Just Talkin’ … June 14, 2018


The school board meeting this afternoon will probably be a contentious one. The vote should come on whether to close the Cloutierville school.

Traditionally, the school is the heart of a community. But emotional factors like that don’t make much difference when the bottom line is at stake. Folks should connect with what’s happening in the Legislature to what’s happening to the school board. Of the $27 million the State allots to the school board, nearly one-third must be returned to cover the unfunded accrued liability of the teacher and employee retirement system.

And for nine of the last 10 years, the State has not fulfilled its obligation to boost the MFP contributions as it once did.And that’s not likely to change. Someone pointed out to JT that a lot of folks in the Cloutierville area and to the south to the parish line have not voted to support school taxes of late.

In the April 2017 parish-wide election to secure another half-cent sales tax to operate the entire system, the boxes at Melrose, Chopin, Gorum and Kisatchie had more votes against the tax than for it. One box in particular, the one at Chopin to Lena to Aloha, had 21 votes against the tax and none for it.

One factor there could be the city versus country vote but that doesn’t hold up when the tax was to support every school. Another consideration is that the Cloutierville school building was built in 1918. And there have been no major renovations nor bond issues to support the school such as those at Provencal and the Lakeview-Goldonna-Fairview area. JT hopes the vote will come swiftly, whatever it may be.

Don’t know about you…but JT was happy to see the Farmer’s Market back on the Riverbank. JT hopes it was not just a one-time occurrence. JT remembers long before it was called a Farmer’s Market you could find local growers with their pickup trucks parked on the riverbank. The pickup beds would be loaded with fresh produce. You’d find them down there during the week and on Saturday mornings. JT’s not a fan of closing off sections of Front Street. It certainly can’t help our downtown merchants when you lose all that parking downtown. So seeing it moved back to the downtown riverbank sure was nice.  ——

JT sure would like to find out who was responsible for all those signs on the hill last school year at Northwestern near the main entrance. One birthday message that spread out nearly 30 yards comes to mind. Not sure, but JT was told someone was getting paid for those messages. Now that opens up a whole can of worms. For example what was NSU’s piece of the pie? Also isn’t that part of the college in the Historic District? (The Historic District certainly has rules about signage).

It also means if one individual or business can do it…then everybody should be able to use the university’s property to put up their own messages. Can you image the  blight on the campus if that were to happen? One of the selling points of Northwestern is it’s beautiful campus…and sorry…but these signs don’t add anything to it’s beauty.