Archive for November, 2009

Ruston High Classroom Addition


The Lincoln Parish School Board will consider construction of a two-story classroom addition for Ruston High School at tomorrow night’s meeting (Tuesday, 12/1/09) scheduled for 5:30 pm at the Central Office. According to Superintendent Danny Bell’s memo, the addition will house twelve classrooms and eliminate the portable buildings now in use at the school.

Other items on the agenda include Secondary Academic Coordinator Paula Pardue’s recognition of National Merit semifinalists, a request for bids for school buses, and committee reports.

Business Manager George Murphy will give the November sales tax reports and the fund update for October. The total fund balance is down about $800 thousand from last month.

Under New Business the Board will consider adding a sales tax exclusion policy to the Board policy manual. According to the George Murphy memo, Attorney Andy Shealy will have a resolution ready for consideration at the meeting.

The Central Office is located at 410 South Farmerville Street in Ruston.


After Les Miles, Who?


Although LSU’s overtime victory over Arkansas probably calmed the situation, those Tiger fans who want to run Coach Les Miles out of town should contemplate what that might mean.

To wit, with whom would he be replaced and who would be involved in making that decision.

We don’t know the answer to the first question, but we do know the answer to the second – Joe Alleva. Alleva will forever be remembered as a key player in the Duke Lacrosse Frame who once uttered these deathless words – “It’s not about the truth anymore.”

The Duke Lacrosse Frame – a modern-day version of the Scottsboro Boys case – was an attempted lynching of three innocent men in the spring of 2006 in which Alleva was intimately involved.

Oh, yeah, that Joe Alleva.

Ouachita Parish Taxpayers: BOHICA


Beware Ouachita Parish taxpayers: bend over, here it comes again from the Ouachita Parish Police Jury. From the Ouachita Citizen, this Scott Rogers article:

The financial situation at the Ouachita Parish Police Jury Public Works Department is deteriorating, and the police jury may need to revisit how the department is funded.

Public Works is funded by a one-cent sales tax, which is dedicated to road construction and maintenance. Sales tax revenue for 2009 was $5.9 million. The projected sales tax revenue for the 2010 fiscal year is $5.4 million.

Anyone that can’t figure out where this is headed isn’t paying attention.

Marcus Clark Heir Annointed


According to Biggs-Bullets, the heir to the Marcus Clark Fourth Judicial District Court seat is Monroe City Court Judge Fred Amman.

We Ain’t the Only Ones


Last week, we opined that The (Baton Rouge) Advocate took a gratuitous shot at the opponents of a giant billion-dollar East Baton Rouge tax election held November 14, by saying it was a racial issue.

We are gratified to see that we were not alone in our opinion. Herewith, several letters to the editor with similar views.

Letter: Bond-issue defeat right thing to do
Letter: Message: Voters are sick of taxes
Letter: Headline was divisive, reader says
Letter: Tax-bond issue was not racial

School Board Documents Update


Yesterday, we received this letter from Hammond & Sills regarding our Public Records Request of last week. Presumably, they were retained by the Lincoln Parish School System to review the request.

It is unclear why the attorney who wrote the letter digressed into a dissertation on confidential issues. We have never asked about nor do we ever intend to delve into matters not deemed public as per Louisiana’s Public Records Law – RS 44:1, et seq. As we made plain in our request, all we want access to are the documents that are already provided to LPNO, The Ruston Daily Leader and the Morning Paper at the School Board Meetings.

We just want them a day or two earlier than they have been releasing them to us so we can inform the public about what their employees and representatives are up to. The Lincoln Parish Police Jury and the City of Ruston both provide their information packets and agendas several days prior to the meetings.

In the last graf of the letter, the attorney says, “Documents which are not confidential may be released to you upon request…” We take that as an agreement to provide us with what we ask for – just as the law allows. We shall see come next Monday.

We understand that this minor flap does not rise to the level of the Pentagon Papers case. But it is about to whom information gathered, published and paid for with taxpayer dollars belongs.

V-Car’s Taxpayer Tab – So Far


Here is a recap of what so far the taxpayers of Louisiana have shelled out for the V-Vehicle Project.

10/21/09: $4,184,733.07
09/09/09: $1,266,049.13
08/13/09: $177,281.25
08/11/09: $491,740.26
07/10/09: $79,605.07
Total Paid:$6,199,408.78

It has been reported that local contractors have done work on the project. To date, we have seen no invoices or documentation to back up that reporting.

Lincoln Parish News Online has reported extensively on the controversial company and the Monroe project. Archived stories can be found here. We will continue to report on this ongoing story.

When Will Royce Toney Do This?


Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator announced the formation of a corruption unit last week. The team will focus solely on political corruption, misspending and fraud. Even The (Shreveport) Times editorialized favorably on Prator’s action.

This is a long-overdue action that should be copied in every metropolitan area of Louisiana. For too long we have relied on the Feds to police our crooked politicians when we should be doing it ourselves.

So we ask, when will Ouachita Parish Sheriff Royce Toney form such a unit for that parish? The Monroe area has a long history of political corruption that permeates all branches of government.

We suggest the following areas for Toney to begin:

Monroe Riverboat Casino “Dead”
Monroe Airport Bond Firm has Checkered Past
More on Monroe Airport Bonds
Shreveport Firm to “Consult” on Monroe Airport

V-Vehicle Stiffing Local Labor


A labor spokesman says V-Vehicle Company is not using local labor for construction of their plant at Milhaven. The Ouachita Citizen’s Scott Rogers has the story.

LPNO had reported last week that one of the latest sub-contractors working at the site is California-based. Reportedly, their labor crew is “non-domestic.”

Lincoln Parish News Online has reported extensively on the controversial company and the Monroe project. Archived stories can be found here. We will continue to report on this ongoing story.

Property Tax Bills Hit This Week


Lincoln Parish property tax bills hit mailboxes this week. Ours totaled $687.75, broken down as follows.

Assessor: $ 16.70
Fire Fee (Greater Ward One): 72.00
Library: 55.44
Police Jury: 93.72
School Board (it’s for the children): 353.23
Sheriff: 96.66

In the words of former Ouachita Parish Police Jury President Daryll Berry: “Good government is very expensive.”