- Will Broyles
- Shreveport based attorney Tom Arceneaux
Shreveport is a city full of figurative red lights, speed bumps and roadblocks for those of us who choose to live here. This week, Tom Arceneaux, the attorney for the Caddo Parish Commissioners (as well as Shreveport Times Community Editorialist) presented another roadblock… a plan to regulate the renovation and restoration of homes and property in the Historic Highland neighborhood of Shreveport. Readers will recall that Arceneaux is a big beneficiary (and architect) of the Caddo Parish Commission’s CPERS self-pay scandal. He is the attorney who is representing Commissioners, but is being paid by taxpayers for his “service” on Commissioners’ behalf to protect their money. He has personally made some portion of the $120,332.28 haul attorneys have pocketed thus far in the case (see data here). Very notably, Elliott Stonecipher and his attorney Whitney Pesnell have fought for the taxpayers in a true donation of their time, money and energy.
In a video interview on local social website, Heliopolis, Arceneaux was “thrilled” about his plan’s passing the Shreveport Caddo Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) as a means of protecting the “quaint atmosphere” of the neighborhood. If this plan passes the city council, property owners will have to obtain a document that sounds like it came from George Orwell’s 1984, a “CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS“.
Arceneaux took particular care to note what a gift to the city that he and his wife had “donated” (see video at Heliopolis’ facebook page). In spite of Arceneaux’s well known career in working for pay on behalf of local governments, Arceneaux bravely mustered up enough civic pride to not stick it to taxpayers for his aspirations of ruling Highland like his own personal HOA. He claimed that his wife, who is a certified interior designer, created the guidelines/regulations “absolutely for free as a donation to the area, the neighborhood and the city“… then claiming that “other cities that have done this have paid thirty, forty and fifty thousand dollars for this kind of work product.”
Highland is a unique part of town where many younger Shreveporters are making their homes because they can renovate and restore quality homes at a fraction of the prices of most neighborhoods. Some local property owners immediately expressed their dislike and opposition to yet another regulation placed upon them by the city.
Those of us paying attention are left wondering why Arceneaux sees and proclaims false righteousness in “donating” to the city when he is so handsomely rewarded for helping our elected officials illegally obtain and keep our money as in the CPERS case. This out-of-touch proclamation serves to show many in our area that even the lawyers of our elected officials are insulated and out of touch, working daily to preserve their self-interest, enrichment and control on a city in decay. That arrogance truly warrants a “certificate of innappropriateness” while Areceneaux should respect his fellow citizens enough to pay back the money he’s billed in this CPERS scandal. The lower and middle class continue to lose, while gasping for opportunity. In the end, Arceneaux and his fellow lawyers are the only winners… always at our expense.