HRC v Police Jury

By Pat Todd, Jr

Dear Editor:

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.

11 thoughts on “HRC v Police Jury

  1. I am going to make a statement here that may make a lot of people angry with me, but I just feel like it’s something that needs to be said. First let me say that I love Natchitoches, always have. To me it is one of the most beautiful small towns I’ve seen. The old homes, the old stores lining Front Street, the River Front (but please don’t mess with that too much), the friendliness of a lot of the people here. My big problem with Louisiana is our government, from city, to parish, to state, it stinks. It seem that you can smell the corruption, and people get away with their evil deeds, and the blame game to stay out of trouble goes on and on, at every level. I do believe the politicians believe the people of the state are blind, and sometimes we act like we are. We know someone is NOT qualified for a job, but we’ve known their family all our lives, they’re good people, we vote for him/her. We know someone is not honest, but for whatever reason, who can figure that one out, they are voted into or back into office. When are we going to vote for the RIGHT person for the job. We don’t vote because we know someone, maybe went to school with them, we vote for someone who can make this city and this parish better. As for this back an forth between those for Police Jury and those for HRC, we need to face a simple fact. Neither group has done a fantastic job, not even a good job in my opinion. Roads are still in need of repair and that has been the number one complaint for a long time. But notice, salaries are relatively high. If the jobs needing to be done, were being done as they should be, a higher salary might be justified, but if things are no better than they ever were, I don’t see why someone, anyone should be rewarded well for a mediocre job. Just my thoughts………….

    • great point MEWHP .I have lived here lived away from here and came back to here and not one damn thing has changed,the roads are god awful,politicians are as crooked as ever.If you look at Governor Edwards in the 80s he stole state money to go to Vegas and gamble,and yet people wonder why Louisiana is ranked “worst” state in the country.
      We have barely any good paying jobs,infrastructure sucks,poor housing and yet were surprised that our little ole town has crooked politicians.

  2. first ignore Patt and then take the money local government stole from the people / city and put that to good use.

  3. Folks – Do your homework and eliminate the emotions of this discussion pertaining to Home Rule versus antiquated and outdated police jury form of government. Go back and study and review all the discussions and planning that went into making the change to Home Rule and Parish/Council form of governing Natchitoches Parish. Also, look at the overwhelming voting outcome that resulted to make the change effective. There were 2 or 3 persons who attempted to throw up road blocks for implementation of the plan that Natchitoches Parish citizens had said yes to. Their efforts failed miserably because it was the wrong thing to do as their efforts was all about “them” rather than the people of Natchitoches Parish, and their thirst for individual power which had no added value or would result in a Natchitoches Parish that is well managed and gets things done for our people and homeland. There are 3 on this Council who are responsible for this continued talk of Police Jury; and even one who uses police jury references when conducting Council business and meetings. Rather than demonstrate forward thinking leadership and moving the Parish government to new higher levels under this modernized form of Parish/Council government, the Council is constantly in turmoil bickering back and forth over personalize and senseless issues rather than being true problem solvers of the real challenges facing our way of life in Natchitoches Parish. They need to become stronger supporters of the Parish President and Natchitoches Parish managers and be a force for good; not always in the mode of trying to find fault and criticizing.

    THE DISCUSSION AND SUBJECT OF POLICE JURY FOR NATCHITOCHES PARISH IS A DEAD ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO STAY BURIED. The only real answer for the subject of police jury is to stop bringing it up and trying to suggest and force it as a solution.

    • Your correct! Those 3 are holding up the entire be process! They seem to be there just for personal reasons and not what they were elected to do. HRC works in every other parish it’s in so why not here?

  4. Great post and I will echo the sentiment, my dad served on the old Police Jury in the late 70’s and always spoke of how inefficient it was having 11 kingdoms. His biggest beef was how the Jury always wanted to get someone’s driveway into the Parish road system when there was no economic justification for such. Going back to the Old Police Jury form of government will not make funds miraculously appear. That’s what the one’s against the current form of government want us to believe when it is indeed about individual power. Sorry we’ve had way too much of that failed way of doing things.

  5. Let’s put it to a vote and see if it’s just a few Pat !! Our road were maintained pretty well until hrc.

    • Unfortunately that is not reality. The roads, both the ones maintained by the state and the ones maintained by the parish, have been horrible for decades. The truth is that no system of governance will be successful so long as representatives are using it to exude power or influence outcomes on the favor of select groups. There are parishes that put it to vote to go back to a police jury and are going back to HRC as we speak. HRC removes, to some extent, removes the ability of certain folks benefitting more than others and makes the representatives either work for their constituents and the greater good of the community….or as we have seen…not.

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