- Elliott Stonecipher
Thursday, September 14, 2017 … 1:35 P.M.
What happened at Tuesday’s Shreveport City Council meeting may prove a seismic shift in local government. That so many people successfully took to social media to stop Mayor Tyler’s sports complex scheme is undeniable.
The explosion of hopeful expressions for Shreveport has been stunning, as Real Shreveport’s Will Broyles has likewise experienced.
Unfortunately, our work will also face much more establishment opposition going forward, which we will report, in detail.
The key message is that most Shreveporters want to change how our government is run (or manipulated) here, with emphasis on public safety, street repairs, and cleaning-up the city’s awful trashiness.
Greatly boosting us is confirmation now surfacing that Tyler’s plan was exactly what we thought it was: wrong, wrong, wrong:
1. It is indisputable that Mayor Tyler and her group were grossly irresponsible, at a minimum, in attempting to buy contaminated General Scrap Material property for her Cross Bayou project. That may explain her secrecy, refusing us a public vote, and the ridiculously short, three-week period for citizen study.
We thank Lex Talamo at The Times for her article on the subject today, albeit after the fact. Note this:
“Soil at the private scrap yard at the site of the proposed sports complex and mixed-use development in Shreveport contains more than 25 times the petroleum hydrocarbons and 31 times the lead that Louisiana regulators generally deem safe.
The scrap yard also has concerning levels of arsenic and lead in the ground water, according to site investigations.”
Here is The Times article link:
Here is a link to my article, published by Will Broyles more than a week ago:
2. We have not solved the mystery of when Tyler’s developer, Corporate Realty, came to town, who sought them out, or how long they worked in virtual secrecy. Some City Council members suggest it went on for months.
3. Validating our major objection to being denied a vote on this is that voters in Pensacola, Florida – our supposed competitor for the Pelicans basketball team – will vote on it in November.
As we consider the much broader picture of how our city’s business is done, we must recognize and come to grips with the degree to which our governance is top-down, not grassroots up.
Our mayor’s sports complex concoction is a perfect example.
Other than perhaps a couple of dozen people talking and planning in secret, the rest of our city’s 195,000 souls learned about it three weeks before the determinative Council vote.
Another example from a long list of them is the Planet Aqua aquarium downtown.
In 2011, Shreveport voters passed a bond issue proposal for $1.5 million in “repairs and renovations” of the very popular Barnwell Memorial Garden and Art Center on the riverfront.
Ex-mayor Glover instead took the money for other stuff he liked better. When that money we voted for The Barnwell publicly appeared again, it was for the aquarium … loved, boosted and decided upon by our unseen “leadership.”
Our bond issue vote meant diddly.
Here is a link to one of my articles on the subject almost a year ago:
Shreveport has been run / governed this way for generations, which I believe is our greatest weakness.
What we the people are told, or not, by traditional media is an important aspect of this. If the powers that be want something kept quiet, most of us will not hear of it. If they want something boosted, we hear it.
It goes without saying that key among these leaders are very wealthy women and men, players in funding the election campaigns of pols they decide are best for their interests, e.g., Mayor Tyler.
Social media, potentially, drives the governmental process instead. After all, how much money does it require? Who can pull its plug because they don’t like it?
Yes, as some charge, when elections are in the mix, low voter turnout may dog us. While Shreveport has long been infamous for it, I have seen no evidence that social media folks are
more likely than others not to vote.
Mayoral and City Council elections are a bit over a year away, so we are behind in the work of finding dependable, qualified candidates who want and will work for a real recovery. (No, I am not a candidate.)
… to be continued …
© 2017 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED