I know there are people in our community, and probably on the Parish Council, who think that the replacement of the courthouse windows should be no big deal because “they look the same and cost less.” I would like to explain why I disagree.

Our community applauded — and rightfully so — the recent decision by the Louisiana Tax Commission to reallocate the tax revenue from Entergy’s Riverbend nuclear plant. The decision reverses what many argue was an unfair “backroom deal” that took place over 20 years ago and which a 2017 audit found was “not consistent with procedure.”

Unfortunately, the recent action by Kevin Couhig to replace the courthouse windows has all the appearance of a “backroom deal.” Donna Wright raised some valid questions in her recent letter: What was the cost of this contract and what part of the parish budget covered it? Where any council members aware of this planned action? I would like to add some of my own: What other options were explored and what did they cost? Was the job put out for bid? Why weren’t the Historic District Commission and the Architectural Design Review Board brought into the process?

When Kevin was elected, he adopted the motto “Be Informed. Get Involved.” He blatantly violated that motto when he neither informed nor involved the Historic District Commission, the Architecture Review Board, or apparently, the Parish Council of his plan to replace the courthouse windows in the manner in which he did. Let us be clear: This was not an error of judgment (a mistake). It was an error of intent (a deliberate act). It was disrespectful of the democratic process.

To permit an elected official to act in such a manner should be unacceptable to everyone. That is why the windows matter.

Tracey Banowetz,

Weyanoke, parish resident