Richmond pens letter to public

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Dear Citizens of Natchitoches Parish,

I, like most of you, am ashamed of the behavior exhibited by some of the Natchitoches Parish Council members in the March 15, 2021 Council meeting. These meetings are the responsibility of the Parish Council, and I have deep respect for the efforts of Council Chairman Chris Paige and his attempts to maintain order in an environment that has now become so toxic and combative.

It is shameful to hear a council person complain often and openly about roads, bridges, and drainage then contradict their supposed concern by immediately casting a vote that may possibly force fines and penalties on the Parish for refusing to discuss a minor issue associated with the new bridge on Clark Road. What truly stands me is that this council person voted against simply adding the item to the agenda only moments after praying aloud asking God to “…help us be about the business of the parish.” This bridge was paid for with grant funding, and now DOTD gets the slap in the face of the Parish Council refusing to answer their simple questions in a timely manner. This just does not seem to be about progressing “…the business of the parish.”

It is also shameful to watch a council person not pursue solutions, but instead spend time making false accusations, baiting foes into arguments with profane taunting, name calling, and acting as a prideful bully instead of working for the good people of his district and the Parish. All this while totally neglecting to acknowledge the fact that bridge repairs, and road grading in his district over the last two weeks have nearly ground all other work efforts within the Parish to a halt. When confronted with the statement that more work had taken place in his district during the most recent month, he simply redirected the conversation to chastising the Public Works Director, Public Works employees and another Council member.

These members’ motives are now clear. They would rather stall good work and point fingers at others; derail the passing of the only tax that funds solid waste removal in the rural parts of the parish, while voting to increase the cost of solid waste removal; and when all else fails threaten those who are working for the good of Natchitoches Parish.

You, the good people of Natchitoches Parish elected me to be honest, transparent and work every day for the betterment of Natchitoches Parish. You have my word; I will continue to do that. No matter what the opposition attempts, you can count on me to give you the straight truth, even when it hurts. Today is a new day, and we have now all seen the true colors of those who seem to have motives that seek to destroy instead of build toward a common goal for a better Natchitoches Parish.

Sincerely,

John Richmond