Monday, May 17, 2010

Bossier Makes the 2009 Louisiana Pork Report

The Pelican Institute for Public Policy has teamed up with Citizens Against Government Waste to publish the 2009 Louisiana Pork Report.

Bossier Parish finds itself on page 25 of the 'Pig Book', which provides a litany of Bossier Parish School Board violations, including violations on public bidding, violations of record-retention laws, violations of open meetings laws, missing money, misused credit cards, and a school board employee receiving compensation from a School Board vendor.

These violations were discovered, in part, due to an extensive audit of the Bossier Parish School Board.

It is time to begin working on a local "Pork Report", which should include a true external audit of every public body in Bossier Parish, including the Bossier Parish Police Jury, the Bossier City Council, and every entity which spends taxpayer dollars.

In fact, there is absolutely no reason why local government entities cannot ask the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office to come in and perform a thorough audit. It will cost NOTHING, and will go a long way toward assuring local taxpayers that everything possible is being done to ensure prudent use of tax dollars.

Most importantly though, it is time for citizens in Bossier City and throughout Bossier Parish to wake from their slumber and realize that until the taxpayers demand transparency and accountability from city and parish government officials, more of our tax dollars will continue to slip into very black hole.

FYI, the Pelican Institute for Public Policy welcomes any report of waste, fraud, and mismanagement of taxpayer dollars. They will accept anonymous information at

Sunday, May 16, 2010

If Anyone Wonders Where the Tea Party Movement Came From...

[Thank you, Elliott Stonecipher for allowing us to post your article.]

When I began reading Mark Ballard's "Political Horizons" column this morning, I simultaneously smiled and braced; smiled that Mark chose the Tucker vs. Gallot dust-up as his subject - I would have won a bet in guessing his subject this week - and braced for yet more evidence of why Louisiana remains ever more deeply stuck in its bad governance ditch.

Here's Mark's column:

As I read the close of Mark's work, I could only think how the hogwash between these two is precisely the way our state's and nation's "Tea Party" upheaval came about:

"Committee members have a depth of knowledge now that will make the process fair, Gallot said. “For him to have no respect for the personal investment I have made is an insult,” he said.

If Gallot is fired by Tucker, Gallot said he has little recourse.' But I won’t hesitate to share whatever I have to share with the Justice Department on the corruption of this process,' Gallot said."

According to several sources who were - embarrassingly enough for them - present in key meetings as Bobby Jindal's bogus ethics reform claptrap was designed, no two people in addition to Gov. Jindal were more responsible for the birth of that lie than Jim Tucker and Rick Gallot. Tucker had both an axe to grind from a previous ethics complaint action and exposure to yet another ethics complaint, and Gallot had an ethics complaint filed against him that ultimately grew to seven individual charges. They, of course, knew of their violations, but the people of Louisiana didn't, and couldn't, thanks to laws passed previously by just such legislators as they. Tucker, I am told by a source I consider impeccable, went so far as to devise the insertion of the Division of Administrative Law (DAL) where the real Ethics Board had been back when Louisiana had ethics enforcement, and went so far as to recruit DAL Administrator Ann Wise for her duty as ringmaster of Louisiana's present circus of everything-poison-to-ethics-enforcement.

Both of these enemies of good government beat all of their respective raps, thanks to their first-hand pre-design of precisely the system which guaranteed that outcome.

Gallot, whose ox is now being gored, would have Mark Ballard and his readers believe that he will protect Louisianans from Jim Tucker's abuse(s) of power by ratting him out to the Obama Justice Department! Right.

Tucker, no doubt trembling in fear that such an outcome awaits, is considering "firing" Gallot as chair of House & Governmental Affairs. Sure.

For what it's worth, here's my alternate analysis:

1) Rick Gallot's ego is writing checks his reality can't cash. I know that inside the Baton Rouge (legislators') Bubble, he thinks no one knows him from and for his handiwork, but he's wrong; many of us do. The chance of Gallot helping Louisianans with abuses such as those he's "suffering" at the hands of his often partner in bad
governance is, yep, zero ... zilch ... nada. For Rick Gallot to lecture anyone on what he calls "corruption," or on being disrespected by a legislator, is truly - stunningly! - outrageous.

2) As to the substance of this supposed fight, both Tucker and Gallot are doing precisely what was predictable from the jump of their "leadership": each man leads a different and opposed coalition devoted to a bad-governance outcome in the very important business of post-census reapportionment and redistricting. We the People of Louisiana will pay for their "leadership" of that process ... again.

3) Given how much stuff these guys have participated in together, I don't see a firing in Gallot's future, though I fervently hope for all of our sakes I'm wrong.

4) When anyone wonders how long-time incumbent U. S. Senator Bob Bennett recently lost the Republican Party nomination for re-election in Utah, or how 30-year veteran U. S. Senator Arlen Specter is fighting for his political lives (one as a Republican and one as a Democrat) in next week's primary, I recommend bringing the story back home with this Louisiana chapter. When something in our process goes wrong enough that Rick Gallot is covered by the media as he preaches about "corruption," and/or Jim Tucker surprises anyone by stacking a committee with his (and, thus, the Governor's) water-carriers, things have gone way past too far.

(Yes, yes, I know, and I can just hear the admonition from my friends inside the aforementioned Bubble, "Elliott, it's just how things work, man, you know that! It's just politics. This is nothing new. He's a good Republican / Democrat. You expect something impossible. He's really a good guy, and I like him. It'll never change. If not Jim / Rick, it'll be someone just like them. You're just being negative." (Yadayadayadayada.)

It's at least a year too early to tell if the Tea Party movement portends real change in our practice of politics, but it's certainly not too early to tell how a vanguard of just-plain-folks have surfaced to call b.s. on this Baton Rouge and DC, insanity.

Oh, and yes: all of those things I often hear and reported paragraph-before-last are true about me. If they were true about even a tenth of us, Mark would never have written this column, many of our kids living out of state would be here, and Louisiana would be out of its self-designed, constructed and feverishly-maintained ditch.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Walker Place Transportation Study (Teague Curb Cut)

The linked Memorandum is an Executive Summary of the Extension of Centurytel Center Drive to Arthur Ray Teague Parkway. Century Tel Center Drive is the street that would run through the Walker Place Development, connecting Walker Place to the Parkway.

The point at which Centurytel Center Drive connects to Teague is the "curb cut" at the center of the federal lawsuit against the City of Bossier.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010


[We appreciate the point made by a reader regarding this post. The changes made to the post are in red.]

In 2004, on instruction from the City of Bossier City, the U.L. Coleman Company contracted with the Louisiana State University Shreveport Center for Business and Economic Research, for an Economic Impact Study relative to the Walker Place Development. Of special note is that the study focused only on the original 24.8 acres of the Walker Place Development. The economic impact of just the 24,8 acres over a ten year period was estimated at $500,000,000. The last paragraph of page ii states:

"The cumulative revenues expected to be received by Bossier City during the
five-year construction
of the multi-purpose development are expected to be
$261,289,136. This amount could be reduced by $131,250 depending on actual sales taxable construction materials.It is important to note that approximately $259 Million of the expected revenues come from water and sewage which must be netted against the cost to provide water and sewage. The expected cumulative revenue before water and sewage is $2.411 Million from land acquisition, property taxes, and sales tax during the construction phase."

If the Bossier City Council had not derailed the Walker Place Development over a lone curb cut in August, 2006, Bossier City would have already received badly needed revenue for its woefully cash-strapped budget.

The full text of the Economic Impact study is HERE.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Pay the Ransom for Bossier's Police Officers & Fire Fighters

Tomorrow, Saturday, May 1, 2010, voters in Bossier City will go to the polls to vote on whether or not to approve an increase to the tax millage that will be dedicated to police and fire.

Bossier City officials warn that police officers and fire fighters will be laid off if the tax increase does not pass.

If you Google "police and fire millages around the country", you will see time and time again that whenever governing bodies want more taxes, the first hostages they take are police officers and fire fighters .

Until police officers, fire fighters, and the citizens they protect and serve, rise up and demand accountability from elected officials in how tax dollars are spent, this scenario will continue to occur.

Taxpayers in Bossier City will come through tomorrow and approve the tax increase, but not because they think Bossier City government has been wise with tax dollars. Taxpayers will approve the millage because their heroes are the underpaid, overworked police officers and fire fighters of Bossier City. Every one of those heroes would gladly ransom us. Once again, we have to ransom them.

Email us at

Thursday, April 29, 2010


In 2004, on instruction from the City of Bossier City, the U.L. Coleman Company contracted with the Louisiana State University Shreveport Center for Business and Economic Research, for an Economic Impact Study relative to the Walker Place Development.

Of special note is that the study focused only on the original 24.8 acres of the Walker Place Development. The economic impact of just the 24,8 acres over a ten year period was estimated at $500,000,000.

The last paragraph of page ii states:

"The cumulative revenues expected to be received by Bossier City during the five-year construction of the multi-purpose development are expected to be $261,289,136."

If the Bossier City Council had not derailed the Walker Place Development over a lone curb cut in August, 2006, Bossier City would be nearing revenues of $261Million+.

How could $261 Million have benefitted Bossier City? For starters, more police officers, more life-saving paramedic fire fighters, lower taxes....[Sigh]

The full text of the Economic Impact study is HERE.


Many thanks to readers who have sent in documents to And special thanks to those who civilly brought to our attention several post details which needed correction. We have made the corrections. Thanks again!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Time to Put Up or Shut Up

It is amazing how a simple little blog can create such epic angst among those who subscribe to the philosophy that elected officials are always right, always working for the betterment of the constituents they serve, and can always be counted upon to put the needs of citizens above their own political agenda.

Those who put such blind faith in elected officials would be well served by heeding the words of Thomas Jefferson:
"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree."
--Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XIV, 1782. ME 2:207
Over the past few weeks, this blog site has heard complaints about not being "fair", not being "accurate", and not being truthful. Strangely, those objecting to this blog's content seem abjectly repulsed at the thought of actually presenting whatever evidence they have to support their claims.

This blog has gone to great lengths to present factual data, and has openly invited anyone to present any evidence they possess which refutes any of the information which has been presented in the blog.

So, here is yet another invitation. If anyone has evidence which disputes the accuracy of the data contained in any post of this blog, please present it. If we are wrong, we will make the necessary corrections.

The critics of this blog can choose to man-up (or woman-up) and debate us on the substance of the issue of the Walker Place Development. Or, the critics can refuse to present their evidence, refuse to debate us on the facts, and continue their own self-deception which insulates them from the grim task of dealing with the ugly reality of truth, choosing instead, to engage in vague innuendo, nebulous accusations, and anger bordering on hysteria.

It is the anger that is most disconcerting, for it seems that in the minds of some, the First Amendment is only applicable when the words are those with which they agree.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bossier City May Lose $500,000,000 Economic Opportunity

THE ISSUE: Bossier City governing officials could possibly be facing the loss of potentially millions of taxpayer dollars in a current federal lawsuit concerning a south Bossier City development. Also at risk, is the loss of the development itself, which would have an estimated projected economic impact of $500,000,000. [Center for Busness and Economic Research, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Economic Impact Study; See also Shreveport Times].

Incorporating smart growth, new urbanism, and green design, the approximately 52 acre mixed-use Walker Place Development would be the first private LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified development in north Louisiana. The development would include retail shopping, medical and multi-purpose office space, upscale townhomes, parks, and other amenities typically found only in major metropolitan areas. Additionally, the Walker Place Development has shared its vision with the City of Bossier City for extensive revitalization of Barksdale Boulevard itself.

WALKER PLACE VIDEO HERE (File is large and may take a few moments to load.)
BACKGROUND: In 2003, the City of Bossier City entered into negotiations with a local company for the purchase and development of approximately 24.8 acres of vacant land, owned by the City of Bossier, located just north of Walker Place (the road north of CenturyTel which connects the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway to Barksdale Boulevard in south Bossier City).
In 2005, the City of Bossier City encouraged and facilitated the developer's purchase of approximately 26 additional acres of adjoining land, thereby expanding the project to approximately 51 acres. [See MPC Minutes of 21Nov2005, P. 2]
In August, 2006, the Bossier City Council suddenly and unexpectedly passed an ordinance banning curb cuts along the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway. Citing a concern for "traffic flow", Councilman David Jones, introduced the ordinance. [See Page 2 Minutes HERE] According to the minutes, the ordinance not only banned future curb cuts, but also targeted any curb cuts "not already in existence prior to July 1, 2006" [See Minutes Page 3 HERE]
DEVELOPER SUES CITY OVER ACCESS TO TEAGUE: After having invested reportedly millions of dollars on the Walker Place Development project, in October, 2008, the developer filed suit in federal court.
According to the public record transcripts of a Memorandum Ruling on the federal lawsuit, the City of Bossier City contends that it was unaware of the need for the curb cut on the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway until May 25 and 30, 2006. The court writes:
"While the Defendants contend this was the first time MPC members knew of a curb cut, the Plaintiffs maintain, and the Court assumed to be true for purposes of the preliminary injunction proceeding, that many city officials knew of, and have given their oral approval to, the curb cut onto the Parkway." (Page 11)
TAXPAYER AGGREGATE LITIGATION EXPENSES:Under the authority of the Public Records Act of Louisiana, R.S. 44:1, on March 29, 2010, a private citizen presented a letter to the Mayor of Bossier City, Lorenz "Lo" Walker, requesting that the City of Bossier City disclose the total dollar amount of legal expenses already spent by the City of Bossier City in litigation regarding the Walker Place Development.
In response to a citizen's Public Records request, City Attorney Jimmy Hall produced documents detailing that as of March 1 2010, the City of Bossier City has spent $337,603.43 of taxpayer dollars in outside attorney fees to defend against the lawsuit.
Foward the link to to help inform other members of the Bossier City community about the Walker Place issue. Governmental offices contact information for Bossier City - Mayor Lo Walker HERE Bossier City Council HERE
Even if you don't live in south Bossier City, the loss of a lawsuit and/or the loss of Walker Place Development's $500,000,000 economic impact will have staggering consequences for all Bossier City residents, many of whom have families which are suffering loss of employment, home foreclosures, and a host of other economic hardships.

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