“ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TASK FORCE” … LARRY ENGLISH, STILL


I have delayed writing this piece for a week. The report on it from our daily newspaper has been on my desk staring at me, but the fortitude to write about it has been missing, to put it mildly.

Anyway, here goes.

I thank the reporter for her article, no matter how disturbing it is to some of us. Here is her opening:

“Something big is going down in Shreveport as local business leaders sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic put their heads and talents together to form a task force to focus on Shreveport’s economic recovery. Co-chaired by Desi Sprawls, director of North Louisiana Operations with Forte & Tablada, and Larry English, an attorney with decades in legal experience working with public/private projects such as the Cross Bayou Point Development in Shreveport, the 40-member Shreveport Economic Recovery Task Force includes top business professionals from the local area and across the country in technology, construction, transportation and finance.”

Yes, you read it correctly: ex-attorney Larry English is on point, regardless that he is a New York resident. (If that is no longer accurate, I will write about it.)

There are 40 members of the “task force,” and the article includes snippets about each.

Here is the snippet for Mr. English:

“An attorney with decades in legal experience working with public/private projects. English is leading the Cross Bayou Point Development in Shreveport Louisiana and led the development team of Brooklyn Health Partners that was awarded the right to negotiate with the State University of New York to redevelop the $1 billion Long Island College Hospital campus.”

Let me red-flag this sentence:

“English is leading the Cross Bayou Point Development in Shreveport, Louisiana.”

“IS” leading, not DID lead.

So, lest anyone continue believing Shreveport’s pet devil – Cross Bayou “projects” – had been killed, or exorcised, or had fled, ‘ain’t so.

Although I know or otherwise believe some among the 40 “task force” members are respected by many Shreveporters, such is not so with others.

As usual, included among the 40 members are many non-residents … living in Dallas, Harlem, Las Vegas, New York City (Manhattan), Houston, and Cleveland.

Perhaps equally notable members are Mayor Adrian Perkins’ friend / right-hand Josh Williams and Paul Pratt, a top pusher of English’s last “Cross Bayou development” ploy.

On the “task force,” too, are those who would logically profit on the deal, including architects, construction contractors and so forth.

Speaking for the “task force” in the article is local businesswoman Linda Biernacki. A top campaign fundraiser for former Mayor Ollie Tyler, Biernacki was also a noted member of the City’s notorious Architect & Engineering Committee, appointed to it by both Tyler and ex-mayor Cedric Glover.

Here is a link to one of many articles I have written about the “A & E” committee, one which also links to an excellent report by KTBS News:

https://realshreveport.com/ktbs-tyler-glover-hightower-a-e…/

So, here Shreveport goes again with another “task force” setting off every imaginable warning gong … precisely when our “leaders” swear that Shreveport’s financial condition is dire, if not worse.

Is the City more or less broke as we are serially told, or can it affordably borrow hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for what this “task force” is up to?

It cannot be both.

© 2020 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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