- Elliott Stonecipher
- Shreveport City Council
SPECIAL REPORT …
… Tuesday, September 12, 2017 … 8:10 P.M. …
Almost four-and-a-half hours after the Shreveport City Council meeting began today, members finally voted on Mayor Ollie Tyler’s “sports complex” scheme.
The vote was 0-7 … no votes in favor … all seven members voted against it.
The rest of the story will take some telling over coming days and weeks, if not longer. It was quite the show from some Council members who have been “Yes” votes since the first tally on August 22nd.
Then, 5 Council members were in favor, and only 2 – Willie Bradford and James Flurry – were opposed.
Some of the switchers were bitter, including the two who steadfastly refused before tonight to oppose this ill-timed and otherwise highly questionable offering. Notable in that context were Oliver Jenkins and Michael Corbin.
Jenkins went after social media with vigor, nastily charging we who partake of this medium with spreading non-factual information. (For the record, I spend more time doing research and writing it up than any legislator at any level I have ever known. At my expense.)
Corbin threatened we who challenged him with future bond issues – read: tax increases – as a way of supposedly slapping us into line.
After all the beating-up of social media was over, these two and all the others did what they knew very well all along they should: dump this thing …
… unless and until our suffering city’s basic services and infrastructure needs are met.
The meeting was enough to chase off most opponents as the Government Plaza meeting room was stacked to the rafters with supporters of All Things Tyler and City Hall.
Many of the Tylerites were obviously scripted, and Tylerite #1, State Representative Barbara Norton, decided to verbally threaten someone – reportedly Councilwomen Stephanie Lynch – for opposing Norton’s gal the mayor.
The sports crowd and others who would make (or take) money on the deal used up almost all the oxygen, and more than a few found a way to stab at we who spend any time using social media to oppose governmental stupidity.
We social media folk may be dog stuff on the shoe-bottoms of Shreveport’s august “leadership” crowd, but when the smoke cleared, we found a way to save them from themselves.
The Shreveport Times – the main media voice of the downtowners for over 175 years – slapped those of us on social media in their last-Sunday endorsement of Tyler’s scheme. In sizing-up this debate, they tagged us this way:
“Yet community reaction has been nothing short of withering, amped up by the easy indignation permitted by social media.”
Get that … the “… easy indignation PERMITTED by social media.” To them, and those for whom they speak, we are not to be PERMITTED to speak, much less be heard.
So much for their responsibility to preserve and protect free speech. Speech is free to those they pick or like or agree with or can hush.
Yes, we on social media are the local enemy now … just like in most of the rest of the world.
Truth be known, people of our ilk who oppose local government here have always been the enemy.
Now, for the first time ever, we have a way to be heard.
… more later …
*The vote tally recorded no votes “For,” but Councilman Bowman left before the vote. He clarified to Shon Gables on KTBS that he was a “No” vote had he been able to stay.