Position Paper No. 2
As a Candidate for Parish President, I feel it is important to advise the public and ultimately take positions on Revenues, Expenses, Terms and Mandates. I am sharing my thoughts and positions as to how we attack the numerous fiscal challenges which are apparent and have not been addressed by the current leadership.
I look forward to discussing through this medium and others, my ideas to begin the slow process, necessary to identify, prioritize and ultimately begin to solve our road and infrastructure challenges.
I will share my specific Ideas, plans and positions as we go through this process over the next several days.
A day or so ago I documented the revenue sources of Natchitoches Parish Government General Fund. Today I would like to outline some of the mandated required expenditures from the General Fund that must be funded by State Law. Hopefully, this discussion will answer some of the many questions I have been asked on the campaign trail. Everyone recognizes that the current administration has failed to provide effective management of parish funds to the point that the parish road system and infrastructure is in disrepair and crumbling right before our eyes.
Again, the following is a list of mandatory expenses the Parish President and Parish Council must budget and provide for:
The Parish of Natchitoches General Fund supports Parish’s administrative operations as well as the operations of the offices of the Tax Assessor, the Registrar of Voters, the Clerk of Court, the Parish District Attorney, the 10th Judicial District Court, the Parish Coroner, the LSU AgCenter, and for Public Safety expenses,.
La R.S. 33:4713 requires the Parish to provide and bear the expense of offices for the Assessor including necessary heat and illumination.
Registrar of Voters
La. R.S. 18:132 requires the Parish to furnish the office space required by law for the registrar and pay for all necessary equipment, supplies and other expenses. State law also mandated that the Parish pay a portion of the salaries of employees of the Registrar of Voters.
Clerk of Court
La R.S. 33:4713 requires the Parish to provide and pay expense of offices, furniture and equipment needed by the Clerk and recorders of the Parish for the proper conduct of the Clerk of Court’s offices. The Parish must also pay to the Clerk of Court’s office a fee for attending sessions of the District Court (La. R.S. 13:846). NOTE: In our Parish, the Clerk of Court has been self-funding and not made requests to the Parish Government.
La. R.S. 18:1400.3 requires the Parish to pay a pro-rated share of all election expenses incurred by clerks of court and registrars of voters for gubernatorial and congressional elections, when a local or municipal candidate or a local bond, debt, tax, proposition, or question also appears on the ballot.
Under La. R.S. 15:705, the Parish Government is required to provide for the keeping and feeding of inmates in the Parish jail, except for those in the custody of the Department of Corrections. The Parish is also obligated to pay the costs of prisoners that are transferred to be housed in another parish (La. R.S. 15:706).
The Parish is also responsible for providing a portion of the salaries for the Constables and the Justices of the Peace throughout the Parish. The payment of these expenses is mandated by La. R.S. 13:2589.
Under La. R.S. 13:5706, the Parish Government is required to compensate the Coroner for the performance of his duties. The Parish must also compensate the Coroner for any physical or mental examination or investigation when such examination is requested by the district attorney, sheriff, chief of police, any judge or citizen. The Statute also mandates that the Parish pay for any autopsies and related investigative costs incurred by the Coroner’s office. Additionally, the Parish must provide the Coroner with all necessary or unavoidable expenses including supplies and equipment; fees for mental or physical examinations or investigations, commitments, interdictions; court attendance or testimony; and for attending Parish prisoners.
La. R.S. 13:5710 requires the Parish to pay for any expert employed by the Coroner that assists in investigations or autopsies.
District Attorney’s Office
La. R.S. 16:6 requires the Parish to provide an expense allowance for salaries of stenographers, clerks and secretaries, and salaries or charges for special officers, investigators and other employees and an expense allowance for stationery forms, telephone, transportation, travel, postage, hotel and other expenses incurred in the discharge of the official duties of the District Attorney.
10th Judicial District
La. R.S. 33:4713 requires the Parish to provide a suitable building and necessary furniture for the District Court.
La. R.S. 13:961 requires the Parish to provide a court reporter for each District Judge in the judicial district. The salaries of the court reporters are set by the appointing judges and shall be paid by the Parish. The Parish must also provide the court reporters with an office, furniture and equipment.
La. R.S. 13:1874 and 13:1883 require the Parish to pay a portion of the salaries of the City Court Judge and its Marshals.
Department of Veteran’s Affairs
La. R.S. 29:262 requires the Parish to provide office space to the Veteran’s Affairs Commission. In accordance with La. R.S. 29:260, the Parish also provides additional funding to the Veteran’s Affairs Commission for the maintenance and operation of its service office located in Natchitoches Parish.
Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service (LSU AgCenter)
In accordance with La. R.S. 3:301, the Parish provides office space and $7,500.00 annually to the LSU AgCenter in support of its programs which benefit the residents of the Parish.
Parish Government Administrative Offices
The General Fund also supports the operations of the office of the Parish President, the Parish Council, and the Parish Finance Department. Approximately 31% of the expenses incurred by the Parish’s General Fund is dedicated to the actual operations of the Parish Government.
It is my intention as your Parish President to work with the District Attorney, local Judges, Registrar’s office and our Clerk of Court to stream line and prioritize where monies can be saved or reallocated to provide much needed funds for repairs of our parish roads and infrastructure. We are all in this together, and with better communication and effective, conservative business techniques, I, Lee Waskom am confident that I can earn your trust and confidence and we can begin, through concerted efforts, to solve our road problem.
PAID FOR BY THE CAMPAIGN FOR LEE WASKOM #85