Report from Louisiana: All Politics is Local

Posted: December 13, 2021 by Pat Austin in Uncategorized
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By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — They say all politics is local so let’s take a moment to consider the bond election held last week in Shreveport. I know you don’t live in Shreveport but consider this a model for what is likely happening in Democrat run cities all over the country, for the most part.

Our Democrat mayor, Adrian Perkins, is wallowing in the sub-basement of low approval ratings as our homicide rate has already tied the record for the most homicides in the city per year, as our police force diminishes to over 100 officers below expected levels, and as our fire department shuffles equipment from one station to another just to keep trucks and EMS operational. Our roads are literally crumbling, and the last major manufacturing business, Libbey Glass, shut the doors and pulled out. We are a dying city.

December 11 was election day for a bond proposal to address a few of these issues. Among the issues on the ballot, the only one to pass was Prop 1:

Proposition 1 was the sole passing proposal, being supported by 59 percent of the 15,581 voters. The proposition’s most costly projects are a $27.5 million renovation of the police department’s central headquarters, $13.5 million for new fire department trucks and vehicles, and more than $15 million for fire station renovations and relocations. Proposition 1 will cost the city $70 million.

The other proposals failed:

Propositions 3 and 4 both lost in tight races. 54 percent of voters selected no on both. Proposition 4 would have been for fixing roads. Proposition 3 would have been for replacing the city’s 80-year-old lead pipe water system with a more modern plastic pipe system less likely to leech dangerous chemicals into the water supply and built to sustain extreme temperatures. Proposition 3 also would have addressed sewage and flooding issues.

Propositions 3 and 4 each would have cost more than $60 million.

Proposition 2 was for improving access to broadband internet in Shreveport and would have cost more than $20 million. 60 percent of voters said no to it. Proposition 5 was for improving parks and recreation centers and would have also cost more than $20 million. 61 percent of voters said no to it.

Voter turnout was a miserable 12.7%, and this was the second time (at least) that Perkins has put up this bond issue for vote.

The bottom line is this: nobody trusts this administration. I voted no down the line because my feeling is that if these city administrators think that approving a $10 million contract for curbside recycling to a woman with a Lexus, no staff, no training, and no where to take the material is a good idea….well, I don’t want to give them one bloody dime.

Even more, none of the proposed propositions addressed the abysmal police pay rate which is a huge problem and a large part of the reason we can’t keep officers.

Our priorities are wrong.

Our administration is wrong.

And I see this same pattern is a whole lot of cities run by Democrats.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and at Medium. She is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation (LSU Press).

  1. Pod Hamp says:

    I read the other day that Shreveport is one of the cities reaching a new high in the murder rate. Sorry that you have to go through that. The murder rate in my city (nameless for Opsec reasons) has gone up but no where near as much. It really tears at the fabric of civic life.

    On a lighter note, I’ll bet you had to grit your teeth when you included the quote in the article that used the word “leech” rather than “leach”. You being an English teacher and all.