I believe a person, which spends the majority of their life, either serving the public or working on the inside for a public entity eventually loses sight of reality and what they truly set out to accomplish. This can be applied to not only our federal government but to our local governing bodies as well. Last week I asked, what is your local government doing to help or hinder development? Its clear regulations are a must, but when those regulations will surely impede both business and residential developments, it is time to draw a line in the sand to protect not only personal property rights but that of your parish or county also.
Living in a parish where the police jury is currently working on a new unified development code, it has become very apparent that some in the system are blinded by their desire to produce, and not protect residents’ rights. We have been told by some that is for the future of our parish and if we do not have a comprehensive plan we can likely lose out on business prospects. One statement by an insider was this; “This process is primarily a consolidation of 37 years of the building of 16 ordinances and consolidating them into one document with common and current language”. Common and current language? If this person had used the word “solely” instead of “primarily”, it may have turned less heads. Why do I take such a personal offense to this? I believe this document will hinder development more than attract it. I love where I live and DO wish to see it prosper and grow, if I did not, I would not concern myself enough to run for office.
While we must remain vigilant to our up-coming state and federal issues and races, we must also concentrate on what is happening in our very own backyards. Have you heard talk of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI): Local Governments for Sustainability . Is your city, parish or county on this list? http://www.icleiusa.org/about-iclei/members/member-list , New Orleans, you’re on the list. In 1993, by Executive No. 12852, President Bill Clinton created The President’s Council on Sustainable Development. This followed up on June 9, 2011, by Executive Order 13575; President Obama created the White House Rural Council. The express mission of this council is to “…work across executive departments, agencies, and offices to coordinate development of policy recommendations to promote economic prosperity and quality of life in rural America, and shall coordinate my Administration’s engagement with rural communities.” If your location is not on any target list as yet then be alert to what your local governing bodies are doing. Do they know what they are doing or have they been led to believe it’s best for their communities?
Bossier City, Baton Rouge and Jefferson Parish, you now have in place a Comprehensive Plan for the future, or not. Research for yourselves to justify your local governing bodies’ decision to implement these plans and see if they are good or bad. Since this is a bottom up process, we can allow these regulations to go into effect or we can cut this process off at the feet. The choice is always ours as long as we are aware, to influence the outcome of a vote by our police jurors, county commissioners, etc. You can find me at every Calcasieu Parish Police Jury meeting.