As Councilman at Large, Betty Sawyer-Smith represents the entire city. However, she can probably go ahead and scratch one area of town from extensive visits during her next campaign. This new council has pulled a Joe Biden move by undoing something that was done by a previous administration. They are reopening plans to convert the old SummerTree Apartment complex on Second Street, which has been condemned, into low-income housing. Re-opening this project with the same people who drug their feet on this eyesore for the past four years doesn’t appear to be such a bright idea. In trying to make a point for support of the project, Smith said there was a need for affordable housing “since not everyone can live on St. Claire.” It’ll be interesting to see how she tries to spin it, but her comment earlier this week at the city council meeting got the attention of quite a few. A poor choice of words for someone who said two pages earlier in the newspaper (in a Black History Month profile) she wanted to represent and be a voice for all the people. Sure sounds like she took a shot at least some of her constituents.
It seems everybody is getting ready for a second snowfall in Natchitoches. It’s got to be some sort of record…if it happens. Like most other residents, JT is not taking any chances…. vehicles are gassed up, refrigerator full, generator ready, flashlight batteries replaced and adult beverages on hand.
JT thinks the honeymoon…if there every really was one…between Parish President John Richmond and the Parish Council is over. (See our story on the opinion from District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington’s office.) The latest issue is over the purchase of a front-end loader. The parish amended their budget to make the purchase along with some other equipment, but later in the meeting voted not to purchase this one piece. Guess what, a few months later Richmond purchased the equipment anyway. The DA opinion said Richmond could indeed make the purchase. JT’s not sure which adage applies here. There’s one that says just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Then there’s another one that says it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is permission. In any event, JT looks for the chill outside to kind of linger in the Parish Council chambers for some time. —–