- Kaley Green
SHREVEPORT, La. – Mayor Ollie Tyler’s proposed legislation for a garbage collection fee to be adopted as part of the 2017 budget was introduced by the Shreveport City Council last night.
The Council met in the late afternoon in Government Plaza and hosted a public hearing for the proposed 2017 budget.
Most citizens who opted to speak on the proposed garbage collection fee shared their concerns about the $12 monthly cost and the lack of specifics about how it would be billed, which remain unclear. Some members of the public also urged the Council to give the proposed fee more thought and be more transparent in its legislative processes.
Vice Chairman James Flurry came to the defense of Mayor Ollie Tyler following the public hearing, claiming she will not waste any money that results from the proposed fee. Flurry also said those who say Mayor Tyler might waste funds are “haters.”
“What we inherited is a double stack of big poo poo,” Councilman Flurry said. “…Mayor Tyler is not one to kick the can down the road. She is one to deal with the problems. We’re not perfect in the water department, but we’re trying.”
Councilman Michael Corbin made a motion not to introduce the ordinances pertaining to the mayor’s legislation regarding the proposed garbage collection fee, saying the public comments made earlier were proof there has not been enough discussion with the public.
Chairman Willie Bradford, obviously upset by Councilman Corbin’s motion, then gave quite a long speech on how Mayor Tyler’s administration was dealing with the mistakes of the previous administration. He said he was disappointed about the talk of not introducing the ordinances. He then cited the failures of the previous administration and City Council.
“What is ineffective council?” Bradford asked. “I ran for public office because I felt like my predecessor was not effective. When I took that elected office, nowhere in that oath did it say, ‘Only vote on things that are uncontroversial. Only vote on things that are politically expedient.’”
Corbin argued with the Chairman, saying until the Council shows the citizens it can make some cuts and live within its means, the City will continue to see funds evaporate.
“My point is to kill the garbage fee right now and work on the budget,” Corbin said. “…We have to get our facts right. I answer to the citizens. They’re my bosses. They’ve spoken loudly.”
Chairman Bradford said Corbin was out of order and could not make the motion.
Councilman Oliver Jenkins said he agrees with Councilman Corbin regarding the fee, but ultimately sided with Chairman Bradford when he told Corbin he was out of order for making the motion.
The motion to introduce ordinances 125-127 was put to a vote and passed, Corbin being the only vote against.
Originally, the garbage fee was to be put to a Council vote on Dec. 15 as part of the 2017 budget.
Now, the timeline shows all three ordinances pertaining to the garbage fee are set for final passage by the City Council on Nov. 22, almost a month earlier than previously planned.