By Pat Todd, Jr
I read with amusement the story regarding a few wanting to go back to the Police Jury form of government. Let me say one of the main reasons this is happening is that a few, not the majority, of parish councilpersons want this to happen. And the real reason is that they are not happy that they don’t have the power they used to under the jury form of government. My dad served on the Jury and he was absolutely in favor of a council form. Why did we ever need 11 jurors with their 11 little kingdoms? What we have when we have a jury form of government is sheer chaos. Our current form of president/council government works just like the city government. It is more like Congress or the U S Senate, and our State Government. Police Jury government is designed to make every juror the “boss” in his district. This means he or she can call the highway department or any other department and try to give orders. It doesn’t work.
The current president/council form of government is not responsible for the road conditions. The roads were the same back in the jury days and there was more money, partly because of federal revenue sharing. Our roads headed south when the jury was running the parish. The roads will not improve with a police jury. It is apparent to me that these few wanting to go back to the old form of government have never really bothered to examine the parish budget. I attended the public meetings, there were very few there. It is easy to criticize and blame the president/council form of government. It is also a shame that a few individuals who are overreacting listen to the couple of council members or are upset with their roads, could cause our parish government to collapse.
In the end, I firmly believe this is about power, period.
I am not going to bother to go to the meeting and voice an opinion to a few that are listening to the wrong crowd and are up in arms about something they have not studied. I live in the parish and I surely hope we keep our current parish president/council form of government. I drive on the same roads, and I believe our highway department is doing a good job considering the limited resources. What we need is a tax passed as much as I hate taxes. That will be the only way we will have more improvement to our roads and sadly we can’t get that even passed because of these same individuals and the power grab by a couple of current councilpersons.
Pat Todd, Jr.
4431 Highway 1 North
Natchitoches, La. 71457
P.S. I applied to serve on the Parish Planning Commission, I will now not hold my breath on that appointment.