- Will Broyles
- Matthew Linn (facebook)
Matthew Linn has had a terrible week at the Caddo Commission. In the news was Linn’s embarrassment of Caddo Parish by attempting to remove Caddo Administrator, Woody Wilson, from NLCOG. When Wilson pushed back, Linn went after his job by “exposing” that Wilson was not a resident of Caddo Parish as required to maintain his position.
Linn was correct and Wilson should not be allowed to serve as Parish administrator since he really does live in a house in Bossier Parish. Linn lost the fight anyway because of the ineptitude displayed in handling the matter. First, Linn had no credibility on the issue as he and the Commission were notified of Wilson’s residency problem a few years ago when Elliott Stonecipher made it a point of contention in the fight to finish Hwy 3132. Linn and the Commission did nothing at that time to hold Wilson accountable. Secondly, Linn made such a public spectacle of Wilson’s residency that other Commissioners got drawn into refereeing a personal political fight while Linn gave no real viable solution to consider.
To put it mildly, Linn has shown in his first two months as Commission President that he is at least inept, and at worst an embarrassing train wreck. Other than winning Commission Presidency, he is failing to accomplish anything he wants.
All of this served as distraction while the media missed what really matters to taxpayers; the abuse of our tax dollars.
The Commission is kicking around the idea of changing their “educational” travel reimbursement that has been famously abused. Elliott Stonecipher exposed this issue in January 2015 as both extreme in waste, but most importantly, TOTALLY ILLEGAL according to the Home Rule Charter. Put simply, ZERO dollars of spending is allowed. (Read article here).
Linn is one of the worst offenders in abusing our tax money to the tune of $14,027.62 in 2014 for a single trip to Harvard to supposedly learn how to be a better governmental official. In a private meeting when I questioned his travel expense to Harvard he responded, “My reason for wanting to go was I’m getting my ass kicked by (fellow Commissioners) John (Escude) and Ken (Epperson). And I need to figure out how… how to beat them. And I need help… And that’s why I went… And I’m a much better elected official today than I was.”
Post-Harvard, Linn is still getting his ass kicked. It is clear that neither $14,027.62, nor Harvard University could educate Linn on how to be an effective leader for our Parish.
Now the Caddo Commission takes up the issue of travel allowance in an upcoming ordinance proposal. Almost no Commissioner is taking the position that zero dollars are allowed. Even supposedly fiscally “conservative” commissioners like John Atkins have commented to me that the travel allowance should be reasonable, which is an arbitrary number much greater than zero. Packed in this is discussion of language that would allow taxpayers to fund Commissioners’ trips to Washington DC for Mardi Gras festivities, one of the biggest slaps in the face to taxpayers by Louisiana politicians every year.
We need leadership. Citizens would be wise to take a hard stance on this travel “allowance”. At best, we are wasting copious amounts of money sending our representatives to Ivy League programs that they learn little from; at worst they party on our dime while attempting to deceive us. Let’s just insist that they stick to the rule of law and not use OUR money for ANY illegal travel.