Ok. Let’s see if we can sort through this and get our heads around Mayor Cedric Glover’s latest stunner.
Kristy Johnston posted this story sometime during the day, today, on the Shreveport Times website (SEE article here). It’s an update of her earlier report about Glover’s attack on Shreveport canines and friends-of-canines. The back-story, in this case, offers little not reported by Ms. Johnston, except that the mayor’s anger is uniquely targeted to public officials he does not control. Given how many he does control in Shreveport officialdom, the fit he’s pitching is not surprising. This is decidedly new territory for Glover: people don’t tell him “no,” and if anyone forgets his Rule One, they pay hell for it.
The facts are pretty clear: Glover asked the Red River Waterway Commission to cut checks to the City of Shreveport for things he wants and demands before it funds projects the (silly) people of Shreveport may support. Before we dive into other even more stupefying aspects of the mayor’s bluster, let us at least mention that he recently sold the citizenry – at least those who are the core of his constituency – a $175,000,000 bond issue, the most expensive in city history. He quickly followed with an attempt for yet another $94,000,000 (in debt) to fund his definition of city “needs,” but failed. Question: whatever projects he is now demanding, why didn’t he include them in his bond issue windfall?
In short, Glover knows a thing or hundreds about “capital improvements” and precisely where tax-and-spend types can look for public money (and debt). Thus, he lusted in his heart for these particular public bucks over at the Waterway Commission.
Owing to the mayor’s ebbing political strength these days, a bunch of other folks, some elected officials and some not, found a way to realize their well-known dream for a dog park in Shreveport. Though such a facility may be new to the thinking of many here, such areas for our four-legged family members are sources of community pride in many cities. (If you doubt it, check-out DogPark.com. The best one I know about is my son’s favorite in his hometown, Seattle, but I’m guessing the ones in Baton Rouge, Longview and elsewhere are also strongly supported.)
It’s simple: this wasn’t our mayor’s idea, and no one will be giving him credit, so he’ll offer-up the “people vs. pets” smokescreen at every turn. Along the way, he loudly threatens to withhold support unless and until he gets what he wants and demands. I give him credit for putting the political extortion right out there on the table.
Far, Far Past Mere Irony … ‘Truly Stupefying
The biggest humdinger from our mayor’s comments is this:
“This is not free money, this is not a free gift; this is a perversion of a process,” the mayor said.
Do you believe it?! … I can’t believe it!! As these words escaped his mouth, did he instinctively look for cover from an impending lightening strike?!
Dare we break this comment down and look at any single one of its mind-blowing parts? Should we, for example, think of this remark in the context of our mayor’s own “perversion of process” in commandeering the city’s Department of Engineering and Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG), and maybe the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) and City Council, in killing the Hwy. 3132 Extension for the carefully designed benefit of his bud, Bossier City developer Tim Larkin?
I wish I had the time and space to list the ways our mayor perverted the governmental process in killing the Hwy. 3132 Extension and the Shreveport Regional Sports Authority before it. That list – with particulars taken from thousands of pages of documents – would fill a good-sized book.
Oh, well. Such is our mayor’s “process.” We should leave him to it, but acknowledge in so doing that his process is seriously undermining his legitimacy as our city’s leader.
I am certainly no proponent of government spending, but on this one, I vote for our dogs!
Elliott Stonecipher’s reports, essays and commentaries are written strictly in the public interest. No compensation of any kind has been solicited, offered or accepted for this work.