Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bossier City Building Maintenance Part I

KTBS has a good story up on the Bossier City Building maintenance brouhaha. In case you are not familiar with it, according to the article “Discrepancies have surfaced of three employees not being paid tens of thousands of dollars worth of overtime. Building maintenance director Charles DuBois has resigned and the city has agreed to pay the employees.”
That is bad enough in itself, but it appears to just be sympomatic of an endemic problem in the department. The City website describes the department thusly:
Department of Building Maintenance
This department is responsible for, but not limited to, in-house repair, renovation and maintenance of city owned buildings and other approved facilities. DBM also does the grounds keeping for the Municipal Complex and Civic Center.
This department employs electricians, heating and air conditioning technicians, carpenters, maintenance mechanics, laborers, locksmiths, and clerical personnel to meet the City's needs.
Yet despite having 6 full time employees and a budget of 1.8 million dollars, the city has already spend $200,000 this year on outside contractors.
District 3 councilman Don Williams has proposed that the city consider privatizing the entire department.
The mayor said that it is ‘too early’ to comment and that this would have to be covered in the budget talks this fall.
I contacted Councilman Williams and asked him just two questions:
1. Do you think the council will get behind you on this proposal?
2. In addition to increasing efficiency, do you think that the city would save money through privatization?
This was his response:
“I really believe this will get some traction by the council. I will start talking to other council members about going ahead and sending out RFP's so we can have an idea of contractor cost before the budget starts and then we can make an informed decision. I think we could definitely save anywhere from $500,000 to 1 million dollars a year. I have some ideas already on how to approach this situation.
I know the average person changes light bulbs in their house, unplugs toilets, fixes leaking faucets or changes toilets seats. I know I do everything I can to save a buck. This was the kind of stuff the city was paying contractors to do. As you can see I truly believe what I'm doing is the right thing. Not saying it will happen because I'm still looking into it and will do what's best for the city, but I will guarantee there will be changes in that department.
Really, if the Mayor would pull his head out of the sand and look at what is going on and take care of business, things like this would not occur.”
You will notice that I titled this ‘Part I’. The reason for that is simple; as this develops, for every question answered five more pop up. I am planning to look deep into the background of this situation and see how it was allowed to develop to the point that it has.
I’ll have more soon.

56 comments:

  1. I find it funny how this was allowed to go on for 3 years. I know if I work overtime and it's not on my next check then I'm making a phone call to the payroll department.
    I also like how Bubba Wilkiams of all people all of a sudden has plans to save the city money. The city has been doing things like this for years and he just now is coming up with plans. Until you and the other city council members stop spending money wildly yourselves then don't throw the mayor under the bus.
    I like how as usual a person is allowed to resign and not face criminal charges. Don't try playing the good guy now Bubba.
    Jim, you say for every question answered five more come up. Well I hope those questions are not tough questions because Bubba has shown that when questions get too tough he runs and hides.

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  2. All the departments work for the mayor, not the city council. They have no say in daily operations.

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  3. Then why are we asking bubba these questions and not the mayor?
    I have a question for bubba since he is bring up money that is contracted out. How much money does Jimmy hall contract out to law firms every year on average? I bet you won't answer that.

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  4. Hey BIG BOY anon @ 12:23, I will gladly give you that answer. It's all public record. You could easily get it yourself. I can understand that maybe you can't put your name on here but why don't you try calling me and it's strictly confidential and tell me really why your upset. My home number is 747-5320 and I will tell my wife to give you my cell number. Please call me. At least I've NEVER put an anonymous post on this blog. If your scared, buy a DOG. I don't have one.

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  5. It's a do-nothing department. If all of this is already outsourced to private firms, no need to have this office me thinks. Maybe they shouldn't eliminate it completely but let's lower the budget a bit.

    -- Bossier Democrat

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  6. Sounds like they need a new head of the department. I do not think hiring contractors will make anything cheaper in the long run. Bossier City should have a maintance staff available.

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  7. It depends upon whether they are hiring contractors because the maintenance staff is busy or because they are lazy. I suspect it is the latter because I have seen government employees at "work" many times.

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  8. Bubba,
    Sorry I don't believe you when you say our conversation would remain confidential. Why does it matter who I am anyway? I've never asked you an unfair question on this blog. Sorry if I don't want to meet with you face to face. I don't trust you.
    As far as building maintenance goes I agree with everyone else. You have to have a few employees in hand to do the little odd jobs around the complex. Big jobs can be contracted out.
    I still don't see how this was allowed to go on for so long. There are still too many questions to be answered. One question for you Bubba is did y'all ask any law enforcement agency to conduct an investigation? If not why not?

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  9. Judging from the writing, I'm guessing that the Anon asking the questions is the same that was qualified to be mayor at 18.

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  10. Anon @ 2:33. I talk to alot of people that work for the city in all departments and they trust me. BCFD, BCPD and city employees. If you know the BCFD union president, call him and ask him. He has my cell # and tell him I said to give it to you. I don't want to put it on this site. If you don't want to tell me who you are thats fine but I mean I seriously would like to talk to you. I mentioned in Jim's original article I have plans, they include keeping a couple people for routine maintenance. We actually did speak with a law enforcement agency. No agency hs the go ahead to do an investigation but this is not over yet. Charges still can be filed. But remember, ALL departments, and when I say ALL, if your a city employee which I believe you are, people are allowed to resign most of the time and not fired and sometimes I disagree with that too but again they don't work for me.
    Please call me!!! I will also e-mail Jim my cell phone #,if you know him give him a call and get it.

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  11. "Yet despite having 6 full time employees and a budget of 1.8 million dollars, the city has already spend $200,000 this year on outside contractors."

    Who are these outside contractors? How much do you want to bet they are close friends of Jimmy Hall and attend the El Karuba Shrine.

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  12. Against my better judgement I may take you up on that offer. Hell I'll even take you to lunch. You better be prepared to give me at least two hours of your time though. I have alot to say.

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  13. Mr. Bubba I have a few questions for you since you think you know what's best for Bossier.
    #1 Why does the "yard boy" Mr. Fletcher have a take home vehicle when he lives in Halls Summit? Is there emergency grass mowing at the complex all hours of the night? It a waste of my tax dollars for yard boy to have a take home vehicle along with the equipment in the back. # 2 Does he use the tools of his trade at home? # 3 He is a maintenance mechanic yet he is assigned to mow grass at the complex assigned to blg maint and now to parks and rec when all other lawn mowers are assigned to Public Works. Some high priced yard boy. # 4 What exactly does Mr. Flecther do at 0400 in the morning? # 5 What does he do during inclement weather? I can answer that he roams around city bldgs shooting the breeze. # 6 Could it be because he has the paper delivered and coffee made for the good ole boys when they arrive to work? # 7Bldg Maint wouldn't have to contract out work if you hadn't cut their dept by 13 people in Dec 09. #8 The pumbler, 2 electricians, lock smith, and the rest were maint mechanics that were doing the jobs that now have to be contracted. It's amazing how easy you forget the work that was done prior to your cutting the jobs.

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  14. anon at 8:14, if you don't have his number email me at mybossier@gmail.com and I will get it to you.

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  15. Sounds like anon @ 8:18 could be the same person that just resigned. Just sayin

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  16. No, I'm not the person that just resigned. A concerned citizen with friends that work for BC

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  17. Man I wish I caught this blog way before now...Let me start by saying I have nothing to hide...I am a former employee of Building Maint. and Richard Dubois (Not Charles) was one of the Most influential supervisors I ever worked for...taught me more about building maint. than any one man could. The only reason I left the city was because of the politicans and the upper level administration that was running the city at the time. I have friends that still work for the city and I watch the news It appears to me that those current positions have not changed or the ones that have have not changed for the better...Fact is certain people of this administration have been gunning for Richard for years (my spectulation is they have friends or family they want to have his job) Richard has probably done more for this city and saved this city more money than any city employee of his billet. Problem was it pissing off to many private contractors that have influential friends in the upper administration of the city.
    Sounds to me like the only mistake Richard made was trying not to Throw Max Fletcher under the bus because he was an old friend...Most people would have done the same...however most old friends would not have not returned the favor the way Max has! Trust me I've had conversations with Max, he has not loyal towards any one person in this city administration yall just give him a way to get alot of money he did not earn and end a decade long witch hunt that yall have had on Richard Dubois head. The peoople that lose are Richard Dubois, employees of Building Maint.,and the patrons of this great city...I know Lo Walker, have a lot of respect for him, voted for him, but like George Dement in his last term he has let the Tail wag the Dog.
    The privatizing of Building Maint. is ludicrous. The city has already lost a great asset with the loss of Richard. Don't let people like Bubba Williams take away another great asset like Building Maint. The only reason the contracting expense is what it is..is because the all knowing politicans of this city cut building maint. throat metaphorically speaking in '09 if I recall no one department took a bigger cut...just another step in the witch hunt...
    In closing, yes Richard made a mistake in my opinion, one that any one of us could easily made, he chose to pay the man what he earned rather than fire him for his time card dicrepincies. He puninshed himself by resigning because he knew he should have fired Max when he repeatidly disobeyed directives given to him but he didnt...the privatitizing of Building Maint WILL be a loss the this city and will solve nothing.......

    This blog is my strong opinion but the feelings and thoughts of any one person can only be proven by actions past, present, or future. I encourage You Bubba, if You are a True advocate to this city, to look into all aspects of this incident and what Richard Dubois has truly done for this city.

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  18. Bubba: Put the facts about Fletcher and the City Attorney and the amount of $$$ spent on outside attorney fees right here on Jim's blog. Why the need for a secret cell phone call or meeting? Here's a good forum to put the answers to questions folks want to know.

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  19. Anon @ 11:32,

    Was Richard Dubois a Shriner? If not, that may be the reason Jimmy Hall and the boys wanted him gone. If Richard wasn't a Shriner, he was occupying a position that was being wasted on a non-member of good old El Karuba.

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  20. Richard was a Mason. I dont believe he was a Shriner, but the good ol' boys group goes deeper than the masonic order. There is a lot of people that will recognize the term "The Hunting Club" its like a fraternity within the ranks of the city's upper administration and some of the lower like "Max Fletcher".

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  21. Lets start with this whole ugly matter has been weighing on my mind since my father called me and told me about what he saw about this on the news the other night and I just saw this blog today...I've gotta get this off my mind.
    Mr. Williams the privitizing of Building Maint. makes no sense to me, so rather than stating my opinion as I did in my previous comment I will be stating FACTS and will pose you a question at the end of my comment that I very much would like a true answer to not blow hard political B.S.

    Facts:
    #1: 13 employees of Building Maint. lost their job in Dec. '09 some transferred to other departments some quit some just got laid off.
    #2: among the people laid off there where 3 electricians, 1 plumber, 2 carpenters/general maint techs, 1 locksmith, and 1 clerical worker, all vital to the day to day operations of Building Maint.
    #3: left was 1 electrician, 2 hvac mechanical techs, 1 carpenter, 1 clerical worker
    #4: most of these workers that were let go where certified, lisensed, or has great experience with the jobs they performed leaving the 4 techs left with some very big holes to fill...some contracting WAS necessary. Not to mention most of these employees where paid less than what the same experienced persons make in the private buisness community.
    #5 the average wage for a building maint tech/mech makes $13-$17 and hour add that plus the materails used on any repair or maint performed.
    #6 the average contractor charges $60-$70 per hour plus any material used not to mention retail mark-up they put on materials that the city gets at wholesale cost.
    #7 the budget that building maint is given annually does not just get spent on building maint and repairs and maint on every city building comes out of that budget, meaning every department within the city is accoutable to their fare share of the budgeted money, trust me there several projects building maint has performed for other departments and personel heads that could be considered luxury and unnecessary that simply cost the tax payers more money.

    Mr. Williams I ask you ney I challenge you to prove to me a concerned citizen and friend to many city employees how the city could possibly benefit from privitizing Building Maint. and please dont try to tell me tax revenue from private contracting we both know that is B.S.

    P.S. I aint scared and I dont need a dog ---Jimbo
    #

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  22. If Mr. Dubois is such a fine man, why was he loaning Snreveport Electric the city owned equipment to use on jobs that were bid on?

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  23. Really...is that the best you can come up with? The contractor was ALLOWED to use the equipment to save the city extra expense that would have come from a contractor having to rent or purchase the equipment to do the only JOB that that they used it on which was the use of a scissor lift to work on lighting at the boardwalk parking garage in which the equipment was purchased for the sole purpose of, when city employees were doing the work, which by the way HAD to be contracted after the lay off, also authorization was given to Mr. Dubois to allow the use of the equipment by upper rank city officials intially, however once these officials decided it to be too big of a liability they disallowed the use of equipment by the contractor which Richard promply enforced. Sounds like you might want to get your facts straight before you make definitive accusations--Jimbo

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  24. Sounds like you are worried about your job Jimbo.

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  25. I could see where you would think that, but I assure you like I said I am a former employee of Building Maint from '99 to '04 however I do still have several friends with the city, building maint and other departments. Facts are facts and One fact still remains as of late....Mr. Williams has yet to answer a legitatmate question with a legitimate answer....I'd bet it aint gonna happen any time soon, because he has stepped into a $@#*storm.---Jimbo

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  26. Another Former City EmployeeAugust 30, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Jimbo,

    The whole damned city government and every department has turned into or is turning into a cesspool, so one more S@#*storm isn't going to matter. As long as Jimmy Hall and his cronies are allowed to call the shots and appoint puppets as department heads nothing will change. So, just sit back and get use to the smell, because nothing is going to change until the people of Bossier City become aware of what is really going on , get tired of it, and demand change.

    Another Former City Employee

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  27. I wonder ,Jimbo do you think ktbs 3
    news " investigate this "The bad and the smelly H club boy !!! it would make million what say u?

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  28. I herd it through the "grapevine"
    the good old boys or at it again
    one more time. (B.M.D.) I don't know but I be told "there shall be a D.B.M. (city charter) somebody is
    trying to change things, this surely will lead to no more(D.B.M.) somebody said Dubios
    retired, do you really believe that?

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  29. I will say this anon 702 a strong investigative reporter would put the "Hunting Club" on their toes and I challenge better yet I beg of any reporter that reads this blog and has strong enough resources to do just that, however they do have an Attorney on their side that may not be the strongest but he has strong colleagues that I'm sure owe him a few favors (thats for you former employee...cause he has led two fraternities like the Hunting Club over the past decade).
    For you anon 753 all I can say is I know for a fact Richard Dubois is no longer an employee of the City of Bossier and that is a loss to the City and its patrons and I may have misunderstood your comment and if I have please let me know, but Richard has never been nor will he ever be a member of any of the city's elite groups over the years he has had to fight them to keep his job for the last ten years. He also didnt get the retirement he deserverd he lost 18 mos. of his drop!
    The City Attorney has led 2 Elite groups there is no proof of this fact to my knowledge so this is my OPINION and I will not name names since I do not have proof:
    Group 1 late '90's and early '00's (who by the way most of them live in fear of losing their jobs now:
    1. Director of Public works
    2. Director of Parks and Rec.(Former)
    3. Supervisor of Parks and Rec.
    4. Director of Engineering
    5. City's Chief engineer
    6. Director Human Resources (Former)
    7. and yes I hate to speak ill of the deceased but the late City Marshall
    *Several good employees lost their job or Quit becouse they would not walk their walk
    Group 2 present "The Hunting Club":
    1. Former CAO and present City Marshall
    2. Director of Finance
    3. Director of Insurance
    4. Director of Fleet Services
    5. Director of Human Resources
    6. Director of Parks and Rec.
    7. Supervisor of Parks and Rec.
    8. and of course lets not forget our elustrious complex Lawnboy who is a more than cooperative puppet due to all the money he's getting

    Jim Im sorry for the long comments I feel very strongly on this matter this BS has gone on too long--Jimbo

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  30. Oh yeah I do have to applaud those few Counsel members that are really doing whats best for our city because their are 3 that have over stayed their welcome--Jimbo

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  31. jimbo ,u nailed that. refer. to
    group 2#4. he has single handedly
    recreating b.c. i her through
    "grapevine"this guy knows some
    stuff, he must be 125yrs or so !! to know so much. rumor is h.c. taught everthing he knows.
    its amazing what say u.

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  32. I had to come back to you anon 753 your comment yet confusing I thimk I know what your saying:
    changing Building Maint back to a Division of another Department rather than being their own department? If so that makes sense since the deparment has been so greatly downsized of their personnel. Its the first thimg I've read that made sense--Jimbo

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  33. It is amazing I know a couple of people that applied for that position when long time garage super got pushed out to find out that application process was merely a formallity because one applicants I know personnally was world over more qualified and more capable of doing that job--he may have a picture somewhere of someone high up the chain having sexual relations with a goat or something lol--dont get to mad #4 if your reading this its called a sense of humor anyway no doubt anon he's a coaster--Jimbo

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  34. u or good jimbo, we on the same
    page. i'll be back.

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  35. Nothing will change

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  36. Wonder if Mr. Williams will propose contracting out ambulamce service too?

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  37. If his crooked political self could benefit from it in some way he probably would...In case ya'll havnt noticed he is still in hiding. Maybe he went n got a dog--Jimbo

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  38. Jumbo, crawl back into the sewer so someone can put the lid back on. We are so fortunate that you found this site. Unfortunately, the Neilson Ratings will go down on the cartoon channel.

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  39. The last comment was evidently composed by someone who is part of or associated with the Hunters' Club.

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  40. Anon 743!
    What can I say besides you would probably like it if I just went away! As a good friend of mine that used to work for building maint would say..."Aint gonna be no days like that". The only cartoon I've been watching is you and your cronies you chicken sh.. Anon commenting back stabbin jack wagon if I was you I'd have to cut my throat shavin...In the words of Jack Nicholson in A FEW GOOD MEN...YOU CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH... So get over it or GET BENT!--Jimbo

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  41. Jimbo,

    Keep it up. These rat bastards need to be exposed, and the more people come out and say what needs to be said, maybe, just maybe, the people in Bossier City will wake up and demand that these rat bastards be run off.

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  42. We can only hope, its time for a change in Bossier, its time to restore Bossier to being a good place to live and work, its still better than a lot of cities but this kind of administration and leadership is going to ruin it, the voters need to step up next election and put some fresh faces on the counsel and Mayor Walker Needs to be the Mayor I know he can be or he needs to step aside and let someone else lead...goodnite all--Jimbo

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  43. Jimbo,

    Let's put one stipulation on getting a new mayor. It has to be a mayor with no connections to the Shriner Clowns, and the Hunting Club, who makes up the city attorney and the other department heads, and that the new may will close down the Shriner Circus once and for all.

    I wish more people would read this blog and realize the people like Jimbo and others are sounding an alarm. What is going on is Bossier City's city hall is like a cancer that has metastasized.

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  44. You said it all, you are exactly right anon 501.--Jimbo

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  45. I am a taxs payer, I would like to
    know why Mr. Bubba is conern about
    200,000 .The city council layed off employes ,which included Building maintance which I know
    saved thousands of dollars contracting cost.Anybody knows
    contractors cannot compete with
    in house city workers. labor,materals,equipment cost.

    anybody, what say u!

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  46. taxs payer ,you would think city
    leaders and the council members allow the free spending which makes
    them to blame for budget short fall. they need to stop wastfull
    spending.

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  47. It's most likely has nothing to do with wasteful spending. It's more likely about putting taxpayer dollars into the pockets of some Shriner buddies of the city hall cancer cells, which by the way need to be cut out to save Bossier City.

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  48. I see where the Times did another article regarding Bldg Maint in todays paper. Seems good ole Bubba Williams is still trying to get rid of the dept. Can't understand why he has it out for that dept.
    Mr. Bubba needs to look at some other depts and see how much fraud goes on everywhere in the city.
    People getting paid for hours that they never worked. But when the timesheets are done by those who are getting "paid" for those unworked hours its difficult to prove. Not all dept have time cards.

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  49. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  50. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  51. Your right 934 that what the plan is about. How do get rid of those
    rats. Why can't state boys do a investagation. anybody have any
    ideals.

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  52. Your right 934 that what the plan is about. How do get rid of those
    rats. Why can't state boys do a investagation. anybody have any
    ideals.

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  53. ithink mr. bubba wants this department gone because he has some contractor buddies he like to give city money to. he probally owes an old friend

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  54. 1:59,
    How bout you ask him questions? Taking the baseless cheap shots serves no purpose.

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  55. What's funny is that people are desperately sounding the alarm the only way they know how without fear of repercussion, and they're being accused of taking baseless cheap shots.
    A lot of people don't realize that Bossier City is being run by a mini mafia of Shriner clowns. I know that many of these Bozos say all you have to do is come in and talk to them about the problems. If that happened what will be presented to the person addressing these concerns is he/she will be told if they're not happy then need to quit and have a prewritten resignation letter shoved in front of them to sign.
    No, I don't think there has been any cheap shots taken, nor have they been baseless.

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