Recently an editorial ran in the Lake Charles American Press titled, Louisiana ranks low in freedom survey. This survey was carried out by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University. Are you surprised to learn that of the southern states, Louisiana ranks dead last as the least free states and thirty-fifth in the nationwide. Any wonder why our population decreased in the last decade and businesses are choosing other, more business friendly states to locate in? Since becoming more aware of politics nationally and locally over the last few years, ( thank you Nancy, Harry and Pres. Obama ) I dove head first into that of my parish. Is your parish doing everything it can to change this trend or does it seem as though your local governing authority is only adding to the stifling of business growth?
When is the last time you checked in on your police jury and looked to see what the newest development codes are and how they may be helping or hindering growth. There is always a reason, necessity or justification for these new codes, but depending on the parish and true problems at hand, most folks simply accept whatever they hear from their police jury staff to be gospel. As a citizen of Calcasieu Parish, I am attending the public meetings that our jury is currently holding on their new UDC (Unified Development Code) that is going to replace thirty-seven years of codes and update them to a new and “common language” that is supposed to be easier to understand. We have a citizen panel chosen according to their field of expertise to help bring changes to this document that they feel will benefit Calcasieu Parish. Something is going wrong, this is not getting the rubber stamp some thought it would get from this panel, as it should be. A few more meeting to go and we hope to see the revised version and what recommendations our jury staff will take from these gentlemen. Proposed code–
Thirty-five out fifty, or fifty-seven, even worst. Can Louisiana do better? We do have more room to advance upwards than down. How is your parish growing or has it become stagnant? Has your parish adopted a comprehensive plan and who wrote it? Now that the state session is over, this is an opportunity for everyone to take a quick look at your parish and your home town and ask, what can we do as citizens to mold local codes and help our communities move in the correct direction and protect personal property rights at the same time? I would like to see Calcasieu Parish take the lead in making this the place to grow and not simply follow the path of others in placing more stipulations on businesses and developers which in turn deters growth. It’s up to our citizen panel working on this, and the residents, to shape the vote of the Police Jurors when the finished document comes to them for a vote. Eight votes govern our parish, will it be what we need or what the jury thinks we need?