MONROE AND SHREVEPORT: HOPE SEIZES THE DAY IN ONE


I say and cite it often, because I know it to be true: hope springs eternal.

In context, a powerful example has now been set by voters and leaders in Monroe. Three weeks ago, a majority of them veritably shouted “YES!” in unison by electing businessman Ellis Friday their mayor.

‘Talk about hope!

In trouble almost as deep as Shreveport’s, hopeful Monroe residents marched to the polls and dramatically ended the toxic, double-decade reign of Democrat Mayor Jamie Mayo.

In the primary election … no run-off, with five candidates in the race! … a 52% majority of Monroe voters agreed.

To me, it was and is a classic example of community hope.

Monroe’s population is much smaller – 47,000 compared to its Shreveport “sister-city’s” 187,000 – but its political / social culture and demography are notably alike. A prime example is that the white minority population there is 35%, compared to 38% in Shreveport.

At opposite ends of I-20’s stretch through North Louisiana, both cities are caught-up in daunting economic declines … fires stoked by the Democrat Party’s political hold on the two.

Before her 2014 defeat by U. S. Senator Bill Cassidy, Mary Landrieu ruled the roost of both cities, politically controlling our region by use of her two dominant political properties: Mayo and Shreveport’s ex-mayor Cedric Glover. *

The damage done to our North Louisiana region by Landrieu / Democrats is incalculable. When Glover’s eight years in office ended thanks to term-limits, Jamie Mayo’s rolled-on in no-term-limits Monroe.

Now, hope abounds in Monroe, where electing Ellis was a sort of political bolt out of the blue.

Mayor-Elect Friday, we should all note, is an Independent. Since no Republican had a chance of election, no Republican qualified to run: three Democrats, one Libertarian and Independent winner Ellis Friday

(What it took to make that possible was a Republican Party that put Monroe first.)

To fully appreciate the degree to which Jamie Mayo offered-up only the same hope-killing political awfulness hammering Shreveport, take the few minutes to read this editorial in the Ouachita Citizen three weeks before Ellis was elected …

https://www.hannapub.com/ouachitacitizen/opinion/editorials/editorial-monroe-needs-friday-ellis/article_faa431bc-b0a3-11ea-a502-3b69ac09b7bc.html

Now.

With Monroe’s mega-shot of hope in mind, let us consider the “breaking news” in yesterday’s online edition of the Shreveport newspaper.

That news is a 32-page report on and from the “Shreveport Economic Recovery Task Force (SERT).”

To remind, this is the 40-person study group somehow formed / blessed / juiced by Mayor Perkins some three months ago … Covid-19 be damned.

This group follows the Shreveport bond issue failure a year ago, and the most recent of many failures to shake down voters here in the name of “Cross Bayou.”

Notable leaders of this group are Larry English, the point man for the (supposedly kaput) Cross Bayou Project; Desi Sprawls, a local engineer and former Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) member; and Linda Biernacki, businesswoman and former member of City Hall’s infamous Architectural & Engineering Selection Committee.

For now, let me summarize this SERT bond issue proposal as the subject report sickeningly lays it out. Property-tax funded projects include …

… a quarter-Billion-bucks for Broadband (supposedly with some ??? private funding),

… just over $108,000,000 in water / sewer / police / fire / SPAR / Sportran projects,

… with NO cost figures attached, a seven-page list of street and drainage projects.

Hope? None here … and this “plan” perfectly shouts the core reason …

… as long as tiny cabals of politically powerful Shreveport insiders can lay claim to the engines of government to enrich themselves – with property tax payers picking up their tab – the city’s condition is truly void of hope.

© 2020 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

* As I have previously written, the political closeness of Glover-Mayo is seen in a decade-ago FBI sting named “Operation Blighted Officials” in which undercover FBI agents used a bogus garbage can cleaning business called “Cifer 5000.” Initially caught-up with a list of other Louisiana mayors, the two testified for the government rather than being charged. Though I have found none published by Shreveport news media, here are two of many other online articles concerning the broader federal sting:

FBI.gov: Operation Blighted Officials / Cifer 5000
https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/neworleans/press-releases/2010/no092910a.htm

FBI.gov: Operation Blighted Officials / Cifer 5000
https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/neworleans/press-releases/2012/former-port-allen-city-council-member-sentenced-in-operation-blighted-officials

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