WAKE UP SHREVEPORT TAXPAYERS!
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 … 9:48 A.M.
MY TAKE-AWAYS FROM YESTERDAY’S CITY COUNCIL BLOW-UP
(This article will require five minutes or less of your time. Please read.)
It is safe to assume that many Shreveporters who have steadfastly ignored what’s going on in City Hall since Adrian Perkins was elected are now awake. By “awake” I mean to suggest that they are wondering to themselves if they should have voted when he was elected.
Everyone in Shreveport who has any money riding on the city’s real, actual survivability must engage. Time is up. Literally.
An engaged Shreveport, it certainly follows, must accept the truth of yesterday’s City Council meeting awfulness. A young and very, very inexperienced mayor knowingly triggered a public fight the likes of which Shreveport has never seen …
… in its known, recorded history.
We should all consider these points about Mayor Perkins’ melt-down yesterday:
1. The “I am going to have my way, no matter anything else” stance of our mayor led to his hiring Henry Whitehorn without City Council confirmation … which is legally required. THAT most directly triggered yesterday’s events. Worse yet, our mayor rubbed the Council’s face in it.
2. As has been the case almost from the start of Perkins’ term, his choice of “City Attorney” added greatly to what happened. She is not actually a “City Attorney,” she is his attorney, is anti-City Council, and is led by Perkins to pour a lot gasoline on a lot of City Hall fires.
3. Thus, the City Council has no attorney. That is a fact. That means it must accept that it will need local courts and judges to move this city out of its impending civil war.
4. My sources continue to confirm that the now-called “missing City Councilman” in this explosion – James Green – cannot back Perkins in this … not until he names a new would-be CAO. Perkins simply refuses to accept that, and believes he can somehow, uh, induce Green to support Mr. Whitehorn.
5. When all this began those few weeks ago with Mr. Whitehorn’s nomination as CAO by the mayor, here is a statement the nominee made to City Council members, a statement Perkins acts as if the man never said:
“I want everybody to know that Mr. Braggs is more than just a friend to me. He is like family to me and we’ve known each other for almost 30 years. He’s never asked me, and never will ask me, to do anything illegal, inappropriate or unethical.”
That refers to Lynn Braggs, a very, very well-known City Hall bad actor from the ex-Mayor Glover and ex-Mayor Tyler days. Apparently, neither Mr. Whitehorn nor Mayor Perkins read anything about Mr. Braggs’ City Hall record.
Here is a link to notable reporting on the subject by Lex Talamo (in 2018), then at our daily newspaper. (In the article, scroll down to “Who is Lynn Braggs?”)
Directly put, not only do some Council members see a Braggs-comeback as a Whitehorn deal-killer, but so do many who work to influence Council member votes. That history, including its federal criminal investigation, is more than merely important.
No matter how fine a man Henry Whitehorn may be (I do not know him), his blind-spot about Lynn Braggs is a bridge too far … way too far.
With these points in mind, here are some initial solutions. For the sake of Shreveport:
6. Shreveport needs Mr. Whitehorn to withdraw his nomination as CAO. We will be forever in his debt.
7. The City Council MUST explain to the mayor that he is, under our local laws, a guest in City Council meetings, there to help the Council understand anything they care to ask him about. He never, ever, has any right to take over a City Council meeting as he did yesterday. Likewise, Council chairpersons must never, ever allow any mayor to do so.
8. The City Council must understand that its power under our Charter has been disastrously (as proven yesterday) usurped by this mayor and his City Attorney. The Council, unless and until there is a new mayor, must use courts as necessary to conduct city business.
9. If Mayor Perkins really and truly cares about Shreveport, he will resign. As I stressed from his earliest entrance in the mayoral campaign, it is not in his heart to care for this city, at least not at this critical point. If we must “buy out his contract” through public fund-raising, we WILL do so.
10. The racism which flared so openly yesterday must be lobbied against, and strongly. No, this is no more a “time” somehow preserved for black Shreveporters than there was ever a time preserved for white Shreveporters.
© 2020 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED