SHREVEPORT CITY HALL HAS PLENTY OF OUR MONEY … PLENTY!
Monday, March 18, 2019 … 4:27 PM.
The City Council’s next of many shots at raising our taxes (or “fees,” which are identical to our pocket books) is set for a week from tomorrow.
Now, members are being hassled by Mayor Adrian Perkins and his minions for not giving him our money when and how he tells them to.
As Perkins’ garbage tax hike has thus far failed in $18-a-month, $13-a-month, $7-a-month attempts, he is really stirring the give-me-some-danged-money pot.
He would have done well to wait until he knew just how much of our money City Hall has. It isn’t like signs of the overflow aren’t obvious.
An example was detailed by the The Times just days ago: stunning payments of our money to certain Shreveport Police Department bosses, of which there are too many.
According to The Times’ report by Sara Macneil, the department is set to fund four (more) high-ranking positions, regardless that it already has 4 Assistant Chiefs, 14 captains, 44 lieutenants and 99 sergeants.
(There are just some 450 officers in uniform among 770 total employees.)
Worse yet, missing-in-action ex-Chief Alan Crump (on medical leave) is being paid $18,000 a month … which, according to the Census Bureau, is almost 9-times as much as the $2,065 monthly pay of an average Shreveport resident.
Our Substitute Chief Ben Raymond was paid $71,000 a year as Chief Administrative Assistant, but his current pay is somewhere above $150,000 … more than double.
Speaking for many of us, Councilman Grayson Boucher told the reporter, “I am in no way interested in funding four high-ranking administrative positions in the Shreveport Police Department. We’ve lost five police officers just this month. We’re bleeding officers right now.”
The second notable example of our money being hidden or wasted in and by City Hall was an announcement in the most recent City Council meeting by Department of Water & Sewerage boss Barbara Featherston.
Featherston stunned listeners with facts of what now seems to have been a huge error made by previous City Hall “leaders” who told us the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated repairs would cost us $350 million.
That cost has meant huge increases in our monthly water / sewer bills, underway since 2015 and set to stretch through 2022.
As Perkins and his folks took over running the city, “news” suddenly began circulating that Shreveporters needed to prepare for water / sewer rate-hike Armageddon … costs of $1.1 billion total … not the mere $350 million we are now paying off.
That threatened Armageddon, we now learn, has somehow been defeated before its fact: Featherston explained how she and her folks have so wonderfully managed the $350 million from the start that all was well … handled … with no need for additional water / sewer rate hikes.
Clearly, the $350 million was not needed in the first place.
As our population continues to shrink, down now to 192,000 from a peak of 206,000, so must the insatiable appetite for our money in City Hall.
For now, let’s hope the City Council holds the line and votes down any garbage tax.
© 2019 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED