Dear Editor,

ENGLAND VERSION OF PORT
ECONOMICS OFF BASE

 Eric England’s recent letter to the editor was a feeble attempt to mask the fact that he and his staff and the Port Commissioners were less than candid with the voters of Bossier and Caddo Parish when mounting a slick PR campaign to pass the tax renewal for Port operations. England failed to mention several salient factors that have lead to “hard economics” at the Port—specifically in having sufficient operating funds to make payroll for the rest of the fiscal year:

a. the Port’s 20 employees are paid almost $2 million per year and England’s salary of $275,000 plus benefits makes him the highest paid public employee in the state;

b. the Port purchased a $2.64 million tract of land in Caddo Parish from a former Port director—and the Port failed to obtain zoning to allow for commercial use of the property which is now leased for agriculture;

c. the Port operated “successfully” for many years before the oil/gas boom that has now faded – which
England cites as the primary reason for limited port revenues,—so what changed?

d. the Port will see very very limited barge traffic until the Red River is dredged-and the Corp of Engineers has not placed a timeline on this.
Bottom line ;the “economic engine” that England touts is more like the little train that could—except that the engine has overheated, the load to be pulled has dramatically increased and the railroad tracks have gotten steeper. England and the Port Commissioners need to recognize that the emperor has NO clothes and that pretending that the tide has changed at the Port is a total fabrication.

John Settle
Bossier City, LA