Saturday, March 24, 2018 … 12:51 P.M.

Who do honest Shreveport citizens see when city officials knowingly break our laws?

Unless and until taxpayers determine and act on that, the April 28th election should not be held.

The Shreveport City Charter, Code of Ordinances, specifically forbids Mayor Ollie Tyler’s 2018 Budget … the one City Hall is three months into using.

City Council members I have consulted are adamant they did not know.

To create the appearance of that budget being “balanced,” Tyler included significant revenue which does not now – and may never – exist … the six (6) taxes to be voted on April 28th.

Mayor Tyler knew at least two city laws were violated when she designed, submitted and gained City Council approval of the subject budget last December, both Section 10.12. (g), and:

Section 4.18. – Introduction, Publication, Hearing on, Adoption and Amendment of Budget Ordinances.

“After the conclusion of the public hearing thereon and before the fifteenth day of December, the council shall finally adopt the several budget ordinances with or without amendment; PROVIDED THAT THE TOTAL OF ESTIMATED EXPENDITURES IN NO BUDGET SHALL EXCEED THE TOTAL ESTIMATED RECEIPTS THEREIN, taking into account any estimated fund balance or deficit from the current fiscal year …” (Emphasis mine.)

In direct violation of those laws, Tyler – joined in law by the Director of Finance and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) – included in her 2018 Budget non-existent property tax revenue of $11.2 million.

Tyler has publicly admitted that these taxes “expired” on December 31, 2017.

By including the non-existent $11.2 million, Tyler’s 2018 Budget spends all available city money, INCLUDING the $4.7 million budget reserve from last fiscal year. Thus …

… an unlawful budget deficit of -$6.5 million results.

It is inconceivable that Tyler and her top two financial officers did not know her 2018 Budget violated these laws.

City Council members stress that the Shreveport Code of Ordinances, Section 7.02. – Annual Operating Budget – dictates that the creation of the annual budget is a direct mayoral function:

“The detailed procedures for the preparation of the budget prior to submission to the council shall be established by the mayor. These procedures shall not be modified by the city council.”

Regardless, and inexplicably, no member of the City Council has publicly mentioned any of this … much less challenged the legality of our city’s current spending.

Now we better understand why Tyler dramatically cut the budget preparation involvement of the City Council and public to one Saturday session, a half-day session on a Sunday, and a 15-20 minute limit for presentation of each city department’s budget.

Worse yet, voters are set to be duped into ratifying all related misfeasance in the April 28th vote.

Rather than aid and abet her, Shreveport voters should insist the law be followed.

Thus, there should be no election on April 28th.

© 2018 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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