Just Talking’ – Dec. 2 edition

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Looks like North Louisiana might be getting its first power couple. JT read where Shelly McFarland, wife of Winnfield Representative Jack McFarland, has announced she will run for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) seat being vacated by Natchitoches’ Tony Davis. She is the mother of two and owner of several small businesses. The District 4 seat on BESE covers Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Vernon, Webster and Winn parishes. Rep. McFarland, who serves on the powerful Appropriations Committee, is on the weekend ballot for a spot on the Republican State Central Committee.

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Speaking of ballots…not a lot on this Saturday’s ballot…but it’s still important to vote. The ballot is highlighted by a Constitutional Amendment that would allow for the Governor to appoint someone from out of state to some of our higher education boards. There are two trains of thought on this proposal. One is that some of our state’s most successful and brightest individuals have a lot to offer Louisiana but for whatever reason, they have left the state to make their mark. This would allow them to still serve their state. The opposite of that argument is that THEY HAVE abandoned their state. The other argument is that this amendment is just an opportunity for the Governor (whomever he or she may be) to reward a big campaign contributor.

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JT was reminiscing about our last storm and he found out just how bad local residents hate to be without power. He visited with one homeowner who said as soon as power was restored from Laura, he was one the phone with a representative that installs emergency generators for homes. He told JT it had been about a month since he placed his order for the generator, so he reached out to see how much longer if might be before installation. He found out the list of people to have generators installed was 43 names long. Fortunately, he was number three on the list. So, JT figures he was probably number 43 or so when he made his initial order. That would put the number of new household generators around 90 or so…just from that last storm. Don’t know if you noticed it or not…but JT’s cable bill, telephone bill or internet bill didn’t go down at all despite the loss of service.

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JT just has to comment on the solid waste tax issue. Remember, his opinions are strictly his own and do not necessarily represent the newspaper. First, JT saw the letter from the anonymous author. It arrived at the Times office Tuesday, Dec. 1.

First, who researches and pays attention to when a tax expires? JT doesn’t. His neighbors and friends don’t. He learns about a tax renewal or expiration the same way most people do, when it comes up for a resolution or on the ballot. It makes JT ponder who had the time and insight to pay attention to when this particular tax would expire?

Second, it’s a 10-year tax. That makes it even more forgettable by the general public. It probably hasn’t crossed anyone’s mind in a decade.

Third, and maybe most importantly, if this person was aware of the tax expiring, then why in the world would they wait until the opportunity to have a renewal on the fall ballot expired? Why didn’t they say something to someone before? JT would think that would have been the responsible thing to have done.

JT likes to think he would have put the people of the parish, and their pocketbooks, first and foremost. Now the parish is looking at having to invest $1 million for solid waste operations. That money has to come from somewhere! JT has faith the parish government will, and has, found a solution, however temporary. The tax also generated funds for roads because the excess went to the road fund. No tax collections for six months = no lagniappe funds for roads either. JT just can’t imagine why the author of this letter didn’t say something earlier and save the parish and the people of the parish a lot of headache – and money! JT just wonders if anyone else noticed the detail in the letter, how the author knew about the road maintenance portion of the tax wording

? JT wonders about the timing. JT wonders why the author waited to pen the letter. JT wonders why, if the citizen was truly concerned about the parish and its operations, he or she didn’t sign the letter. If you could avoid costing the parish a million bucks, wouldn’t you want your name out there? JT just wonders what else the author is sitting on and not telling.

JT just —- wonders!

It kind of validates the Times’ policy of not publishing unsigned letters. They never bring about anything good.