By J. R. “Randy” Stelly
We cannot solve our problems with the same
thinking we used when we created them.
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?