All bad roads…

By J. R. “Randy” Stelly

We cannot solve our problems with the same
thinking we used when we created them.

Albert Einstein

Rumor has it that the residents of Harmony Road have jumped on the Chris Paige bandwagon and will be at tonight’s Parish Council meeting to reminisce the glory days of the Police Jury. Oh, how quickly they forget! Harmony Road has been in bad shape for decades. As far back as 1980, the Police Jury was dealing with problems on Harmony road and had it listed on their Capital Outlay plan.

In November of 2000, the Jury again voted to put the overlay of Harmony Road on its Capital Outlay plan for a cost of $304,402.36 and that total was for materials only. Did the fact that the Police Jury didn’t factor in the cost of labor indicate that they had no intention of completing the project?

Fast forward to 2009 and Harmony road again appears on the Jury’s Capital Outlay plan with a 2” overlay project scheduled for 2011 for an estimated cost of $406,040.48 with an anticipated inflation cost of $487,248.58. 2011 came and went with no improvements made.

The residents of Harmony Road again were ignored in November of 2012 when the Police Jury voted on a whim to expend almost $900k on overlay projects in an effort to bootstrap the Department of Public Works’ budget for the incoming form of government.

It seems to me that no matter which way you look at it, all bad roads lead back to the Police Jury! Why in the world would anyone think that it’s a good idea to go back to it?

Other folks are saying that we need to go back to a Police Jury because the new government keeps asking Parish residents to pass a tax for road improvements. Here’s some fascinating facts for you to chew on:

If you search the State Tax Commission’s website, you will find that there are 44 tracts of land along Harmony Road on the tax rolls (Certificates Attached below). Of those, 29 of the properties are 100% tax exempt. The remaining properties paid a total of $141.98 into Road District #40, which funds the Parish’s road maintenance department. In 2017, the Parish spent $17,256.23 maintaining Harmony Road. Chris Paige is always pounding his fist and yelling about fairness. Do those figures seem fair to you?

In the last 20 years of its existence, the Police Jury called for additional tax revenues for road maintenance no less than 9 times. It seems obvious to me that lack of funding is the real road block to major road improvements in our Parish, not its form of government.

Don’t fall for the lies that come from the likes of Chris Paige. People should remember that he was on the Police Jury for decades with no real accomplishments to speak of and he has been against our government from day one. The Police Jury was rife with corruption, major deficits and multiple audit findings. Is that really what we want to go back to?

Harmony Road Tax Certificates for each Property 2017


16 thoughts on “All bad roads…

  1. I own property on Harmony Rd., but don’t live there. Why wasn’t my tax certificate listed? This doesn’t include every property owner and what is paid in taxes, obviously. However, some of the fault is with the parish tax assessor’s office. Many people get homestead exemption at 100% when they should not. Others pay more taxes that should not. When was the last re-assessment of homeowner’s property? Oh I know, never!

    • You need to look at everybody not just Harmony RD and post the same break down that you did for Harmony Rd don’t just post one ROAD.

    • Yes and as long as you have a buddy or family member on the Police Jury your road will be “fixed” regardless of the shortage of money. AGAIN the people clamoring to go back to a failed form of government are willfully ignoring facts.

  2. Consider, if you will, that some of those trying to undermine the current form of parish government are facing term limits. If they are successful in having us go back to the failed Police Jury System then those term limits would reset giving them a chance to continue in office. I leave the reader to draw their own conclusions.

  3. Donna Isaacs is correct about (the 3)are going to go the opposite direction then the others most of the time Just because! No other reason just because! The jury system didn’t work before, remember the roads have been like this for years for whatever reason. But for years under the jury system they got worse and nothing was ever done. Brining back something we all know failed before is not the right thing to do. It’s not going to add one cent to the budget not going to get one more foot of road fixed or one more parish project done. it’s like sticking you finger in a light socket,it’s not going to feel any better the second time. The parish council works great in other parishes as does the jury system,why not here? Could it be that maybe some of the people on the council don’t want it work for own personal agendas? There’s no magic bullet that’s going to fix the roads,it’s going to take funds and spending those funds wisely! Parish council or jury system with the tax base in this huge parish it’s not going to be an easy thing to fix . And with 3 members going against anything that’s good for the entire parish is just going to make things impossible .

  4. Whatever your opinion on the matter is, I think the voters deserve a say in the matter, on paper the Home Rule Charter is great, in reality its the biggest dumpster fire ever seen

  5. You hit the nail on the head Mr. Stelly, follow the money and power, the lack of money for roads and the quest for power by those that want to go back to a failed system, pretty typical for these parts. Again the old ‘I want something and it’s up to someone else to pay for it’ but in this case it’s made even worse by willful ignorance. By the way, what happened to the idea to allow the residents of different districts pass a tax for he benefit of their roads? Oh yeah, nevermind. SMH.

    • Mike what do you thing if one of those districts did pass that tax and got their roads fixed and none of the big three power triplets didn’t get just a taste of that money? Lol I’d like to be a fly on the wall for that meeting!

  6. 44 property owners on Harmony Road paid a grand total of $141 in property tax? How is that possible? Can I get the same deal? Okay…then the Parish should spend a grand total of $141 on Harmony Road then.

  7. Mr. Stelly and Mrs. Masson, thank you both for telling it as it is! Sadly, the three council members that served on the police jury are voting down everything that would help to improve our community just to see the parish government fail. The only way to move forward is to elect representatives that will put the good of the constituents and that of the community before their own. Natchitoches Parish has a lot of potential but we need leaders that will work together to make this an even better place to live, work and play for generations to come.

  8. Mr. Stelly is correct in his assessment of the Harmony Road problem. The same can be said for many other Parish roads. The Police Jury did not function when it was our governing body for decades, so why would it function properly if reinstated. The Parish Council should be allowed the time and resources needed to complete the projects overlooked by the Jury for years! One of the biggest factors is to vote in council members who will work together to achieve the goals needed for the people! And yes, tax money is needed in order to fund the road projects!

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