In today’s The (Shreveport) Times there is this.
Tea parties emerge, grow
“We felt the need for a different point of view,” said Robert Gaudet, co-founder of the Shreveport-Bossier Tea Party. “We wanted to get a different direction going for another tea party group in the area.”
But as the tea parties enter their second year in the Shreveport-Bossier City area, their role has begun to evolve from one that is primarily educational, and about national issues like health care and immigration, to an activist role as a watchdog for local government.
So we did a little digging and here’s the latest from the organization.
Members of Shreveport-Bossier Tea PArty meet with District Attorney, J. Schuyler Marvin
On Monday, July 26, 2010, members of the Shreveport-Bossier Tea Party Coordinating Team met with J. Schuyler Marvin, District Attorney for the 26th Judicial District, asking Marvin to intervene in the issue of the Bossier City Council’s repeated failure to keep written minutes of their public Workshop Meetings, as required by the Louisiana Open Meetings Law, LRS 42:7.1.A. The meeting with the District Attorney was coordinated as a response to the verbal acknowledgment of City Attorney Jimmy Hall that although the Louisiana Open Meetings Law requires written minutes of public meetings, the Council had no written minutes for the Workshop “presentation” on the sewerage issue. Hall’s acknowledgment was made at the 7/6/10 City Council Regular Meeting.
An additional purpose in meeting with District Attorney Marvin concerns a follow up to Hall’s revelation. This follow up consisted of the filing of a formal Public Records Request, which was filed with the Bossier City Council, seeking copies of minutes of all Workshop Meetings held from 1/1/08 through 7/7/10, as well as a titled list of all Workshops which had been held during that time period, the location, date, and time of these Workshops, and who was in attendance. Per this Public Records Request, the Council produced no minutes to any workshop meeting held during that 2 1/2 year time period, nor produced any documentation as to who was in attendance. The few Public Notices of Workshops produced per this Public Records Request concur with the 7/6/10 statements of the Council that the Workshops occurring during this time period were in fact public meetings.
Today, District Attorney Schuyler Marvin made a commitment to the SB Tea Party Coordinating Team to contact City Attorney Jimmy Hall for Hall’s explanation of the matter, with Marvin’s instruction to Hall on City Council compliance with the written minutes mandate of the Louisiana Open Meetings Law.
The Coordinating Team specifically requested from Marvin, written documentation from Marvin of his compliance instruction to the Bossier City Council regarding this issue. Additionally, the Team requested copies of the written response which Marvin receives from the City Attorney regarding this matter. Marvin stated that he would report back to the Team by the end of the week.
With guarded optimism that greater transparency in local government is slowly inching its way toward reality, we appreciate the many people who have encouraged us to stay on course. We will keep you updated.
Shreveport-Bossier Tea Party Coordinating Team
And then there is this story which has been crackling across the nation for the past couple of weeks.
California’s city officials scramble to limit damage from Bell scandal
Folks, this is all very good news.