Kip Holden Plan Identifies Key Needs for EBR

Kip Holden Plan Identifies Key Needs for EBR

Mayor-President Kip Holden has a new tax proposal, and it is far different from those he has offered in the past.  It is narrowly targeted to five specific needs in the parish and it excludes most of the frills the mayor has offered in the past.

New Mental Health Facility to provide 24-hour emergency care.

$16.6 million

Parish Prison – A new 2,500-bed facility, an increase of 900 inmates over the current facility.  It would also include a work release program for 250 inmates.

$204 million

Juvenile Services Facility – 88 beds and the consolidation of juvenile courts, probation, and detention  services. $50 million

District Attorney Building – A 65,000-square-foot building connected to the Courthouse.

$27 million

Police Headquarters Renovations – The completion of renovation of the old Woman’s Hospital to a new police headquarters.

$31 million

Sheriff Civil Division Additions and Renovations – Renovation of the current District Attorney’s office for use for the Sheriff’s Civil Division.

$4 million

Taken as a whole, the needs outlined by the mayor appear solid, although some of the cost estimates seem high.

Crime is the No. 1 problem facing this parish, and too many multiple offenders are allowed to roam free because there is not enough “bed space” for them.

We commend the mayor for offering this proposal, and we promise to examine it in good faith

One of the major considerations should be whether these needs can be met without additional taxes.

Metro Councilman Buddy Amoroso is raising questions about the cost and whether there is fat in the existing budget that can be cut to provide some or all of these needs.

We hope he and the other members of the Council will take a long, hard look at the City-Parish budget and tell the public what can reasonably be cut.  Then they should modify the mayor’s proposal as necessary to get the beneficial results with minimum cost to the taxpayers.


The Death of Rep. Alphonse Jackson. When the new legislature was sworn in in May 1972, more than 2/3rds of the members of the Louisiana House were new. Blacks and Republicans were elected in significant numbers for the first time in 100 years. The newly-elected lawmakers met for orientation at the Capitol. I was a 24-year freshman and a conservative from that newly-created seat in North Baton Rouge. One of the freshman I met was Alphonse Jackson, a distinguished black educator from Shreveport who was well known as a liberal. Instantly, we knew we would be at odds on many things over the years ahead. What neither of us could have known is how much we would agree, especially on fundamental issues.

Alphonse Jackson was a man’s man. He was a real leader and an authentic spokesman for the things he believed. He was brilliant, charming, and highly principled. He was willing to fight fearlessly for the things that mattered to him. During Louisiana’s Constitutional Convention of 1973, Alphonse was appointed chairman of the Committee on Bill of Rights and Election, one of the most important and influential committees of the convention. It was tasked with writing a new Bill of Rights for Louisiana. I was honored to be appointed to that committee to serve with him. For weeks, we debated back and forth. One of my most important issues in the debate was the Right to Property. I was surprised to find an ardent ally in Alphonse Jackson. He told stories of black citizens having their property unjustly expropriated by the state. We found common cause on that as well as civil rights, the First Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms, and countless other issues in the Bill of Rights. Ultimately, our document became what is called the Declaration of Rights in the Louisiana Constitution of 1974.

Over the years, Alphonse Jackson and I did battle in the House on many issues. Yet, we agreed more than we disagreed, and the reservoir of good will which had been established between us during CC/73 was never exhausted. When we argued, it was always as two friends bantering back and forth, knowing that ultimately we would be on the same side.

After we both retired, we reminisced about the battles won and lost and the remarkable experiences we shared together. He was a great friend, and I will miss him very much.

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