Parish Council: Lack of a quorum means no tax gets on the ballot

Doug and Rodney

The Parish Council lacked a quorum at its Special Called Meeting Aug. 27, so the plan to get a sales tax on the ballot failed because the Council missed the deadline for the Nov. 6 election. While Russell Rachal was out of town at the time of the meeting, Patsy Ward Hoover and Chris Paige did not attend. Only Councilmen Doug de Graffenried and Rodney Bedgood. The matter will be discussed further at the Council’s next meeting in September.

14 thoughts on “Parish Council: Lack of a quorum means no tax gets on the ballot

  1. I just returned from a vacation that was planned several months ago to read these comments. To set the record straight, I advised the Parish President over a month and a half ago that I was going to be out of the Country when he advised me that he was going to call a special called meeting during this time. This was before he advertised the meeting publicly. He advised me, “It’s all in God’s hands anyway”. This gave him plenty of time to call the meeting before my scheduled vacation. I want to say thank you to the people that listed positive comments and to tell the people that has negative things to say to get your information and facts straight before you comment on something that you know nothing about.

  2. I might understand that Rachal was out-of-town. If I am correct The NPC only needed one other council member to make a quorum, where were Hoover and Paige? I really hope the voters are paying attention
    to the behavior of their council members. If you don’t agree with them call them and let them know, and remember when their re-election comes up.

    Maybe it is time to increase our property taxes, as much as I do not want to pay more, it may come to that. I’m not fond of sales tax increases but what else is there to do?

    The following is a copy from the NP Gov. web page :

    “The Public Works Dept. serves the Parish by maintaining the infrastructure of those areas situated within Road District 40, which covers over 818 miles of roads, including those located in Ashland, Campti, Clarence, Goldonna, Natchez, Powhatan, Provencal and Robeline.

    The duties of the Department include the following:

    Bridge Maintenance
    Culvert Cleaning
    Right-of-way mowing
    Roadside Drainage
    Roadway Maintenance
    Sign Installation/Replacement
    Tree Removal (within R/W)
    Repair Parish Vehicles and Road Equipment and Provide a Preventative Maintenance Program”

    Now I’m not sure if that is a complete list of the Parish Public works or not but that sure seems like quite
    a lot of things to do with a very small current budget. I would really like a Parish Official to comment if this
    is not an accurate summary. This seems a little low to me, maybe there is more but once again I wonder if the general public really has an understanding of how much is involved in the maintaining of the Parish Roads?

    J. Robertson

  3. Time wasted by poor performing members hurts the rest of the council and ultimately the citizens, which is presumably the reason for the parish to have a government to begin with. Natchitoches parish needs money to support its goals and mission; it should come from the activities of business and individuals who want to live here. Any financial issue that doesn’t pertain to a certain few gets stonewalled, yet there’s not likely a way to tie compensation to meeting attendance in some form without a majority vote of the members of the council. Too bad!

  4. First, I am thankful my representative showed up. That really means something. At least I can say that I am not one of the parishioners that has taxation without representation. Second, I find that this happened to be a complete slap in that face to all of us. As if we are not competent enough to have the power of true self-determination. I am hoping this is noted and it shows in the polls each and every election. Lastly, I hate to say this, but the issues with our infrastructure do not fall entirely on the shoulders of our council or the parish president. This really is a state issue and is rampant across every parish that is outside a 15 mile radius of NOLA. The state should be providing incentives and solutions to the infrastructure instead of shucking this onto the parishes to figure out. What options are left? Has anyone bothered to actually look at legislation of our state representatives over the past decade and identified any quantifiable measures passed to fix this? There aren’t, it is all “feel good” legislation that does nothing to help the state as a whole. I am disappointed in the representatives that didn’t show up. No one should be ok with that however, the issue is so much larger than our empty chairs.

  5. Doug DeGraffemreid donates all his pay to the Cane River Food pantry. $400 monthly to help churches feed qualified recipients at new MLK building. Yes Bedgood ok and Rachal should have been there to give voters chance to vote. No one would want a thankless job. I get that Paige and Morrow not being in support of sales tax. Some dont have cars. So sad.

    • Interesting argument but it does not negate the fact that too many in this Parish view government as a jobs program rather than service to the people that have elected them to take care of Parish business.
      For the argument about Paige and Morrow being against the tax it doesn’t matter that some in their district don’t have cars, the roads are part of the infrastructure supporting their need for fire, police and EMS services and they should pay something for that. By the way this tax is to be voted on by the residents of each district it’s not as if they themselves are voting for it. Again, people wanting something for nothing. More and more people wanting something for nothing will do nothing but accelerate the Natchitoches “death spiral”.

    • Rachal begged them not to schedule the meeting that night…. Informed the Council and President that he would be out of the country.

  6. Too many in this Parish want something for nothing and want to go back to the failed PJ system and conduct business the way it used to be with deficits, favoritism in the fixing of roads and jobs for their friends. These taxes will give the Road Department some needed funds to repair the roads in those districts passing the tax and the funds will be used based on sound priorities not because you happen to be friends of your Juror. I for one am sick and tired of the small minded people that keep Natchitoches right where it is, subject to the whims of a few of the power hungry. It’s past time to eliminate the pay for serving as a member of the Parish Council, we damned sure don’t need you if you need the money. That is the quickest way to find out if your Council Member is there for themselves or your district.

  7. Great News! Rather than make it more expensive to stay here, it seems that we have stumbled our way to attracting new people to move here. Population growth = revenue growth, rate increases do not.

    • Yeah population growth does equal revenue growth but you ignore the increasing demand for services by those that do not pay for it. Your post sounds rational but you don’t give any plan on how to continue to fund these increasing expenses? The majority of good paying jobs in this town are government jobs meaning the money just gets recycled, it has no chance of growing the economy. Yes we need industry to locate here but the workforce is sadly lacking in skills (mostly work ethic and interpersonal skills) to entice them here. Bottom line is that if it’s not the right population growth meaning those with money willing to invest here and not the growth of those that expect services but don’t pay for them your post simply doesn’t help at all. Want to fix what is wrong with LA, get rid of the Homestead Exemption, levy property taxes that support schools, fire, police, EMS and roads. That would keep the money here rather than sending it to Baton Rouge never to be seen again. If you want to live in a nice society with essential services everyone has to pay.

  8. If Natty would stop electing morons, we wouldn’t have these problems. And no, the old Police Jury system wouldn’t work either. We just need to stop electing terrible people.

  9. The Parish Council is a joke!!! Our parish roads will never get repaired. The only solution they ever have is taxes!! I don’t know about anyone else but I pay enough taxes already. Btw.. I see the city is going to get a new parks and recreations center- no surprise!

  10. So the parish council can’t get more than two people to attend a meeting but as soon as they do the goal is to get another tax?

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