Search This Blog


Spendthrift ways hard to purge from NW LA govts

It seems that Bossier City, of all places, has caught an extremely mild dose of fiscal restraint. Although exportation of its internal disease of big spending probably is not what municipal taxpayers have in mind.

Drawing simultaneously public amusement and outrage, as the nation’s overall economy has stagnated in the past three years local governments have found themselves under pressure to cut back on expenditures that seem to have little justification. The practice of local governments sending phalanxes of officials to hang around the annual Carnival celebrations in Washington, put on by the state’s Congressional delegation, have drawn particular scrutiny.

The lengths to which some of the local officials involved go to try to present these affairs, where these government racks up hotel charges in the thousands of dollars, live high off the hog in dining, and shell out hundreds or many times more of taxpayer dollars to be at or to host parties, can present high comedy.
Caddo Parish Commissioner Stephanie Lynch, with a straight face, suggests she has a better chance of talking shop by having the people pay all get-out to have her hang around Washington and go to parties, than by traveling at some other time when there will be fewer distractions. Or by picking up a telephone or by logging into a computer. That she complains other opportunities aren’t as good because of scheduling concerns perhaps really says more about her relative clout to engage policy-makers than anything else.

That any policy-maker thinks there’s any superior cost-effectiveness to this as opposed to alternative spawns the outrage, that these presumed servants of the people are arrogant enough to waste money somebody else earned on frivolity with next to no return for those earners. That doesn’t mean local entities should boycott the season – a representative or two, light on the social activities, might approach cost effectiveness. For this year, on that score, congratulate Shreveport and the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (funded by local governments) for their parsimony, and wretch at the excess of Caddo Parish, the Port of Shreveport-Bossier (funded by the citizenry’s property taxes), and, the most wasteful of all, Bossier Parish.

Then there’s Bossier City’s approach, which in the wake of its budget meltdown after years of running up debt, again is sending nobody (although one of its own, city attorney James Hall, is going on the Port’s dime). After burdening its taxpayers with debt of almost $5,000 per capita, about twice that suffered by Shreveporters and that will cause budgetary difficulties for the next decade as a result of its building a money-losing arena, a parking garage private interests could have funded, and a partially-filled high-tech office building that never will be paid back among other brilliance, the least it could do was to save a couple of thousand quid by abstaining.

And the good news is perhaps city governance will become saner still by the departure of one of the dunderheads responsible for this state of affairs. The bad news is he’ll have even less accountability and more ability to waste funds. Due to the death of Bossier City Marshal Johnny Wyatt, a special election called to fill that spot has closed qualification, one of the contestants being current Bossier City Chief Administrative Officer Lynn Austin.

Throughout his tenure as marshal, Wyatt expanded enormously the functions of the office, way beyond its statutory imperatives. This created potential problems of obscured accountability and inefficiencies in operations. Throughout his tenure as CAO, Austin went along with big spending on misplaced priorities of the city’s elected officials, principally of his boss Mayor Lo Walker. This inspires little confidence that Austin as marshal would transfer out the extraneous functions of the office nor ask the city not to supplement it financially as currently city taxpayers do.

To date with his campaign rhetoric, Austin has given no sign that he would pursue these necessary reforms. Indeed, that he trumpets his campaign support by Wyatt allies indicates he has no such intention to do so. If so, putting Austin in as marshal would be like handing an alcoholic the keys to the liquor cabinet.

Austin has a competent record in law enforcement, and so do his two opponents. But Austin was not any solution to the spendaholic nature of Bossier City, he was part of problem and thus he simply is unsuitable for the job of city marshal at this time. Look elsewhere for a candidate, such as Deputy Marshal Carl Richard who is willing to make this commitment, to bring efficiency to this arm of Bossier City government.


Anonymous said...

Do you have any concept of one-time money vs. revenue streams? Or even a harder one for you - mandated ways by law on how money can be spent? You really are an absolute moron who should be expelled from education. A typical example of how tenure cripples us from making a better higher-ed. By the way, what do you cost per student and how many hours a day do you spend at LSUS?

Anonymous said...


You are so bad that even The Shreveport Times fired you. Is that on your resume loser?

Landman of the Apocalypse said...

Although I do not approve of calling anyone a "dunderhead," the professor actually spots a good issue here. Look at the activities of any other Marshal or Constable in LA, and you will find that they largely confine their duties to being a functionary of the City Court. That is what their offices were created to do. Any other law enforcement activities are superfluous and better left to the better trained and resourced police and sheriffs' departments. To a recent transplant, the big dollars being spent to run for this office are downright appalling.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. If Sadow were right, why were the "more appropriate" departments not doing it. The Marshal started it to fill a void and filled the seats from all agencies. The Marshal also serves as a security force for City Hall. Keeps the BCPD on the street.

Jeff Sadow said...

I'm guessing the same elected official or Bossier government toady wrote the first two comments. To which there can be only one reply to such discombobulated rambling -- stuck pigs squeal, and loudly.

Anonymous said...

No,just laughing a a marsupial faced, unhappy person that want anybody to think he matters. Good for you that you can hold students hostage. Don't go blind.

Jeff Sadow said...

As the last comment indicates, it's usually not a good idea to go off your medications, even if you think it will compensate for your lack of critical thinking ability to engage in intellectual debate on the merits of the issues.