Category: Shreveport City Government

If More Hot Air Wanted Just Read Mayor Tyler’s 6 Month Progress Report

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015As if the brutal summer heat wave that has virtually suffocated Shreveport for the last few weeks was not enough, a detailed reading of Mayor Ollie Tyler’s much ballyhooed 6 month progress report will certainly raise the ambient temperature in one’s office or home. Give her credit—Tyler’s high dollar ($99,000 plus salary and benefits) Communications and Public Relations hire Africa Price has put together one slick 6 page report; it reads “good” if quickly scanned while taking care of nature’s business or sitting in a waiting room. A look at the so-called “facts” utilized to support most of the puffing and chest thumping is disappointing to say the least—but not all that surprising since Tyler used smoke and mirrors to sell her performance as Caddo Education Superintendent during her mayoral campaign.

City Attorney, William Bradford, Jr.
City Attorney,
William Bradford, Jr.

Initially Tyler brags about assembling the “best team to support our vision”; practically no one was hired from the perspective of credentials versus political payback. CAO Brian Crawford was a requirement for Read more

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Gangs, Guns, & Community Responsibilities

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Service Tire Map-Camerasby Marion Marks

In the early morning hours, 2:00 AM, of July 5, 2015 a large group began congregating on the premises of closed businesses located at the intersection of Hearne Avenue and Kings Highway in Shreveport [Shreveport Police Department Case: 15-134656]. Most of these people were parking on the lots of three corner businesses: Service Tire, Southern Maid Donuts, and Subway. Security cameras recorded a small portion of what transpired and it was posted on the Caddo Crime Stopper YouTube Channel on Tuesday, July 7. At this time the video has been viewed by over 15,000 people. Read more

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Newest Shreveport Tax Already on CenterPoint Bills

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Elliott_Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

Much to the surprise of many, the expected continuation of City Council debate on the proposed tax hike on our CenterPoint gas bills will never happen.  Without any further public discussion, a 125% increase from 2.0% to 4.5% has been quietly signed into Shreveport law.

In fact, the Shreveport Times reports CenterPoint’s confirmation that the increase will be on the gas bills of customers whose meters are read after June 1st.

Shreveport City SealAs I stressed in my first article on this subject earlier this month, CenterPoint opposed and never wanted any increase in its “franchise fee.”  Such held zero sway with our Read more

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The Disgrace of Querbes Golf Course Supervision

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Golf Shirt-BANNEDby MK Marks

It came to the attention of the original author of this story that “a few active and avid golfers who customarily play at Querbes golf course had been” perhaps abused… All of this I believe is accurate, however the author asked that the article be removed, as new and previously undisclosed information of a personal nature made it such that he could not keep his name on the article. One of the abused golfers felt the story was “too sensitive” for the insulated Shreveport community. My feelings are that if the basic facts have truth, then the issues should become public and be resolved – regardless of feelings and side consequences. Basic abuses within the system and “side deals” with individuals have no basic right to exist in  the use of public resources and publicly funded institutions.

As far as the public golf courses, here are some facts and some documented satellite images from 2015 publicly available satellite images. Yes, some are winter shots, but the courses are troubled.

Huntington image – detailed holes below–

Huntington Golf Course (2015)
Huntington Golf Course 2015 satellite image

(more satellite detailed images linked below)Querbes_Golf_Course-Satellite 2015(lo-res)

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A Nasty New Tax from Mayor Tyler & City Council

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professor Lecturing
Teaching vs Learning…

by Elliott Stonecipher

As many readers know, I spend a great deal of my time helping Shreveport and Caddo Parish residents understand just how relatively – and damagingly – high are our taxes.  As a result, and I’m understating the case, I’ve met with extraordinary resistance from a majority of directly responsible public officials. 

Elliott_StonecipherSuch facts of our life here are better kept hidden according to these chiefs, which is precisely how we have become our state and region’s taxation capital.  The main culprit is property taxes which cost Shreveporters two-to-three times as much as property owners in other cities in Louisiana and our surrounding region.  Now rapidly moving up this list of high costs of living here are utility rates and taxes added to those bills. 

Trap the TeacherMost notably, Shreveport water and sewer rates rose 13% and 55%, respectively, in 2013.  Between this year and 2022, the water rates will rise at least another 12%, and sewer rates by at least another 61%.  (Details from City Hall here. Read more

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Soo… When is Gosh Ollie Going to Really Start Being Mayor of Shreveport?

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015It’s a good question!

Ollie Tyler has been mayor of the third largest city in Louisiana for over 150 days and what does she have to show for her administration? Very very little, especially since she became the de facto mayor after the October primary and had very little politicking to do to ensure her November election.

Calendar_Month PagesFor beginners, one can look at the staff she has assembled—which is long on political patronage and short on qualified appointments. For beginners the selection of Brian Crawford as Chief Administrative Officer was a condition of Tyler receiving the support of key downtown power brokers—so no credit to Tyler for that one. The same was basically true of naming former Times editor Africa Price to an over paid pr job at City Hall. Tyler had worked with Africa at the Community Foundation and the job promise not only helped promote positive press during the campaign with the Shreveport Times but also additional support from key Foundation supporters. Read more

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Potential Caddo DA Candidates Should NOT Wait for Judge Stewart’s Decision

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015It has been over a month since the untimely death of former Caddo District Attorney Charles R. Scott and the guessing games on who will run for this coveted spot that is second only in political power (if not equal) to the parish sheriff continues. The only real certainty is that Dale Cox—the unelected but sworn in Caddo DA– plans on running for the spot; he has quickly changed the power structure in the DA’s office to reflect his hard line policies.

Former Caddo assistant district attorney Jason Waltman says he definitely will NOT run. Sitting Caddo district judges have taken their names off any candidate list and some believe that Read more

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The Battle to Bring 3132 Extension Back to Life

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3132 loop-de-loop
3132: The “REAL” Loop!

by Elliott Stonecipher

Public meetings about the Hwy. 3132 Extension were held yesterday, one at lunchtime in Southwest Shreveport, and one at dinnertime at LSU-S.  An informal survey of those who attended confirms that confusion was yet again the order of the day. 

Such is the lifeblood, we participants have certainly been taught, of the arcane, stealthy and anything-but-transparent world of highway “planning” in our neck of the woods.

(Go to this article’s footnote * for directions to additional facts and history.)

Elliott_StonecipherThese gatherings were the work of our Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG), with an assist from and by the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LA DOTD). 

Building a Louisiana highway is one of the most awfully political, inscrutable and insanely expensive – in all ways – processes known to man, woman or child.  Attending one of these “public meetings” is a taste of the mayhem.  First escorted into a darkened-room for a video presentation Read more

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Demand Record Compliance for the Public’s Business

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FloodgatesPandorasboxCanofworms-eMail Recordsby Marion Marks

I believe the “Can of Worms” the Hillary Clinton email server revelation exposed regarding use of non-official email accounts for State Department business emails must be addressed by the local media as it affects our local entities and business correspondence failures. Locally, in my opinion, we have done a very poor job of addressing what the law requires public officials to do. Go on How-To-Start.org to understand how one can get started with a business.

We have a great starting point, and I believe we must have formal discussion of this topic. Here is a great article for awareness of issues, for those who may not understand the implications of public records.

emails going laptopMost government and board emails I receive from local public officials or entities regarding government business will have one or more parties who private email address is used. In recent public records requests [PRR], and over the last year on too many occasions, I was a party to PRR filings where the board members, government agency representatives Read more

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Let the Sun SHINE – It REALLY is Sunshine Week!

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Shreveport sunshine_DEMAND(sm)by Marion Marks

Last year Shreveport proved that Sunshine Week was NOT really being celebrated by all parties. Some public entities actively opposed transparency and made every attempt to cloud government document access and obfuscate attempts to demand free and open discussion of the public’s business. This year, we may fare little better.

Eye_Protection-sun_glassesHowever, let’s celebrate the efforts to go through the motions. The Shreveport Times, once again, writes an article proclaiming the values of Sunshine Week. And at the same time the agenda of those supported by the Gannett muscle received favored coverage in the space provided by the paper. The Caddo Parish School Board Bond proposition appears to only have the side of the board and administration receiving large positive coverage.

The Caddo Commission and Shreve Memorial Library also has a year Read more

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