Opinion: Marty Carlson – Bossier City alcohol policy and well wishes for ROV Burks

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Bossier City alcohol policy and well wishes for ROV Burks

Last Tuesday’s Bossier City Council meeting ended with a brief non-agenda related conversation between Council President Don Williams and Mayor Lo Walker regarding a revised city personnel policy that eliminated the zero tolerance blood-alcohol level policy in favor of a .04 level.

Apparently, and in response to an employee’s accident while operating a city vehicle, whose blood-alcohol level was less than .02, Walker believed there was reason to review and amend the policy. Walker further noted that use of his own mouthwash, with a 21% alcohol content, could see him “fired” if he were to be involved in an accident and tested for a blood-alcohol level. From Williams’ view, that change “… lowered a standard” for the city, and in expressing his disagreement, Williams advised that he would ask the Council to support an ordinance to restore the city’s zero-tolerance alcohol policy at the Council’s next meeting.

Though this piece is penned a few days before that meeting, it is likely that Williams did introduce his ordinance at yesterday’s meeting – and that it received full council support.

But this issue seriously suggests that a discussion between Walker’s office and Council members would have been helpful in regard to how it should be handled, and perhaps as important — whether this particular incident was an indicator that more study is needed to consider revising the city’s alcohol policy, or not.

In other Bossier news, 5.9 percent of Bossier Parish voters turned out last Saturday to vote on whether to approve renewing Port of Caddo-Bossier’s 2.5 mill property tax for another 25 years. That means out of 69,759 registered Bossier Parish voters, 4,148 voters showed up to make the decision. The renewal passed with 2,314 (56%) voter is favor, and 1,834 (44%) opposed to the measure. The measure also passed in Caddo Parish.
This may be a new record-low for voter turn-out in Bossier Parish. And it’s certainly a demonstration of how a few can decide for the majority – just by showing up at a ballot box.

Finally, congratulations to Stephanie Agee on her appointment as the new Bossier Parish Registrar of Voters. Agee was selected by the Bossier Parish Police Jury to replace long-time Registrar Janet Burks. Burks is a 45-year veteran of the office and is now wished a well-earned retirement.

Interestingly, Agee is Burk’s daughter and undoubtedly carry on her mother’s reputation for an outstandingly friendly and competent office. Agee is a 12-year member of the of the Bossier Parish Clerk of Court’s office and handling the Clerk’s elections functions – which include the training and staffing of all voting precincts in Bossier Parish.
She is very knowledgeable about state elections laws and brings significant experience to the Registrar’s office. Agee was selected from a slate of 15 applicants.

Marty Carlson
is a columnist for the BPT.
She may be reached at:
martycarlson1218
@gmail.com