- Will Broyles
Shreveport’s population is, by and large, upset at the prospect that leaders in our city are going forward without listening to the will of the people on the proposed arena development… not even giving people a public vote on the matter. First word of an arena earlier this year brought eyerolls until this week finally brought some new vague details and much anger from taxpayers who are fatigued from decades of empty promises. Our city has become a cemetery of monuments for public investments in projects that never work out as promised. Common sense informs us that Mayor Ollie Tyler and her handlers have intended to deceive us due to the tightly protected secret about what is in this supposed “no new tax” development.
The Times now publishes a piece outlining more deception from Tyler in that she lists a host of organizations as endorsing her development project, yet many of those organizations refuted those endorsements, but played politically nice in saying they needed more details (here). In the real world, that’s a big deal.
We don’t need to continue down this fantasy web of lies from City Hall about the details of this plan. We, the people, are supposed to be the bosses of City Hall. Just like a parent who catches their 5 year old in a lie, you stop right there and deal with the lie rather than let them continue telling a made up story.
Unfortunately, we are apparently not the actual bosses of City Hall. We are being told repeatedly that this deal is going to happen and nobody in City Hall has acted in a way to indicate that we the people will stop them.
Grassroots efforts have been popping up all over town to show opposition to this arena snow job. Since we are being told new details that have been hidden from us every day, my suggestion is that those who want to show opposition to this do the following four actions, respectfully, every day until the people are heard:
1. Call the Pelicans at 504-593-4700 and Corporate Realty Group of Birmingham, AL 205-322-0703 and respectfully inform them that you do not support them coming to town and it costing us taxpayer dollars for an arena we do not need. Make them aware that we are a city desperately in need of basic services for our tax dollars instead.
2. Respectfully call the Louisiana State Bond Commission, Lela M Folse (Director) (225-342-0040) and Bond Commission member Rep. Jim Morris 318-995-6852 and inform them that we are in opposition of a bond being issued for an arena in Shreveport, and we believe that we should get to vote before our City Hall enters a public/private relationship of this magnitude and we do not believe the numbers we are being told.
3. Respectfully call Sheriff Prator (318-681-0821), our US Attorney’s office (318-676-3600) and ask them to investigate what is going on in this development and what, if any, deals for City Council member votes are being cut by those who will profit off of the proposed arena. Inform them you expect them to investigate all contracts and contractors involved should we be ignored and this arena deal happens.
4. Call your City Council member and inform them that you want your voice to reflect their vote on Sept. 12 and you want them to not move foward with spending any money on this arena. Contact info: here
If you want your City back, this is a great place to start. Contacting these numbers daily could prove helpful.