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BC Council invites trouble with expression rule

As if Bossier City hasn’t invited enough legal repercussions by its continuing refusal to follow its charter concerning a petition to vote to amend this basic law, its long-standing regulations on public discourse at City Council meetings threatens even more of these.

Required by law, the Council must allow adequate citizen input in discussion of its actions during a meeting. It began the practice of informing the public of its rights at its Aug, 18, 2020 meeting as a result of acts passed that year by the Louisiana Legislature. Previous statute noted that a “governing body may adopt reasonable rules and restrictions regarding such comment period.” This had been accomplished lastly at the Jan. 21, 2020 meeting.

However, through the Aug. 1, 2023 meeting, the announcing that had commenced nearly three years earlier included only part of that Resolution #5 of 2020, under the “Decorum” section, part of the subsection “Members of the Public Addressing the Council,” which reads:


Rebuffed threat may shuffle Shreveport politics

A clumsy maneuver by a veteran member of the Shreveport City Council with the support of two others may have altered the dynamics of city politics, in favor of Republican Mayor Tom Arceneaux.

In his first two-thirds of a year on the job, Arceneaux hasn’t been very visible. That’s not a bad thing necessarily, as previous Democrat Mayor Adrian Perkins put himself much more in the public eye on a routine basis, but for the wrong reasons: either in floating dreamy, unrealistic, if not irrelevant, policies and priorities, or by committing some political, if not legal, folly.

Drummed out of office for those tendencies, nevertheless Perkins council supporters Democrats James Green, Tabatha Taylor, and Alan Jackson returned to office. They hoped to form a working majority including the two other Democrats elected, Ursula Bowman who succeeded her husband Jerry, and newcomer Gary Brooks, to continue an agenda that didn’t focus on spending reductions in the light of public safety shortages contributing to dismal crime numbers and looming huge capital expenditures on water and sewerage, if not unwise new commitments such as across-the-board salary increase for city employees.


BC deserves better than out-of-control Jacobs

It’s not Bossier City Attorney Charles Jacobs’ world, and Bossier Citians shouldn’t have to live in it any longer.

But Jacobs seems to think it is, from his actions and information revealed at the Aug. 29 meeting of the City Council. Discussion of a certified petition that under the city charter mandates that the City Council put its contents on the ballot, as it did not pass this into an ordinance that amends the charter within 30 days of certification on Jul. 10, within 120 days of receipt or Nov. 7, precipitated these revelations.

The existence of that petition spawned an attempt by the set of councilors who during the 30-day window opposed bringing its contents into the charter by a Council vote – Republicans David Montgomery, Jeff Free, and Vince Maggio plus Democrat Bubba Williams and no party Jeff Darby – to support a charter review commission that could address term limits. The petition calls for a lifetime three-term limit for city elected officials, retroactively. A commission could ask voters to approve the same, but much more likely any term limits proposal from it would grandfather in existing councilors, as the petition language would disallow all but Maggio from running for reelection.


Lundy rises in poll, but no chance to win

Three words answer the question as to whether independent Hunter Lundy has a chance to win the Louisiana governor’s race: no, no, and no.

Lundy’s name showed up in third place with 7 percent among the contenders in the latest independent poll released by a set of media outlets, although in one completed days before that for another set of outlets he came in sixth at 3 percent. In both instances, Republican Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry led the way with over 35 percent while Democrat former cabinet member Shawn Wilson took home about a quarter of the vote intention.

Speculation has swirled whether one of four other quality Republicans could begin to consolidate undecided votes, if not pick off voters from other candidates, to challenge for a runoff spot. The thinking was, even as the GOP candidates other than Landry differed from him much more in style than in issue preferences, that voters not on the left of the ideological spectrum who weren’t fans of Landry could find a home with another Republican.


BC reformers shouldn't throw away winning hand

The next moves have been played in the Bossier City term limits drama, but don’t change the dynamics that put reformers in the driver’s seat.

Last week, Republican Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry’s office replied to a City Council resolution of Aug. 15 seeking a legal opinion of the status of a petition certified Jul. 10 by the parish registrar of voters. The city, relying both on its city attorney Charles Jacobs and an outside opinion written by a lawyer who had worked with the city previously but who has no particular expertise in this area of law, questioned whether the petition followed state law and the charter.

The AG’s office declined to assess that, stating that it represents registrars of voters and therefore could not involve itself. Whereupon GOP Mayor Tommy Chandler placed back on the Council’s Aug. 29 agenda an item passed over two weeks earlier: calling an election to have the electorate consider the petition’s lifetime three-term limit, past and future, on elected officials.