To the Parish President: Not A Blame Game

By Patsy Ward Hoover, Council Women

Leadership is the process by which a person influences others to accomplish a goal or goals, and directs the organization or team in a way that makes it more UNIFIED and SOUNDER. To accomplish this unity, leadership must use characteristics such as honesty, knowledge, skills, and respect for the creativity and opinions of others. Good leadership is not self-serving nor does it misuse authority to present a good image for itself at the expense of making the rest of the team look bad. Therefore, as a leader, I think it is important to explain several of the duties a Natchitoches Parish Council member has.

Residents from various districts have repeatedly requested that the roads, bridges, and drainage systems be repaired in their areas. Because this is a serious problem in the parish, it is often an agenda item open for discussion. Why is it shameful to discuss an issue that is so problematic in our parish, and why should it be called a complaint? The issue that needs addressing is not shamefulness or complaining, it’s the problem the parish has concerning the lack of repair of the roads, bridges and drainage systems. To ensure that residents receive factual and helpful information, a council member has the right to openly ask questions and discuss agenda items to ensure residents get the appropriate information they need. There is no shame in making sure they are properly served.

The right to cast a vote and express an opinion is another duty that each member of the council possesses. In view of the fact that there is often many request for items to be placed on the agenda, a deadline is used to ensure council members receive packets at least a week in advance to review and research additional information. It is never the responsibility of the Parish Council to make sure constituents or other parish departments make this deadline. When I voted not to add an item to the agenda from the Parish Engineer, it was based on professional reasoning. If the Parish Engineer decided to take a vacation or leave of absence, it was still his responsibility to ensure all parish business and documentation was taken care of before departure. If a delay could cause such a liability to the parish, then making the deadline for the agenda should have been of upmost importance. Also, the Parish President’s office had the authority to submit the request, which is just a few steps from the Parish Council’s office. So, instead of saying I was critical, the correct expression for this scenario is, “I saw an explanation that was not acceptable and provided words of wisdom for future request submissions.”

I do not believe Parish Council members purposely try to block, destroy or prevent agendas that are useful for the improvement of the parish. And none of the council members voted for an increase of waste removal. To be very transparent and address the strait truth, the request to renew the waste tax was not placed on the agenda. There is no way practical that the Parish Council could vote on something that was not on the agenda. This fact along tells me that the Parish Council’s motive was not to increase waste tax, and we certainly cannot work to build a common goal until we have an agenda to do so.

I decided as a leader to write this letter to ensure that the snare of unnecessary accusations do not become a “Blame Game” and to make sure the team doesn’t get thrown under the bus. Council members can not address or vote on items that are not on the agenda. I also admit that the Parish Council meetings sometimes do get hectic, but they do not purposely threaten or destroy what is beneficial for the parish. Yes, our opinions are different. They should be because a team should consist of different ideas to incite creativity that often causes a flare between personalities. We are not the opposition, and should not be put on the menu of the blame game for situations we do not control. In closing Mr. president when will you apologize for choking a young African American man in our community? That is the apology that is needed.

NOTE: This letter regarding the Parish Council meeting of March 15, 2021 has been published as received.

Members obstruct Council from taking care of business

16 thoughts on “To the Parish President: Not A Blame Game

  1. A definition of leadership right out of the dictionary. But, a letter written by a “leader” who has none of those qualities…she has people on the “team” shaking their heads and face-palming with her antics. She arrived late, at least the last one to show up, and her phone rings (loudly) during the meeting. Both situations are just rude. “Leadership is the process by which a person influences others to accomplish a goal or goals,” but written by a person who does not INFLUENCE, but disrupts and tries to bully; “and directs the organization or team in a way that makes it more UNIFIED and SOUNDER.” That is obviously NOT what Ms. Hoover accomplishes. She doesn’t “direct” anything and if that is a “unified and sounder” group, then all hope is lost. “To accomplish this unity, leadership must use characteristics such as honesty, knowledge, skills, and respect for the creativity and opinions of others.” That sentence is exactly why there is no unity in this group and Ms. Hoover is one who doesn’t respect “the creativity and opinions of others.” I will not speak to her honesty because I must assume she is at least honest, but knowledge, skills, and respect are sadly lacking. Watching the video, it appears the entire team is frustrated with her. Then, the coup de grace (for her attempt at not blaming anyone) at the end of the letter, she calls for President Richmond to apologize for something that has nothing to do with business at hand. Her agenda is clear and it’s not in line with the agenda presented by the council.

  2. ”By Patsy Ward Hoover, Council Women

    Leadership is the process by which a person influences others to accomplish a goal or goals, and directs the organization or team….”

    Ms. Hoover, please, will you ever just take your ”ball” and go home. I read this diatribe searching for the element of ”Blame Game” which you so boldly referenced in your title without finding anything of note, notwithstanding your personal attempts to sling mud. Your premise loses all credibility with your thinly veiled attempts to undermine the Parish President. You did the same thing with the previous Parish President. The common denominator is not the office of the Parish President, but the person sitting in your seat. It is so exceptionally rare that any government body would continuously have members elected and re-elected whose personal agenda was so disharmonious with that of the body on which they serve. No, you wouldn’t want to play to the old ”Blame Game,” but your comments today are shallow and seem self-serving. Whatever it is and whatever it was supposed to be, it fell short of leadership.

  3. You, Ms. Hoover are certainly no leader. A leader would have handled this situation in a completely different manner.

  4. Of course the person who didn’t even know what the meeting was about would issue a statement about “pointing blame” 🤣

  5. Maybe if deferring, delaying, or refusing to add items to the agenda were a one time thing I’d buy it, but I have watched you do this for the past 6 years we have lived here. Leadership requires to come to meetings you are responsible to people to represent and attend PREPARED. That is an endemic issue which I have observed with more than one representative.

    • Scott S. What really gets to me is the forever tabling of items over and over and over. Simple things that should just be over and done with. Make a decision and move on to bigger issue’s. They were trying to fill some position and it went on for months trying to figure out how to do it, just contact another parish under HRC and ask,some other parish thats been under this form of government has been through it. Things could be so much easier.

    • This is what happens when the good old boys network is moving in high gear. You think you vote for someone more qualified, but it seems we never get results that are any different than what we had. There might be a different person in any one of the chairs, but if they are from the network, there is no change. I would like to see honest professionals who understand business, budgets and how things work in government, and above all are of good moral character fill the seats on the Parish Council. Will it ever happen? Who knows. But at one time or another, I’ve seen several of the so called “I’m working for you” members cause a big stink over nothing. They don’t take time to think things through completely and try to see which is best for the parish as a whole. They get something in their head and then seem to go deaf and won’t listen to even a small change. It is always, “it needs to be the way I said, the other way is no good”, at which time everyone digs in their heels and nothing gets done. Where are the good people of the parish who care, and are not running just to have a title and their name in the paper. We need people who want the parish to be better, not just this street or this area. We don’t need self-centered people on the Parish Council wasting time and drawing a salary. We do need good honest people who are able to work together to get things done without throwing a fit or major temper tantrum. Personally, I’m tired of the stupidity shown in many meetings. Enough is Enough.If you can’t handle the heat, get out of politics where you will have give and take in order to make thins better. You don’t belong if you can’t remain level headed and continue to be level headed. If you are one of the ones who cursed someone out, or threatened someone, you need to immediately apologize, because you acted inappropriately. You owe members and the parish an apology, and the next time you do it, you should be escorted from the building. Now please do you job, or resign.

  6. Isn’t this article a blame game?? The public isn’t ignorant enough to listen to a person who isn’t either smart enough or has enough respect for her community to put her cell phone on silent during a council meeting. Small town drama is just as divisive and unproductive as it is on a national level, if not more.

  7. Patsy Ward Hoover, you made this statement, ” So, instead of saying I was critical, the correct expression for this scenario is, “I saw an explanation that was not acceptable and provided words of wisdom for future request submissions.”

    Mam, I would not have said you were critical, I would have said you were wrong. When it is an issue that involves the parish being punished because of neglect in the office by someone, you don’t punish the entire parish. You made another statement ” If a delay could cause such a *liability to the parish*, then making the deadline for the agenda should have been of upmost importance.” You are right. It is of utmost importance that all things be in order and submitted in a timely manner. However, you, and you alone, will be responsible if the parish suffers in any way because of your vote. The proper way to have handled it would have been to ok the item left off the agenda, take care of the matter, then advise the gentlemen who left the item off the agenda that they made a major mistake and next time you would not cover their mistake. You don’t do any good by piling poor judgment (yours) on top of poor work habits (theirs). Take care of necessary business and then read them the riot act of doing their jobs.

    Next time, do us a favor, and don’t try to teach a lesson at the expense of the parish. You might be trying to hang Richmond out to dry, but guess who is hanging there with him with skirts flapping in the breeze.

    To be a true leader in the community, you should never have brought up the incident of Richmond and his employee. You were not there, were you. So let the law handle it. Period. You were elected to take care of parish business and that is all. You were not elected to be a judge and rule on his personal, though bad behavior. It is not your place, but I guess again, you just could not let it go.

  8. There are a bunch of so call grown ups acting like there at a ballgame!!! Not a council meeting!! Nothing will ever get resolved with the heads that’s in office!!! John Richmond for one needs to be removed!!!!!! He doesn’t know what’s going on and doesn’t do his job!!!!! And as far as David Kees he knows less!!!! And ALL cellphone’s should be turned OFF who in their right minds goes to a meeting with the cellphone on DUMB!!!!! We have problems that are continuing to grow because of the head people don’t do anything but they like that check!!!! Just go out hwy-6west and look around you don’t have to look hard it’s a shame our city and parish look like this!!!! The worse it’s ever looked!! People are moving away from here!!!

  9. Your letter MIGHT have had some validity….until your last sentence. Now it’s clear your agenda is to cause uproar and show’s your true colors. Shamefu! Your character says it all….YOU ARE THE PROBLEM, ma’am. I will work to see you are unseated.

  10. Sounds like every single council member needs to be released and hold a new election barring all existing members from re-running. Maybe we can get people in here that actually care enough about the city to get stuff done rather than blame each other all damn day.

  11. And what does an apology for something in a person’s personal life have to do with conducting parish business? We will just write that off as an attempted distraction from your and the councils actions during the last meeting. Your consent whining about something being added to the agenda is laughable when you continue to be unprepared for the agenda at hand!

    Being loud and disruptive does NOT make you right! You say a number of times team team team and throwing them under the bus and then you turn you attention to a person’s personal life. That’s your idea of team work?
    And personally I do believe you and others are doing you best to make the HRC fail for your own agenda!

    And lastly show some professionalism ( I know its hard) but turn off you cell phone off during the meetings. Or at least the ringer,if someone is coaching you have them text you instead of distracting the meetings!

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