Let them vote

Parish Council July 17

Rather than let the public decide, three of the five Parish Council members chose to vote down an ordinance geared towards fixing the deplorable road system in Natchitoches Parish at the Council meeting July 17.

Out of the over 24,000 constituents all five of the council members represent, Rodney Bedgood, Patsy Ward Hoover and Chris Paige said they polled a fraction of theirs over the phone and they were all against putting the creation of the road districts to a vote. These three Council members voted against the tax proposition, while Russell Rachal and Doug de Graffenried voted in favor of it.

“It’s not a fair tax,” said Bedgood.

Rachal started Monday night’s meeting by asking his fellow Council members to have an open mind and a positive attitude.

“We are now 18 months in office and we’ve gotten very little done,” he said. “It’s time to step up to the plate and start working together. It’s time to change because the people deserve better.”

But apparently some Council members didn’t feel the same way, according to how they voted.

“Someone has to pay the fiddler if you wanna dance,” said Parish resident John Hodgson.

At a special-called Parish Council meeting June 8, de Graffenried presented information on this tax proposition that he hoped the Council would vote to put on the ballot for the Nov. 18 election.

The tax proposition would create four independent road districts. In addition to funds from Road District 40, those areas that vote to create their district will benefit from an additional $800,000 to $1 million in revenues annually that would be spent on the roads in their district only. Areas that vote against the creation of their district would continue to benefit from the revenues generated by Road District 40 only.

“It’s a catch 22,” said Parish President Rick Nowlin. “You gotta have the money to do the work.”

However, it seems the situation will continue as it is and the roads will continue to deteriorate.

Other agenda items included considering budget revisions, entering into an intergovernmental agreement from the federal off-sytem bridge rehabilitation and replacement program and authorizing the Parish President to advertise for bids for the construction of CoCo Bed Road, following the approval of project plans.

13 thoughts on “Let them vote

  1. Well finally, the 3 block busters have voted not to do something that does not cover all Natchitoches Parish citizens…but their problem still remains – they have no clue as to what the best solution is for taking care of road improvements for Natchitoches Parish. Separate road districts pure and simple is a discriminatory plan that leave out the poorer sections of the Parish and takes care of those who are better off and do not live in poverty stricken communities. The answer is simple – the only fair tax for road improvements is to vote for a parish wide tax that would take care of all roads based on where the needs are. Taxes collected in this manner can be put in a single “pot” so to speak and budgeted out based on a priority plan. No one area of the Parish should get separate funding while other areas remain in deplorable conditions. We no longer live in the days of separate but equal. There is no such thing and Parish Council thinking needs to come in line with common sense and doing what is right for Natchitoches Parish citizens and voters. Vote for a parish wide road tax!!!

  2. That polling a ‘sampling of constituents’ sounds all too familiar, and it has the same stench as the last time. Before, it was following and extensive study of the “Roads Dilemma” by a Blue Ribbon committee which presented the problem and viable solutions to the Parish Council. The Council never moved on the proposal…and for the same reason –a ‘private’ polling of constituents. In Biblical terms, these three Council members are ‘Simple.’

  3. You really want us to believe that these three actually spent a couple of hours on the phone, cold calling people in their district? Yeah right. These three are real life stooges, nothing more than a front for somebody else, someone behind the scenes with an agenda to block anything and everything that could possibly help this parish. Why are these three constantly re-elected, given their voting record on the council? We need people in these seats that actually care about their districts. What is more fair than to have each district pay their own way when it comes making their own roads better?

    • If he’s getting his now,is roads any better? If they are them the money needs to be spread around!

  4. Fair tax? By what standard? More of the same, a good idea gets cut down. I guess it’s “fair” to let the Parish continue to fail.

  5. I am disgusted at the arrogance of The Natchitoches Parish Government !! Shame on you all…I mean ALL!!!

  6. Bedgood quoted that it’s not a fair tax! So you and the others think you should decide for the entire parish? What makes you think you,Larry and curly are smarter then the rest of the ppl in the parish? I was not phoned and ask my opinion and I bet anybody but friends of any of you were. Just the same ppl that for some reason keep voting for the same old thing year after year.

  7. Why is it always no matter what the issue may be,the same 3 vote against it? If the other two would have voted no those same 3 would have voted yes just because!! It is pass time for new blood!! Those 3 just want to be in the way.

  8. If the citizens that voted against this proposal had to drive on some of these roads for a couple of months, then have to start paying large sums of money to repair the damage to their vehicles, maybe then, they would consider voting for the tax. Or maybe if you held on to the money used to keep their roads nice, let their roads deteriorate, then see how quick they pass a proposal to fix them!! 😡😡😡 I would like to thank Mr. Russell and Mr. Doug for voting for this proposal. I’m not sure what kind of roads Mr. Doug drives on but Mr. Russell does drive on some of these terrible roads and knows what us common folk have to deal with day in and day out.

  9. It’s time to vote out the three council members that refuse to help their constituents. Our roads are unsafe and an embarrassment.

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