric England
Director Eric England
  1. The 2.5 mil tax has generated over $80 million dollars in 21 years. How has this money been spent and why does the tax need to be renewed?
  2. The initial tax was approved in 1993 to 25 years—it expires in 2018. Why are you seeking a renewal now?
  3. There was a presidential primary on Saturday—March 5—for Read more
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Our Hearts are Heavy, But Questions to Government & Developers Remain

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KTBS supplied photo
KTBS file photo

by Marion Marks

This morning KTBS posted a follow up on the flooding in residential areas. The tragedy becomes even more apparent to the public that this broken record of flooding was all not necessary had the governing entities recognized the flood plain should never have been so recklessly developed.

Bossier engineer Butch Ford will certainly explain these facts soon, as he did at another recent meeting.  Yes, the developers made a boatload of money taking the low-lying areas, with flat lots along a picturesque view, and pouring slabs and selling homes when the water was not covering the area. But the knowledgable governing entities have known for years that this area was prone to flood.

Directly from Bossier warning!
Directly from Bossier warning!

On the Bossier City website, this file and maps seem to clearly indicate the parish knowledge and warning of the flood plain and the threat to Read more

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GET READY FOR PR BLITZ BY PORT FOR APRIL 9 TAX RENEWAL

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Yep, its that time again—for Caddo (and for a change Bossier) voters to have another special election’ for a tax renewal. Not that there are not enough special elections in what is almost a home grown Louisiana sport— tax elections on dates that do not coincide with regular elections. This time the vote is to renew a 2.5 millage for the Caddo Bossier Port on April 9th.

On April 3, 1993, the voters of Caddo and Bossier Parishes approved a special tax of 2.5 mills to be levied on the property subject to taxation in the Port Area, consisting of Caddo and bossier Parishes for a period of twenty -five (25) years, commencing with the year 1993. The purpose of the tax was for site acquisition and for constructing, acquiring, improving and equipping docks and wharves, transfer and storage facilities, commercial and industrial facilities and other port, transportation and infrastructure facilities and improvements with the Port. The revenue from this tax has increased from $2 million in 1995 to over $6 million in 2014. In 21 years over $80 million has been generated by this assessment.

port of shreveport bossier
port of shreveport bossier

The Port has approximately 700 acres of it’s 2300 hundred acres owned left for development; only 145 of these are contiguous which limits Read more

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Political Anger Takes No Prisoners

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Doyouhaveanangerproblem copyby Marion Marks

It’s not really about right or left, Democrat or Republican, voters vote their pocketbooks. The quote that originated from Alexis de Tocqueville, “A democracy can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury,” becomes a rally for political handlers who warn candidates of the power of purse strings politics. Bill Clinton and his speechwriters had to be constantly be reminded by James Carville’s sheet on the wall, “It’s the economy, Stupid!” Focusing on economic issues continues in 2016 as it always has because so many people are still hurting, angry and need a boogie man in government to blame. “They are getting more than I am!”

Trumplings and the Sandernistas* are not angry because the government did not “properly stuff their Christmas stocking. They have many good, and quite a few far from good, reasons to be very angry. They are the people who lost their homes, a good part of their life savings, and jobs during the recent Great Recession. Those who got new jobs are paid much less and receive fewer benefits. And for each one who Read more

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NEW CADDO COMMISSIONER MIKE MIDDLETON SETS THE BAR ON COMPENSATION FOR OTHER COMMISSIONERS

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Its one thing for wantabe political candidates to make campaign pledges, and another for them to actually follow upon them once elected. Such is not the case with Mike Middleton, who will be sworn in as the new commissioner for District 8 at high noon on January 11.

Middleton, a retired Caddo deputy sheriff, ran a hard fought race against incumbent John Escude and Lea Desmarteau. He finished first in the primary and won by a good margin in the runoff election against Desmarteau. Middleton campaigned the old fashion hard way– by constantly pressing the flesh, knocking on doors, attending civic gatherings and personally calling voters. And he made campaign pledges that he intends to keep.

Commissioner Mike Middleton-smallMiddleton’s campaign push cards listed his priorities—REDUCE pay by 20%, REPEAL retirement insurance and travel, and RESTORE citizen’s trust. Mike was not happy that Caddo Commissioners are the highest paid part time elected officials in the state of Louisiana and that they have a $15,000 per year unmonitored travel/expense allowance. Middleton was also familiar with the litigation filed by Elliott Stonecipher against the Commission challenging the participation Read more

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America, Land of Lights and Open Communication

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Blind Hatredby Marion Marks

Blind hatred of a people, a race, a creed, a color or other Constitutionally protected categorization, such as cast on American Muslims by some today, brings back memories of the venom spewed in the 1930’s (and even today) against Jews of the world and especially German Jews. And, only if we can accept these differences can we approach the ideals of American liberty as the Constitution framers envisioned. This notice from history should be required study for those who foster division and hatred, because in remembering our past, we may see a path today.

It was the eighth night of Hanukkah in Kiel, Germany, a small town with a Jewish population of 500. That year, 1931, the last night of Hanukkah fell on Friday evening, and Rabbi Akiva Boruch Posner, spiritual leader of the town was hurrying to light the hanukkiah (often referred to incorrectly as a menorah) before the Shabbat Read more

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