Caddo Commission Abusing/Ignoring Public, Again… With Help.
While it usually is not worth commenting on, tonight finds this video on KTBS (here). The subject, Caddo Commissioners considering amending the illegal ordinance concerning “education” travel reimbursement “allowances”, is one that is part of the lawsuit filed by Elliott Stonecipher last year against the Caddo Commission.
While the local media attempted to make that lawsuit solely about the Commissioners’ illegal inclusion into taxpayer funded retirement benefits (CPERS), the lawsuit actually challenged the “educational” travel reimbursement as well as salary increases that were in direct defiance of the Caddo Home Rule Charter.
This piece by KTBS completely neglects to tell the viewers that this issue is contested in the courts or of the historic abuses of these “allowances”. Commission newcomer, Steven Jackson, proudly claims to be a good steward of tax dollars by putting forth this ordinance. Jackson proves that the media pays no attention to the rule of law, and therefore the public is left in the dark. While Commissioners debate taking the “allowance” down from $15,000/year to $8,000, not one person in this report proclaims that Commissioners are to take zero dollars in travel allowance per the Home Rule Charter Sec. 3.05 (here).
Further in the piece, Commissioner Lyndon Johnson issued a political threat to the taxpayers by stating that this continued theft of tax dollars and abandonment of the Home Rule Charter would be LESS EXPENSIVE for taxpayers. His logic was that if we, the people that the Commission continues to ignore, do not go with the plan, the Caddo Commission will have to hire lobbyists at a much higher rate of pay than allowing Commissioners like Johnson to go on junkets like his recent trip to Washington D.C. for Mardi Gras. He even went so far as to say it would cost $70,000 to pay for the lobbyists. Commissioner Johnson has clearly heard from outraged citizens from across the Parish, but remains steadfast in ignoring them on issues of self-pay.
Amazingly, KTBS also included local Broadmoor Neighborhood Association President Rob Broussard who gave cover to this latest operation to keep Commission self-pay. He claimed, “the Commissioners have been listening to what the citizens have been saying.” Broussard’s statement is important, for all the wrong reasons. This money will be abused, because it always has been abused.
From reaction of shock that most people have in this community at the self-pay scandal among Commissioners, the taxpayers certainly do not need Commissioners ignoring the law and telling us they are here to help, the media ignoring basic facts and information, or civic voices to give the appearance that reform is happening.
The fact that speaks loudest: Not one cent of illegal money has been returned to the people of Caddo Parish from any of these Commissioners.
Everything else is simply for appearance. The people of Caddo Parish continue to just take more abuse.