Elliott StonecipherLocalNews

SHREVEPORT BOND ISSUE: UNTHINKABLY WRONG

In only two weeks, Shreveport City Council members must vote to approve, or not, Mayor Adrian Perkins’ mind-blowing $220,000,000 bond issue. Doing so is, of course, the political equivalent of walking the plank for our stunningly ill-prepared chief executive.

The very, very short timeline for approval is wholly Perkins’. Regardless that he has no political or personal skin in the game which is Shreveport’s future, he now subjects the Council and the rest of us to this bond issue whim.

As we have learned to expect with the Mayor, there will be no public hearings, even on this by far largest such bond issue in our history …

… Believe it or not. Take it or leave it. Trick or treat … emphasis on trick.

This would-be money grab is ill-conceived, ill-timed, and grossly unfair to the few of us who pay property taxes … still the highest city / parish property taxes in Louisiana and a broader region.

As I write, we still do not know if a property tax hike will result if this bad government behemoth is approved.

What we certainly DO know is that the subject property taxes expire at the end of this year – all 15-mills – if the bond issue is rejected.

The Perkins administration is far, far too inexperienced for this task, and there is no discernible public confidence that passage will not cause worse damage to the City’s financial condition.

After all, this mayor, a mere seven months ago, savaged the City’s casualty insurance coverage before he was even sworn in, with direct financial benefit to his campaign manager.

Honest and decent residents simply cannot ignore such a screaming corruption alert, and since then, the news from City Hall has done anything but improve.

We have learned our finance department cannot pay City Hall payroll taxes on time, racking up six-figure fines for its failure, and that the Louisiana Legislative Auditor has not received data necessary for last year’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

For those of us who have long been here to experience many, many such bond issue offerings, this thing is downright unthinkable.

Here is the list of bond issue projects from Perkins’ staff. In sharing this list (with sincere thanks to its City Hall source), I have not corrected typos or rearranged / renamed anything.

Special Projects

$ 7,000,000 “Smart City Infrastructure Fund”

$ 11,960,000 “Economic Growth”

$ 1,500,000 Sportran

$ 5,000,000 Housing Infrastructure”

Total $ 25,460,000

Roadway / Drainage / Water

$ 25,000,000 Citywide Roadway Improvements (streets, bridges, traffic lights, sidewalks)

$ 16,000,000 Linwood Ave. Overpass

$ 16,400,000 Cooper Road Ditch (MLK Ditch)

$ 1,500,000 “Heavy Equipment”

$ 10,000,000 “Citywide Drainage Improvements”

$ 3,000,000 Amiss Intake Structure Repairs

$ 20,000,000 “Citywide Water Improvements”

$ 3,000,000 Amiss WTR Tran. Piping and Valve Replac.

Total $ 94,900,000

Fire / Police / SPAR

$20,000,000 Central Police Headquarters

$ 6,000,000 Shreveport Police Dept. Substations

$ 2,000,000 Shreveport Mounted Patrol

$ 1,500,000 Shreveport Police OSI Facility

$ 3,000,000 Fire Station #14 Replacement

$ 3,000,000 Fire Station #15 Replacement

$ 2,000,000 City Jail Maintenance & Improvements

$ 16,000,000 Shreveport Fire Department Vehicles

$ 1,400,000 Fire Station Renovations & Maintenance

$ 5,000,000 Shreveport Convention Center Roof

$ 1,000,000 Municipal Auditorium

$ 1,000,000 Riverview Theatre /Hall Phase 2 Reno

$ 750,000 City Courts Building Improvements

$ 500,000 Anderson Island Wendy Park Renovations

$ 275,000 Valencia Park Renovations

$ 280,000 AB Palmer Recreation Roof

$ 4,300,000 Citywide Playground Improvements

$ 5,000,000 Shreveport Parks, Recreation, Public Bldgs

$ 25,000,000 New Fire and Police Training Facility

$ 1,635,000 Citywide Parking Lot Overlays

Total $ 99,640,000

Total of all Projects $220,000,000

© 2019 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Elliott Stonecipher

Elliott is a freelance contributor to RealShreveport.com and any other locally interested publications. Importantly, Elliott has several first-hand experiences in almost every aspect of the best and worst in local politics of Louisiana, particularly Northwest Louisiana. For several years and at great personal risk, Elliott has worked as a watchdog in local politics by writing and exposing numerous subjects that every other media outlet has refused to touch.

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