The year is not quite over, but for all practical purposes it is for the Caddo Commission.
The Commission meets only once in December. Its next meeting is a January 2 work session.
The Commission had a good year by all standards.
The Commission appointed Mauricio Roca to fill the unexpired term of Alan Young. Roca is the first Hispanic appointed to any board in Caddo Parish, and in fact in northwest Louisiana.
Roca has an impressive business resume and he had glowing recommendations from citizens who had worked with him. His appointment by the Commission sends a strong statement of inclusion to Caddo citizens and especially the growing Hispanic and Latino communities.
The Commission was successful in having the Public Facilities and Recreation Millage renewed. This tax ensures the operation of the 14 Caddo park sites and programming for the next 10 years.
The Commission also helped fund over $500 thousand dollars of tornado damage repairs for residents in the Queensborough and Allendale neighborhoods. These were made for residents below the federal poverty level who lacked the resources for essential repairs.
The commission also funded $200 thousand to the E. Edwards Jones Housing Trust. These moneys could have been used to fund more money for tornado repairs.
The Commission’s public works department was busy treating over 50 miles of parish road. Additionally the Linwood Avenue bridge was replaced and a new Blanchard compactor site was constructed.
Although still the source of concern to many animal activists, positive improvements were made at the Caddo Parish Animal Shelter. Adoptions were over 1200, the euthanasia rate of 39% is a historical low, and online viewing of animals at the shelter has been made available.
The Commission also funded the Caddo Shreveport Metropolitan Planning Commission with an increase of $20 thousand dollars over the 2018 appropriation. While Mark Sweeney as the executive director the Commission had lowered their MPC funding. Interim MPC director Alan Clarke received high praise from the Commissioner after his appointment in August of this year.
Much of the credit for the progress made by the commission is attributable to the excellent leadership of Commission president Doug Dominick. Relying on his 11 years of service, Dominick lead efficient meetings that were marked with his great sense of humor, his dedication to allowing input from all the Commissioners and his home spun persona that lead to unity and eliminated animosity after contested votes.
All in all, it was a good year for the Caddo Commission.
(This column was/will be published in The Inquisitor on Friday, December 21, 2018)