One Bad Apple Spoils the Barrel

by J. R. “Randy ” Stelly

The situation going on with the allegedly unlawful emergency declarations saddens me greatly. As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m a huge proponent of the Home Rule Charter form of government and I have campaigned for Mr. Nowlin and his political endeavors.

In his response to Mr. McMurtry’s letter to the voting public, Mr. Nowlin asserts that one who takes a few verses from the Holy Bible does not know all there is to know about God. The same can be said that someone taking one Section of the Home Rule Charter on its own does not give them total authoritarian power. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the HRC is a checks-and-balances form of government. Both the HRC and State law give the Parish Council budgetary authority. Mr. Nowlin appears to be as ambivalent to this fact as most of the Parish Council is clueless.

In his letter, Mr. Nowlin goes on to allege that Mr. McMurtry’s lawsuit and the actions of the Purchasing Agent are politically motivated.  In looking at his actions and hearing what was discussed during that meeting, it appears to me that Mr. Nowlin, himself, was acting only in the best interest of himself and Mr. Richmond’s campaign.

At the March 18th Council meeting, Mr. Richmond informed the Council that he was having trouble obtaining Winn Rock and needed to have his budget amended by adding new material lines and transferring money from other lines into them. That budget amendment was passed in April. At the May 20th Council meeting, Councilman de Graffenried specifically asked Mr. Richmond how the rock budget was looking for the Highway Department and whether or not the Council would be seeing an Ordinance coming through in June since the Parish seems to run out of rock at this time of year. Mr. Richmond confirmed that the Parish does run out of rock; that they found a cheaper material and that they were working hard to stay within that budget. On May 29th, Mr. Nowlin declared his second Emergency Declaration of the year supposedly for the Parish’s inability to obtain road maintenance materials. It appears to me that Mr. Nowlin and Mr. Richmond believe that we the people are too stupid to pick up on the nuances of their words and that they have been playing fast and loose with the law and our tax dollars. It appears that Mr. Nowlin wants to point us in another direction hoping that we won’t see his own political shenanigans.

I applaud Mr. McMurtry for his courage to notify the public about this matter.

The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to

5 thoughts on “One Bad Apple Spoils the Barrel

  1. Isn’t it amazing. Even after Mr. Stelly’s excellent commentary that there might be those who will not see things for what they are. It reminds of something I was told by Mrs. Ada Barnhill when I was a student in her sixth grade class at Marthaville. She had asked me to define ”Cold War.” After I had attempted an explanation in which I failed to convince all my peers, she said, ”Denny, a word to the wise is usually sufficient, however with the ‘otherwise,’ an entire library would not convince them.”

  2. This form of government will never work as long as you have people unwilling to work together. So in the mean time the roads degrade daily, the cars get torn to hell and back , and these people fight over wether it’s a black or white issue , a rich or poor issue , and we have a fine example of government grid lock ! Career politicians are fine with this type of government, job security on their part , in the real world businesses solve problems and fire troublemakers . JMO

  3. You toolk the minutiae and confusion out of the process once again! And set the record straight! The truth is marching on👏

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