By Bill Allen
Greetings Natchitoches Parish Voters. The day It was announced that I had been appointed by the governor’s office to fill a vacant seat on the parish council.
My phone began to ring off the hook with congratulations, and are you crazy. But I could not say no to my friend John Bell because I am always ready to help.
So two days later, when I returned to Louisiana and sworn in, I went to work. I began to listen to as many of the tax payers as I possibly could for about a week. I heard three things, and that was congratulations. When are you going to fix my road and don’t raise my taxes. Well, it seemed that everyone, including myself, had the same number one concern, FIX MY ROAD. But I also found out very quickly that the first thing you don’t do is share your thoughts because they can be and will get blown out of proportion in a heart beat.
The council meeting day came and to my surprise, I was attacked for mentioning we need to find money to repair our roads, and the library was there on the defense. I was totally surprised, so I took the common sense approach to the situation and came up with a solution. I looked at the audit numbers that had been sent to the state for approval in the past 3 years, and wow, was I surprised. Not one but several places could use some adjusting, but some were totally out of hand. Well, the library came forward first, so I figured they wanted to be looked at first. Going forward, I knew that at least two members of the council team had already said NO before listening to anything I had to say.
So I went to New Orleans (on my own time) and asked for the correct process to do what I had in mind. But before I did, I had had some one on ones with key players that make up the Home Rule Charter membership. Got their input and proceeded with the task at hand. With that being said, the decision was to take this back to the tax payers and let them decide by voting because I have 1 vote and so do each of you.
Natchitoches Parish Library fund dated December 31 2021 had SEVEN MILLION, EIGHT HUNDRED AND TWO THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED AND NINETEEN DOLLARS sitting in the bank as surplus. (attachment) That’s your tax dollars just growing bigger and bigger in its’ bank account. The upcoming date to vote on a millage to reallocate the number of mills going to the library, from 8 to 4. Then re allocate 4 of the mills to fixing parish roads will be left up to you on April 28.
Sadly I have been labeled as the villain for even suggesting this and spearheading it going back onto the ballot for the voters to decide. If you think that there will be library branches closing and services eliminated. Well they don’t have to and those scare tactics don’t work with me because I looked at and understand the numbers. I have 1 vote and so do you.
There are plans in place to use the funds to improve and not just continue to patch the roads. You will not have to search for the results because the information will be shared separately. If you are somewhat satisfied with your road / street. You must live in the city. If your child visits the library often in person rather than go on line for access. They must not have a cell phone or computer. But if not, you must live in the rural areas of the parish.
Open up your eyes and your heart and VOTE Yes for change. No matter what, vote your way. But not just because somebody else tells you how to. You elected each council person because I ran unopposed this last year. Nevertheless, if you think that we are holding money somewhere and not trying to spend it wisely, then you are wrong. As the new councilman elect the money is not there and the state does not have it to give.
But just remember, God helps those who help themselves, so let’s make it happen together. Remember the State can see every penny we have and how we use it. So vote for change and eliminate those negative thoughts because there is a PLAN.
Lastly, it took me a while and probably some of you to figure out what message Senator Kennedy was trying to send when he said on the campaign trail. “If you want to defund the police department. Then when you get in trouble again call a crack head.” Well guess what he would say about this situation!
Thanks for your attention. Mr. Bill