Dear Citizens of Natchitoches Parish

I, like most of you, am ashamed of the behavior exhibited by some of the Natchitoches Parish Council members in the March 15, 2021 Council meeting. These meetings are the responsibility of the Parish Council, and I have deep respect for the efforts of Council Chairman Chris Paige and his attempts to maintain order in an environment that has now become so toxic and combative.

It is shameful to hear a council person complain often and openly about roads, bridges, and drainage then contradict their supposed concern by immediately casting a vote that may possibly force fines and penalties on the Parish for refusing to discuss a minor issue associated with the new bridge on Clark Road. What truly astounds me is that this council person voted against simply adding the item to the agenda only moments after praying aloud asking God to “…help us be about the business of the parish.” This bridge was paid for with grant funding, and now DOTD gets the slap in the face of the Parish Council refusing to answer their simple questions in a timely manner. This just does not seem to be about progressing “…the business of the parish.”

It is also shameful to watch a council person not pursue solutions, but instead spend time making false accusations, baiting folks into arguments with profane taunting, name calling, and acting as a prideful bully instead of working for the good people of his district and the Parish. All this while totally neglecting to acknowledge the fact that bridge repairs, and road grading in his district over the last two weeks have nearly ground all other work efforts within the Parish to a halt. When confronted with the statement that more work had taken place in his district during the most recent month, he simply redirected the conversation to chastising the Public Works Director, Public Works employees and another Council member.

These members’ motives are now clear. They would rather stall good work and point fingers at others; derail the passing of the only tax that funds solid waste removal in the rural parts of the parish, while voting to increase the cost of solid waste removal; and when all else fails threaten those who are working for the good of Natchitoches Parish.

You, the good people of Natchitoches Parish elected me to be honest, transparent and work every day for the betterment of Natchitoches Parish. You have my work; I will continue to do that. No matter what the opposition attempts, you can count on me to give you the straight truth, even when it hurts. Today is a new day, and we have now all seen the true colors of those who seem to have motives that seek to destroy instead of build toward a common goal go a better Natchitoches Parish.

Sincerely,

John Richmond


30 thoughts on “Dear Citizens of Natchitoches Parish

  1. Just Thinking, I post comments using my real name! You post comments that makes me think that you are a former police juror or a relative of one! Maybe you are a current member of the parish council and don’t have the guts to post comments using your real name! You are trying to defend the indefensible!Peace!

  2. Let’s first start with erasing all of the negative words and phrases used to describe Councilwoman Hoover. I have used her name because that is who the Parish President thought he needed to single out. Council members have a right to opinions and ideals. When African Americans disagree why are they labeled as angry and violent? Councilman Paige participated in the same discussion with Councilwoman Hoover, but the Parish President said he had great respect for Councilman Paige. This is the same old trick that has been used for years, like one, disrespect the other, to keep African American fighting against each other.

    Another old trick is blame someone else to take the spotlight off of what is the real problem. LACK OF ROAD REPAIR! How is it shameful if the Councilwoman has to remind the parish administration that the roads, bridges and drainage systems need repairs? Remember, Mr. President, the Parish Council can only openly discuss what is on the agenda. She is definitely not the only council member discussing and asking questions about road repair. I’m just wondering if you are attending the same Council meetings that I am familiar with. Should you say you are ashamed of ALL of the council members for repeatedly discussing road repairs?

    I really like the comment about denying a request to add an item to the agenda. Actually, I can’t believe you stated while the Parish Engineer was on vacation some changes took place concerning the new bridge and YOUR department failed to meet the Parish Council deadline for agenda items. Are you saying that there was no one else in the office or department capable of submitting the request on time? Your office is right across the hall from the Parish Council Office. If a delay in the changes for the bridge could make the parish liable for damage claims, why was this not YOUR top priority to get the request submitted? You were correct when you said this just does not seem to be about progressing the business of the parish. But it is about blaming someone else. AGAIN, coke hold the councilwoman.

    Next let’s truly discuss the sales tax. The only reason the solid waste sales tax had to be placed on the ballot was because a request to renew the sales tax was NOT submitted to the Parish council to be voted on. YOU missed the deadline, AGAIN. Since we are being transparent and honest, YOU failed to tell the truth, and the Council members are not voting to increase the cost of solid waste removal.
    You should not attempt to apologize for bad behavior for a Council member who had a right to vote and express her opinion. You have publicly exhibited bad behavior when you physically choked an African American. Why choke the Councilwoman by labeling her as bad and shameful, when you are guilty of physical bad behavior?

    Finally, just as the Parish President used bias language, the Natchitoches Times used bias words such as clashed, struck a blow, spurring and harangues to describe the communication between Hoover and Paige. Remember, this is designed to indicate when Blacks disagree they must be angry and violent. However, the communication between John Richmond and another council member, did not receive bias language. The article used words such as the councilman “maintained, “said” and “asked.” This conversation was VERY heated, involved name calling, profanity, and desk pounding activities. Talking about being bias, there is something seriously wrong with this picture. We should not buy into these cynical biases. Let’s support what is right and call a spade a spade.

    • I think you can help solve this problem that you think the council has. Why don’t you campaign or some of the more highly intelligent citizens campaign to be elected to the Parish Council. Perhaps you would be considered highly educated. WAIT! That would not work. You couldn’t continue to use degrading words and remarks. It is the same bad behavior and ignorance that you say the council exhibits.

  3. After reading this am not surprised at the reactions at all from the so called Council Members.
    For so long this all has been an embarrassing situation for all of Natchitoches Parish.
    Mr.Givens implemented on his own time to research an come up with the Perma-Zyme procedure,dollar for dollar it sure beats the price of over lay.Has anyone taken the time to check into this it is very doubtful since it’s a dog an pony show at the Council meetings it sounds to me like it more of a power struggle than Council Members that are really concerned about to the people that elected each an everyone of you an their tax payer dollars.
    The North part of the Parish is pathetic as it is in the Black Lake Creston, Ashland, Goldonna, Fairview Alpha,that’s just to mention a few after all Natchitoches Parish is a large Parish. We all expect our roads to be decent I didn’t say perfect.
    So to all the Voters that’s fed up with this Stupidity an the Disconcernment were getting from our district Councilman the one way to resolve matter is when comes election time an they knock on your doors begging for our votes remind them they work for you an you don’t work for them.If their job is not working for the people as a whole they serve an work for its simple as this VOTE THEIR ASS OUT an replace with someone that will stand for what is truly needed.

    • Why would the council members be considered stupid and ignorant when they do not have the authority to make repairs to the roads, bridges or drainage systems. This responsibility should be taken care of by the Public Works Department that serves under the office of the Parish President. So, perhaps the people may want to VOTE someone else out of office.

      Remember they are no longer considered The Police Jury. The parish operates under Home Rule Charter, therefore they lost the authority to have repairs made in their districts. Perhaps residents should call the Parish President instead of Public Works. I am tired of them putting shovels of rocks on my road that doesn’t work.

  4. John Richmond! Your a joke yourself, so don’t try to blame other people for you being stupid!!!! You should be recalled because your not doing anything for the parish!!! All you want is the check that you get!!! Your a liar is all you are!!! And if the council commissioner doesn’t know she’s in a meeting and needs the phone off then she has no reason to be there!!!!

  5. All I know is a week or two before Delta I called my representative about my culvert being clogged and was told to call the road crew because they’d be in the area and would take care of it. I did, then Delta happened and I lost physical land due to the culvert forcing water over the road and washing it away into a deep trench and into Little Kisatchie Bayou Pierre.

    I dug it out by hand in 2 hours the next Saturday. The dirt I pulled out didn’t even fill in 1/8th of what I lost.

    Then my representative pulls bullying tactics. The cloak is off and it is clear this person isn’t in it to get things done.

  6. We’re still saddend how you’re parish president after you & your son assaulted a man and lied on the police statement. You don’t care for any of the roads or issues of Natchitoches. You care about what’s in your pockets. You proved that with the vacation you went on during our natural disaster. Nothing will be done with you as parish president and that is clear. If I was city council I wouldn’t work with you either and would find a better way that excludes you.

    • So you’d make the whole parish suffer for your personal Vendetta . Guess we should be glad your not on the council or should we 🤔🤔 Maybe you are , just sayin

    • This is why our government is in the sad state that it is in. Grow up and work together to do your job. Personal feelings have no place in politics.

  7. I think there needs to be a recall effort to weed out these childish adults. My cousin and I actually have contacted Mr Richmond with a product called Perma Zyme it’s an enzyme additive that binds with clay based soil . When applied correctly it causes the clay to bond together with a concrete like consistency. It has a 10 year guarantee. Once the Perma Zyme has cured it is impermeable to water and will not washboard, pot hole, and the dust is held down . I spoke to the director of roads in Abilene and they treated a section of road that circles their airport and it sees heavy traffic with no wear after a year of traffic. The great thing about this is it cost approximately 6,000 dollars a mile to treat vs 350,000 dollars a mile to overlay. I’m just a constituent and gathered this information. Why couldn’t they do it . I concur with the post above. They don’t want the HRC to succeed and we as constituents are paying the price till they choke the HRC out . I say we recall them and replace them with candidates that want to work for good of the entire parish, not just their districts .

    • Joe Givens: I hope they will listen to you about the Perma Zyme. We need something different and this sounds like it will work
      Our road is fast becoming a dirt road with the gradual wearing away and breaking down of the blacktop that was was used to cover our dirt roads decades ago. This covering of the road with blacktop was a real blessing because living on dirt roads is a disaster. Dirt roads brake down rather quickly then need grading and when they do finally grade, and it rains, the road become slippery mud and without 4 wheel drive you can get stuck. Not to mention the dust all over – just can’t drive behind someone. House, cars covered in dust all the time.

      They do put some type of black dust on parts of our road, but with rain, and wear the road just falls into more bumps and holes. It seems to work somewhat better- I guess you could say better than nothing.

      We often have loggers on our road: roads not built for that type of destruction

      So please, I don’t want the rest of the blacktop to be pulverized and end up with a dirt road. That would be going backwards some 40 or so years.

      So please look into this Perma-Zyme. Thank you.

      • I read of a town whose streets had flooded, and were in bad condition. They looked into a new material, and I’m wondering if it might be this Perma-Zyme, and their roads, once repaired are holding up and the pot holes are not reappearing. I can’t understand why the parish keeps using the same stuff, it washes out within a couple of days. That is just pouring money down the drain it seems to me. I just wish the Parish Council would be a little more concerned about whether a material works before they order more and more of it. I can just imagine people at a company selling bad product laughing at the fools in Natchitoches who just keep buying the same junk year after year. Do some research members. Earn your pay. You were elected to do jobs, not just collect money to attend meetings, so please do your jobs. Intelligent people know how to work together to a common goal, and I’m beginning to wonder why some are on this council. I know, it’s how long you have lived her and and how many friends you have. Voters, please watch what is going on with the current council. Do we need to clean house here? Probably so. I want mature adults that can work together to solve problems. Not spoiled adults acting like children because they don’t get their way. I would love to see some maturity on the council.

  8. I was in contact with John Richmond wondering why he didn’t take control of the out of control meeting! By law he does not have legal authority to control council meetings. Its like when the U.S. President goes to Capital Hill its just as a guest and does not control the meeting.

    In this meeting I don’t see where he could have made a difference anyway. There were a few members acting like 5 year olds that had missed a couple days of their Ritalin! Cursing,name calling,pounding on the tables and wanting to meet up after the meeting. There’s a conspiracy to see the HRC to fail,thats not anything new some leftovers from the old police jury are working hard to see it fail so their time will start over and they can continue to do nothing! The HRC much like the police jury system of government works everywhere but here! Why is that? Well there’s only one answer!

    • Well they answer is there is NO MONEY MIKE CHIEF WENT TO EVERY SINGLE HRC AND THATS IS WXACLTY WHAT HE WAS TOLD BY THE ACTING PRESIDENT IT WILL NOT WORK IF YOU HAVE NO MONEY. NOW WOULD BE A GREAT TIME TO ASK HIM WHY ALL THE BUSINESSES ARE BRING PLACES WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS WHY HASNT HE WORKED TO GET BUSINESS TO OPEN OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS TO CREATE A TAX BASE

      • If you talked with the Parish President, he failed to put your suggestion on the Council’s agenda. So, don’t blame the council.

    • Was with you 100% until the Ritalin comment… try to rise above the council members instead of lowering yourself to their level and using an insult that harms those with ADHD. 😉

      • Sorry Betty but thats the first thing they reminded of. Sorry again but I’ll stick to my original post. Didn’t post it to offend anyone just my opinion.

        • If there is anyone in charge of the meetings, they need to take charge and call people down. If members begin the cursing and threatening, they need to be escorted from the meeting. It is ridiculous that this goes on with a group of elected officials. YOU ARE ELECTED TO DO A JOB AND ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING, AND THAT MEANS WORKING TOGETHER – GIVE AND TAKE TYPE MEETING – LISTEN TO ONE ANOTHER. Trust me, no one is ever 100% right all the time, others have good ideas also, or they should have. But at least talk, with no name calling and no curse words. Absolutely insane, if you can’t thing of anything to discuss concerning the improvements of Natchitoches Parish, then keep your mouth shut. Don’t show that you don’t need to be on the Parish Council by opening your mouth only to curse someone out.

    • Did he say who does control those meetings? And did he say why that person did not step up and put the disrupters in their place?

  9. The whole council is a circus act not just the actions of one person. You all fuel a fire that is burning out of control. I have questioned everyone’s intensions before because there have been so many obstacles along the way and I have not seen a resolve out of anyone. Don’t throw rocks if you live in a glass house I have always heard. This is a group effort and a group fail!

    • There is such a thing as management of personnel. With the issue with the cook and now the council representatives there appear to be instances of out of control behavior.

      There is such a thing as managing those who are under the direction of a specified leader. The first thing any manager needs to do is set up what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behaviors. The carved in stone rules. Then the manager monitors the behavior. See a problem then readdress what behaviors are unacceptable. Develop appropriate consequences to infractions. Use due process and documentation of said infractions. Then do what you said you would do to correct poor behavior and do it fairly, firmly and consistently. If you see behavior getting out of hand, and it is not managed quickly and efficiently, then you can bet the farm, the behavior will only get worse.

      So get the bad guys out, but have a plan to prevent this in the future. This is an angry issue.

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