…For Mayor’s Job
Yep, it’s true — Representative Roy Burrell just can’t get “no respect” when it comes to his misguided aspirations to become Shreveport’s next mayor. If he proceeds with his announced candidacy, there’s little doubt that he will get “no satisfaction” from a second effort for the crown. And for good reason — actually several reasons.
Burrell proclaims himself to be the “overseer” of House District 2 in his legislative newsletter which is published quarterly at taxpayer expense. This mailing generally includes pictures of Burrell’s garden with some down home advice on how to be thrifty and independent. The newsletter is, by far, the most elaborate of the local delegation.
Burrell, who is known to some as “Barbell”, is a charter member of the “Decorate My Coat Lapel” club; – he generally sports 2 (or more) buttons/adornments on his lapel symbolizing his importance. Evidently he yearned to be a Cub Scout during his youth with a festooned merit badge sash. Rarely is Barbell seen in public or the media shots without his pin decorations, no matter what his attire.
Burrell is term limited; his public paycheck ends December 31, 2016. To keep his job, Burrell spent big bucks successfully challenging the qualification of Dr. Raymond Hicks in 2012 so he could run unopposed for his current term. He recently had a fund raiser – advertised for debt retirement from this legal battle. Reportedly he had all of 20 (or less) attendees in the cavernous ballroom of the former Shreveport Country Club. At the end of 2013, his campaign had cash on hand of $1,710.00 and a campaign debt of $2,669.00, – a net deficit of $959.00.
Burrell ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2010 against Councilman Bryan Wooley and incumbent Mayor Cedric Glover. His showing was abysmal – he received 13% of the vote in the primary. After the campaign Burrell castigated his supporters, blaming them for his loss despite the fact he ignored the advice of key supporters. His campaign was reflective of an old school candidate seeking black votes only.
While Barbell is proud to cite his list of public accomplishments, he is not near so transparent in sharing the finances of his privately run foundation. The Inner City Entrepreneur Institute (I.C.E.) annually sponsors a BizCamp for youths. Since January of 2010 I.C.E. has received $65,000.00 from the Caddo Commission and $50,000.00 from the City of Shreveport; this year the Commission will chip in another $20,000.00.
Burrell refuses to disclose the I.C.E. financials, including his salary as Executive Director and that of his business/political side kick Dan Wimberly. I.C.E. spent substantial funds in 2009 to successfully defeat a public records lawsuit seeking this information; how he will spin this into a positive during a second mayoral campaign will be interesting to say the least.
Politicos believe that Barbell’s mayoral announcement is nothing more than a “I want a job” announcement, and that he hopes to broker his meager following into a City Hall job. It is doubtful that he will get any takers for employment, – or for that matter many bucks to run a campaign for mayor. Maybe Barbell should just go to his big luxurious house on North Lakeshore Drive to raise produce and show up at the farmer’s market at Shreveport Festival Plaza.