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Bossier City officials to bill citizens for their mistakes

Even as the Shreveport political corruption circus grows alarmingly vaster, there's another set of clowns who legally have squandered far more money than apparently illegally disbursed under Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover’s watch – Bossier City’s Mayor Lo Walker and its City Council.

Budget inattention aside, the latest buffoonery on their parts has them coming to the citizenry to make it pay tens of millions of dollars for their exercises in economic ignorance and ego-stroking. Last week, the Council signaled its intent that in the near future it was going to almost double the fees for water and sewerage service for the average user. The typical household that directly pays on these things under the announced hike would cough up nearly $250 more a year.

This increase is designed to offset about $38 million in costs for a $106 million upgrade and expansion of the city’s sewer system. Of the remainder, $60 million will come from conventional bond debt (at 20 years at current rates costing the citizenry about $1.36 million a year in interest) and another $8 million from special low-interest loans (at an assumed .95 percent interest for that term another $40,000 or so a year). This means you can add about $50 more a year interest payments to each Bossier City household on top of the average fee increase, or about $300.

The Council’s reaction to its clumsy attempt to reach into citizens’ wallets was best summed by its resident gaffe machine, David Jones, who didn’t disappoint when he uttered, “That pipe, you can’t live without it. Unfortunately, it’s not very sexy.” If a sentiment shared by the Council as a whole and the mayor, this implies that textbooks could be written about its members’ bizarre sexual fetishes.

Because while pipe may not be attractive to them and Walker, it seems that bricks, mortar, ice, exhaust fumes, and cyber dreaming sure turn the cranks of these spenders of other people’s money. Because contrary to what they think, Bossier City can live without building a $56.5 million money-losing arena, it can live without giving a $21 million parking garage to a private developer who could have paid for it, it can live without $35 million paid into a building destined to remain vastly underutilized that will never come close to paying itself back. These are the things that these cretins decided on which to spend over $112 million of Bossier Citians’ resources.

In the past 12 years in which these blunders were committed, most of the members of the Council were on it, all but rookie James “Chubby” Knight for most of these, and throughout Walker when not mayor was city Chief Administrative Officer. Note that the mistakes could have paid for the contemplated expansion and upgrade in its entirety, which genuinely cannot be lived without, instead of foisting this additional cost on ratepayers and citizens. And yet now these charlatans, after having wasted all this on these misguided efforts of equal part believing in big government to direct economic development and in making themselves seem like big fishes in a small pond, have the audacity of hope to bill the people for their incompetence.

At least this time no subterfuge comes attached to this excising, unlike the last rate hike almost four years ago which was said to offset withdrawal of savings to pay for emergency services and mowing grass, activities that had nothing to do with wastewater treatment. That method of grabbing cash was chosen simply because it was the most expedient way to abscond with the most money. The interest earned on the savings itself could have absorbed both these rate increases. Regardless, this latest development that highlights the poor fiscal judgment of Bossier City’s elected officials affirms that the city anthem for this crop of bozos ought to from Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music: “Send in the Clowns.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yea i am already pissed off at the water bills. I live alone and have 60.00 or more water bills and expect them to reach 100.00. I used to have a family of 5 for same cost. I contemplate moving to the country to escape this shit.