by Elliott Stonecipher
Let me say something from the jump: the reader must suspend disbelief to read and understand this piece. It is very difficult to believe. In fact, if this one doesn’t anger you pretty seriously, then you know something about how government is supposed to work in America that I don’t, and I hope you’ll share it with me.
Armed, now, with documents obtained in a Public Records Request to the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LA DOTD), we revisit and reconsider a key 3132 Extension issue from last summer:
How was Tim Larkin able to design and engineer the road from his bridge into Flournoy-Lucas Rd. on city-owned land? (MAP)
[For readers who may not remember these incredible facts, read my June 7, 2011 original article on this subject: “The 16 acres Shreveporters own right where the 3132 extension must begin … and the surprise ‘Benefactor’ who cleared it for us.”]
This 16-acre tract of land was bought by Shreveport taxpayers in 1999 after we approved and set aside $3,500,000 for such 3132 Extension purposes in a 1996 bond issue.
As incredible as it seems, Tim Larkin was able to somehow “secure” his private use of the tract for the building of his Esplanade road into Flournoy-Lucas at its intersection with 3132.
When I, in a public meeting last summer, asked Mayor Cedric Glover if he / the City of Shreveport gave Larkin a permit to clear a portion of that tract, he said — into the public record — that the clearing was so the City could install “water lines.”
Now, from the Coalition’s latest PRR, we have a brand new document — the second item — which is a diagram from Larkin, submitted to LA DOTD in January of last year, clearly showing the northern end of his Esplanade road passing through the city taxpayer-owned land. In the circled area, at the top-right of map/diagram, that portion of Larkin’s road is passing through the city-owned 16-acres, inside its bolded, western boundary.
Let’s remember, this was submitted to LA DOTD on January 18, 2011, months before the April 7, 2011 NLCOG meeting in which the 3132 Extension was killed by Mayor Cedric Glover, Larkin and various accomplices, most notably NLCOG:
Larkin had not purchased / did not own the land, Larkin had not leased the land,the City Council, NLCOG, MPC, DOTD, etc., etc., etc., did not so much object, even privately, to such use of the land, yet when he was stopped by a storm of public awareness and reaction, Larkin was days away from building a road through the land owned at the time by Shreveport taxpayers, dead into the 3132 terminus with Flournoy-Lucas.
Let’s also remember:
what you’ve viewed is a public document, in the LA DOTD record, but never produced by anyone in city government for public review and consideration, even after the entire, sordid affair broke into the public’s awareness, and the Coalition has been researching and working on the matter for nearly a year.
Let’s finally remember:
all of Larkin’s protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, the diagram shows the streets and cul-de-sacs to be used in his building-out with houses on the 36.99-acre tract largely surrounding the 16-acre tract. This is the 36.99 acres we the people were promised would be “preserved for the 3132 route” when Tony Janca succeeded in its rezoning in 2005, then turned around and sold it — with no official objection of any kind — to Larkin in 2007.
Ladies and gentlemen, what’s going on around here will have real difficulty getting any more bizarre, incredible, ludicrous and outside the law than it is. Anyone care to guess how many supposed laws and other regulations are violated in such a good ’ol boy, insider’s dream deal?! Anyone care to guess how many public officials had to be in on this deal?
Perhaps the worst of this news is—
… no one in officialdom — Shreveport officials, Caddo Parish officials, state or federal officials, etc. — has lifted even one single finger to do anything about any of this.
For those who didn’t attend the LSU-S public hearing about this outrage last May, it is more and more notable that it began with those of us in attendance being warned by Councilmen Jenkins and Corbin not to bring up anything about the issue from the past. Thank Goodness — wayward taxpaying children we are clearly viewed to be — we have refused to drink their fact-, truth- and accountability-killing poison.
Does anyone doubt — now — why our loud pleas for a full investigation by the City into this foul enterprise elicited no response?
Elliott Stonecipher’s reports, essays and commentaries are written strictly in the public interest. No compensation of any kind has been solicited, offered or accepted for this work.