THE SHREVEPORT SHIP OF STATE IS TAKING ON A LOT OF WATER
There is no mistaking the fact. Shreveport has for a good number of years bumped along as its government struggled to keep it out of the ditch. Well, OK, a lot of ditches.
Through it all, I can honestly say I have often wondered, if not feared, whether City Hall could keep top managers in their jobs. Now we know.
Though no surprise, the retirement last week of Clerk of Council Art Thompson is a real hit to Shreveport. That it occurred at almost the same time as the loss of our City Attorney, as well as Director of Water and Sewerage is unnerving, at a minimum.
Worse yet, perhaps, is the Shreveport Police Department disarray. Given that Chief Ben Raymond is now trying to tackle our violent crime with a shrinking force, no one should expect anything but more disarray. (That the Chief was not Mayor Perkins’ choice for the job looms ever larger.)
There is no reason to believe, of course, that others who actually “run” major parts of local government won’t see this as a good time to go, too.
Raising the odds of even more trouble ahead is that Adrian Perkins picked now to switch over to part-time status.
No, I do not contend that his campaign for United States Senator should require much time away from running Shreveport, but I do expect him to use that as an excuse to be gone a lot.
Admittedly, for those who wonder, there is yet no sign that his last-minute entry into that race has generated any interest to speak of, so far at least.
In response to my internet search “Adrian Perkins United States Senate Campaign,” only one article from outside Louisiana came up … an (old) July 22nd article posted by political news website The Hill entitled “Shreveport mayor enters race against Sen. Bill Cassidy.” (SEE link below.)
I admit to reading the article, and am I no way surprised by how Perkins’ presents himself. Here is an example:
“My grandad was a sharecropper right here in Bossier Parish. I’ve traveled many miles from those days, fought in two wars, but the road I’ve taken in life always led me back to the Louisiana I love …”
Who knew he loved us?
Returning to my original point, no matter how vulnerable Shreveport is right now to population loss, ever-worsening violent crime, political corruption and fiscal danger, our mayor decided – right smack in the middle of all of it – to take a wholly self-serving political walk-about.
Sources tell me that one of the key jobs now open – City Attorney – may soon be filled, incredibly enough by a sort of a part-timer …
… by a lawyer who will be our “full-time” City Attorney while keeping and managing his private law practice.
No matter anything else, this set-up is an obvious, stone-cold invitation to corruption. (Yes, I am aware Bossier City does it this way. And?)
Let’s say some (corrupt) person wants a lucrative City contract, and just so happens to also hire our “City Attorney” as their personal attorney. Who, on behalf of we the people, is the watchdog empowered to stop that? In fact, how would that watchdog ever know?
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, it seems a City Council member may be lobbying for this set-up … and for the person that Council member wants in that job.
Here we go.
© 2020 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
“Adrian Perkins United States Senate Campaign”