The Natchitoches Parish Journal received this submission from LTC. Charles “Sandy” McNeely. The views and opinions expressed are those of Mr. McNeely and not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal. If you have an article for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.
It bears repeating, the Parish Council, and ONLY the Parish Council, can decide to allow the voters to decide whether they want to tax themselves enough to pay for road maintenance by putting a proposition on the October ballot. The Parish President, Mr. Nowlin, has no say on that matter. If an increased tax proposal (sales or millage) does not get on the ballot, the parish roads will continue to worsen due to lack of funds. If the Parish Council refuses to put a tax proposal on the October ballot, I hope the individual Council members responsible are called to task by the parish voters.
Despite the current misinformation being dispensed by certain Parish Council members, there is simply NOT enough money taken in each year to resolve the current road problems. Nor can any tax revenues dedicated to other parish activities be reassigned to the road fund without going through a parish-wide vote or the Legislature in Baton Rouge. Any parish resident can review the annual budget and in particular, the detailed expenditures for road maintenance if they choose, by simply going to Mr. Nowlin’s office. Those records are available for public scrutiny, along with the history of how the previous form of government allowed the roads to deteriorate to their present condition.