Thursday, May 10, 2007

Kelvin Sanders - Former City Attorney to Announce.

Word has it Mr. Kelvin Sanders will announce Friday evening he is running for office. Sanders you will recall is the former attorney for The City of Alexandria. Mr. Sanders has a lengthy resume which undoubtedly he will highlight as he focuses on his qualifications to lead.

During a particularly testy time in city government last year, Sanders became the focus of an issue between then Mayor Ned Randolph and his Chief of Staff Delores Brewer. Just reading some of the links here by Googling "Kelvin Sanders of Louisiana" brings back a list of issues where Mr. Sanders was a central figure.

But now it is May 2007 and the people who will vote in the race Mr. Sanders is jumping into know him for more than what is in his Google search and that connection could send him into office.

KALB-TV has on many occasions attempted to contact Mr. Sanders for comments on one issue or another. Rarely did he agree to an on camera interview. Perhaps he is shy.
Mr. Sanders, you might want to get over that if you are jumping in the ring. It's been known to be a circus.

Louisiana State Legislature wants ethics? Humm.

Ethics - schmethics! Just about everyone who watches the state legislature is calling for stronger ethics reform (Metzgar, Moon) and now you have this article in The Advocate, and this in revealing ethics reform is not being received by the legislators as well as hoped.

Here is one of the last paragraphs:
"The panel approved a proposal to require that lobbyists specifically report the issues they attempt to advance, rather than simply their clients. But the bill exempts those who lobby only the executive branch, and an amendment removed the requirement that lobbyists file their activity and expenditure reports electronically, meaning there will be no easily searchable public database for the information.
Two other financial disclosure bills were among a handful of measures that had not been heard when the committee adjourned its nearly five-hour session minutes before the full House was to convene."
Those who work on-line are sounding the drum beat and saying it is in this issue the Internet community can get involved.
Ethics and transparency should be present in all public service but there must be substance behind the "buzz" words and that is what ethic reform is all about in the legislature. Now the question is - how far will the proposals go? Just how much will they be watered down? And do our on-line contributors have enough visitors who will contact their legislators and let them know they are watching?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Dead Pelican and Chad Rogers.

Since you are reading this online we can assume you know about The Dead Pelican a "Drudge for Louisiana" type of website. Chad Rogers the creator, editor and webmaster of the site visited Alexandria Tuesday and talked with us on the KALB Video Blog about his online venture and how it all began.

When you first meet Rogers you learn he truly is the brains behind the site and is someone who has his computer attached at the hip. The success of the site is clearly that it is updated frequently and pulls all Louisiana information from all over the state. Rogers tells us he is aware of the bias the site reflects but is not concerned about that. His main goal and objective, he says, is to get people thinking. With Louisiana at the bottom of the good lists and the top of the bad lists Rogers is one person in this state looking to question everything.

After meeting him in person it is clear he is an intelligent editor with more on his mind than trying to influence people to vote a certain way. He is a new breed of cyber-journalists not afraid of saying he has no clear idea what the effect of his site will be on the political process, only that if it gets people thinking that is a good thing.

Check back later today for the second part of our interview with Chad Rogers on Louisiana politics. If you are interested in the future of on-line journalism it is worth your time.
Here are some on-line pieces on Rogers: negative and positive

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Alexandria City Government and reporting the issues.

In case you have not read some of the comments in this thread below this post I have included some samples.

Now here's the anatomy of how one of your local broadcast news organizations is trying to balance the reporting on this issue.

The KALB-TV newsroom meets every morning at 9:30 am and again in the afternoon at 2:30 pm. Monday morning we discussed the issue of communication between the mayor and city council. To his credit the reporter assigned to following city developments wanted to follow up on the story. I was not in support of taking resources out of reporting on a suspicious death and pressed for Joel Massey to look further into this story. Another reporter was assigned to this issue that effects the driving safety of a large number of commuters in the city.

Was our decision a mistake? Perhaps. Have we denied the viewers of KALB-TV a look at some of the acusations flying around in this article?

Today, in spite of my assertion we should move on to the details actually present in the agenda, the real question is, are the city council members meeting in a quarum and deciding on issues effecting city residents illegaly? We will be in today's meeting watching and listening.

"I just think it is childish for the members of the city council to not reply or at least listen to questions/comments/discussion/reasoning/plans of the Administration. We wonder why nothing is being done, well this is probably part of the problem...ahem City Council."

"The City Council is made up of very intelligent and experienced men and they would never decide to not communicate with the Mayor without there being some type of issue at hand, and it is absolutely asinine to believe otherwise. If KALB is truly about getting the facts and the entire story, why haven't they spoken with the City Council President and members so that they may have an opportunity to participate in this intended "Q&A"?"

"I would hope that Pres. Hobbs would be contacted (good luck) and given and opportunity to respond to Roy's statement(s). Fairness requires it."

"This cannot be solved by the media... who only reports what they are told. It is inexcusable that the president of the council won't communicate with the mayor. The ball is in his court...."

Monday, May 7, 2007

Alexandria City Council Tuesday Agenda.

It would seem residents of central Louisiana are watching Alexandria City Council meetings in record numbers and in some cases physically joining by attending the meetings in person.

The letter sent to the media in our previous post outlines how Mayor Roy would like to handle security concerns and even gives a hint to some of the lack of communication between the mayor and council members.

But if you read the
agenda for the Tuesday, May 8th meeting objectively it is difficult to see the "smoking gun" of a confrontational item.

Here are some items of interest:
6) Introduction of an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to enter into a written cooperative agreement with the YMCA to provide a summer recreational swimming program for the City’s youth beginning June 4- July 31, 2007. Swimming pool issue?

10) RESOLUTION classifying and designating Cotton Brothers Bakery located at the intersection of Bolton Avenue and Elliott Street and Shiloh Baptist Church located at the intersection of Washington Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard as historic and desirable properties pursuant to City Code Section 16-51 and 16-52. (PUBLIC WORKS COMM. 5/8) Historic properties, what are the benefits?

22) To consider final adoption of an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with The Shepherd Center for assistance with high utility bills for rate payers. Utility help?

29) To consider final adoption of an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to accept the low bid submitted for repairs to cooling tower, Unit #3 at D.G. Hunter Generating Station. (LEGAL 5/8) Lower bills in the future?

Read the agenda and point out some items of interest to you.