Archive for July, 2011

Ruston City Council Monday


The Board of Aldermen for the City of Ruston will meet in regular session Monday, August 1, 5:30 PM, second floor, Ruston City Hall.

See here the agenda.

Of interest is a project for improvements to Lewis Street and a project for the water mains along Minden, Arizona and Monroe Streets.

Also, the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District Ordinance will be up for final adoption.

From the memo:

This ordinance is one of the first priority items that came out of the Ruston 21 plan. It is an enabling Ordinance which gives neighborhoods a way to participate in the preservation of their neighborhood. It’s specifically designed to help our older, heritage neighborhoods who may not have subdivision regulations or covenants.

Under Code Enforcement, several properties will be up for review. See here the memo.


Jackson Parish Library Board of Control


We’ve done some research on the Jackson Parish Library Board of Control, and their terms of appointment. Here’s what we’ve found.

The five members are appointed by the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) and serve staggered five year terms. See here the minutes of previous jury meetings when their appointments were made:

Hazel Martin – 12/11/2006.
Pauline Johnson – 12/14/2009. Johnson filled the unexpired term of Terri Barnes – 11/12/2007
Ronnie Spillers – 12/02/2008.
Rose Foster 12/14/2009
Carolyn Crawley 12/13/2010

The terms expire on 12/31 as follows:

Hazel Martin – 2011
Pauline Johnson – 2012
Ronnie Spillers – 2013
Rose Foster – 2014
Carolyn Crawley – 2015

Here’s the state law that governs:

LA RS25:214 – Board of control; members; appointment and terms of office

B. The governing authority of the parish shall, in the ordinance creating a public library, name and appoint, at its option, not less than five citizens nor more than seven citizens of the parish as a board of control for such parish library to serve for terms of one, two, three, four, and five years, the successors of whom shall each be appointed for a term of five years. The president of the police jury shall be ex officio, a member of the board of control for such public library, provided however that the president of the police jury shall have the right to designate another member of the governing authority of the parish to serve in his place and stead on the board of control of such public library.

It appears the police jury could immediately appoint two additional members of the board of control if it so chooses.

LA RS 25:215 – Duties and powers of the board; employment of librarian, assistants, and other employees

A. The board of control shall meet and organize immediately after their appointment and annually thereafter and elect a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer, whose duties shall be those customarily exercised by such officers. The board of control shall have authority to establish rules and regulations for its own government and that of the library not inconsistent with law; to elect and employ a librarian, and, upon the recommendation and approval of the latter, to employ assistant librarians and other employees and fix their salaries and compensation; provided that no contract of employment shall be made for a longer period than four years nor with any person as head librarian who has not been certified by the State Board of Library Examiners as provided in R.S. 25:222. The head librarian may be appointed or elected secretary of the board of control.

From the website of the State Library of Louisiana.

Director/Trustee Information

The director of any public library in Louisiana must by certified by the State Board of Library Examiners. To be eligible for certification, a candidate must have

  1. A baccalaureate degree,
  2. A master’s degree of library science from an ALA accredited library school,
  3. Three years of appropriate executive experience, after receiving the master’s degree, and
  4. Met CE requirements as established by the State Board of Library Examiners.

The examination includes both oral and written components and covers aspects of public library service such as organization and administration, financial operations, and standards for library service.

Also, see here the minutes of the 7/26/2011 special meeting of the JPPJ.

Ouachita Parish Police Jury Monday


The Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ) will meet in regular session Monday, August 1, 5:30 PM, 2nd floor, Ouachita parish court house on South Grand Street.

See the agenda here.

Jackson Parish Library Raises Revised


According to first reports, the Jackson Parish Library Board of Control today voted to revise the raises it had given employees earlier this month.

The new plan will award a 10% raise to all employees each year for the next five years, a source told Lincoln Parish News Online.

By our calculations, the cumulative effect of such a plan would amount to about 60%. In other words a $50 thousand/year salary would after the fifth year be at $80 thousand/year.

We will have further reports as we get more information.

Jackson Parish Library Board Meeting This AM


Sources have confirmed to Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) that a meeting of the Jackson Parish Library Board of Control was held this morning to discuss a controversial pay raise granted earlier this month to employees.

As of this posting, we do not know what action, if any, took place at the meeting. We will report any new developments as soon as we know.

The Library Budget


For those interested, here is the FY 2011 budget for the Jackson Parish Library (JPL).

See the document here.

We got this information from the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ), which posts a link to their entire budget here.

Culvert Crime and the LA State Police


Despite requests early on from the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) to the Louisiana State Police (LSP) for help in investigating the Town of Jonesboro and its controversial mayor Leslie Thompson, the requests went unfulfilled, Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) was told earlier this year.

The LSP does however have time to investigate a culvert crime epidemic in Red River parish, according to today’s The (Shreveport) Times.

State police probe complaint against RR police juror

State police are investigating a resident’s complaint that a Red River police juror misused public property by having parish crews install concrete culverts in a drainage ditch in his pasture.

Red River Parish resident Berl Lawson filed the complaint with District Attorney Julie Jones, whose office performed an initial inquiry. But Jones asked for assistance from state police investigators to get an “objective third-party” review after seeing “it’s bigger than I have resources for.”

Added Jones: “I want this to be taken seriously. The misuse of parish funds cannot be tolerated.”

What About Other North Louisiana Libraries?


Late yesterday afternoon we received from one our correspondents links to an interesting database compiled by the State Library of Louisiana that is pertinent to the controversial pay raise issue at the Jackson Parish Library.

Public Libraries in Louisiana – Statistical Report 2009.
Statistical report 2009 Excel spreadsheet.

This table compiled from the database contains information likely to be of most interest: 2009 salaries of Library Directors in other North Louisiana parishes.

The statewide average salary for a library director is $58,300. The highest paid director is Acadia Parish’s (Crowley area) at $108,500, and the lowest is the Morgan City Library director at $18,500.

Higher Ed Roundup – 7/28/11


Secrecy not prerequisite for education leader search

Jonesboro Mulling Agreement with JPID


The Town of Jonesboro is contemplating an agreement with the Jackson Parish Industrial Development District (JPID) to manage the town’s acreage on Industrial Drive across from the Jackson Parish Correctional Center. The JPID is partly funded by the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ).

At last night’s meeting of the Board of Aldermen, Ward Four Police Juror Nathaniel Zeno, who serves as JPID chairman, gave a presentation on the proposed agreement.

“We need to have tangible land and buildings to do economic development sorts of things,” Zeno said. “What we’re asking you for is to let us manage your property,” he added.

There were a couple of questions about the proposed draft agreement, however.

District A’s Sam Lamkin was concerned about entering into an agreement for 99 years. District B’s Renee Stringer said she was concerned with a stipulation in the proposed agreement that JPID would get 20% of the proceeds of mineral royalties that the JPID might negotiate.

“The town owns the land, the town owns the minerals,” Stringer said.

No action was taken last night on the agreement.

At the 5:00 PM public hearing for the 2012-2013 Louisiana Community Development Block Grant (LCDBG) program, no one from the public commented.

In other business, the board approved a resolution authorizing the cancellation of tax deeds on property improperly sold at a May tax sale. The property will be re-advertised and put up for bid again.