Caddo Parish Commissioner asks board to reinstate dissolved pandemic committee

Local

CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Caddo commissioner Steven Jackson is pushing for the reinstatement of a COVID-19 pandemic-related committee that was disbanded by chairman Lyndon Johnson.

This is a story we’ve been following since the heated exchange took place between the two on Facebook live after one of their recent meetings.

Commissioner Jackson has since apologized to his colleagues and the public for his behavior.

He said he just wants the focus to be on the pandemic committee he believes is still needed.

“To those who may have found offense to it, I do apologize. Two people can disagree. Two people can raise their voices but my goal is to work for my constituents,” Jackson said during Tuesday’s meeting.

“The task force should dissolve after a year. It basically gives the committee a year to do its work,” Jackson advocated.

However, Johnson said the committee was no longer needed as the pandemic shows signs it is beginning to ease.

“Basically the emergency rental assistance program was one of the last things that they were doing. The process was in place and needed some clean work, so that clean-up work can be done under the special needs and long-range committee,” Johnson recommended.

Other commissioners thanked Commissioner Jackson for his hard work and some also questioned the need for the committee to be reconstituted.

“You want this to be an ongoing committee where we can address some of those issues that don’t happen in the normal course of just being?” Commissioner Lynn D. Cawthorne asked.

Jackson says there is still work to be done.

“Work with local public health officials, I think the ordinance we just moved forward, highlights that there is still some learning we need to do about COVID-19.”

“Two committees to say and ask the administration for the same information is just double work and not getting them focused on what they need to do in order for them to get the other program up and running,” Johnson told KTAL.

Jackson suggested that the committee be seasonal.

The ordinance did move forward with eight supporting its reinstatement while two other commissioners opposed. Commissioners Johnson and Atkins were among the two to oppose.

The commission will vote on Thursday whether to bring the committee back or leave it dissolved.

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