Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover showed up at the Shreveport Hotel for an 8:00 AM breakfast meeting prepared to open a big can of worms. Starting with the inner-city I-49 corridor plans, moving to the 3132 extension, Jim Larkin development and I-69 master plan, and capping off a one-hour-forty minute presentation with the repeated attacks by insider financial interests on Calvin Grigsby’s attempt to diversify the “good-ole-white-boy club” of financial advisors, Glover hit both Republican bigotry and greed as the root of growth problems the city and nation face in upcoming elections and decisions of policy. Even the Shreveport Dog Park became a target, again! It was a very rambling presentation of One Hour thirty five minutes, as I’m sure many think this article.
Seldom have so many broad areas been covered with a small group and general expectations that the audience would generate attendance at a city council meeting-rally to be held this afternoon at Government Plaza. If readers and the media (KTBS was the only mainstream media representative I saw in attendance) fail to get the message out, it will be social media and bloggers who recount the rambling message covered.
YouTube contents of the Mayor’s presentation and the few questions that followed start HERE. But, here are some issues in brief context:
- The master plan approved by city council and parish must be supported in corridor of interstate advances. Interchanges must be limited to protect neighborhoods.
- Information must be open for discussion within the Shreveport community to bring people back to neighborhoods that were previously destroyed by interstate construction.
- A parallel is to the interstate requirements is the 3132 issue. Tim Larkin has built some of the best subdivisions in north Louisiana. As a mayor “I listen” to people who want to bring people back to the community. We must facilitate people who want to make these things happen, and as mayor I helped facilitate Larkin’s development.
- Some people believe 3132 should go to LA 1, and you don’t take advantage of the new 5-lane highway that could take care of traffic needs for next 25-50 years. It doesn’t make sense. Detractors say “carnage and wrecks will be result, and it will be unsafe to drop traffic where it currently exits.” Glover then gives facts about traffic accidents and problems which are contrary to these claims. He claimed “the wreck to accident ratio is 5 or 6 to 1 less than current Youree traffic-accident data and traffic flows are manageable. He demanded that people “need to see the logic of our argument.”
- Glover added, “At 48 years old I may not to get to see it develop.(referring to Interstate and corridor future development)” We don’t have the commitment to maintain present infrastructure around us. Former mayor of Charlotte sent transportation bill to congress. Glover said, “…what we have inherited is a system that cannot take care of itself. We have no strategy to maintain the structure we have. The 3132 thought put out by others is decades away from being a reality. We need to support these $5,000,000 homes people want to build in Shreveport. It’s about building Shreveport addresses. It has been proposed that we extend 3132 along with the Larkin subdivision. The are redetermination problems…”
- The 3132 issue cost Shreveport almost $200,000 in legal fees and almost $500,000 total in law fees. It has been moved to Baton Rouge, where the legal is because it is the right place to solve it. According to Glover, “it’s about people who have money. It’s at a stand still right now. Larkin is trying to subdivide his lots now.” It’s in the appeal process.
Glover says this is the same situation of council stopping free and legal use of property. Larkin is stopped by predetermination, and we will be construed to have denied free and legal use of property to Jim Larkin. It will eventually cost the city more.
Glover then expanded his discussion to his chosen financial advisor Calvin Grigsby, He showed great passion and frustration for and along with Grigsby.
Glover said, “I understand his frustration as an individual … for someone who has done nothing but help the city of Shreveport…”
According to Glover, the Shreveport “charge card has been taken up to the max.” Glover stated, “ I found that $650,000,000 was the number and Grigsby helped with an adjustable rate mortgage. The interest rate indicated we had a $150,000 monthly convention center/hotel payment and it went up to $450,000 a month because of credit swaps that Grigsby fixed.” According to Glover, the credit default swap fees were not overseen by anyone. Grigsby fixed the ticking time bomb and was the only one who agreed to identify and fix the problem.
Glover explained the numbers as seen by a homeowner who is facing bankruptcy. The team of mayors office saw how Grigsby extricated city from the challenges. The largest bond proposal in history was put together by Grigsby and he saved us money to keep us viable. The A+ bond rating and management practices were upgraded from standard to good and we received the lowest interest rate ever in 2011 in state of 3.?? Percent. It was the lowest amount of total fees. .02% of 1% and the lowest cost for a year of anyone in state. 31:030 time code. 32:20 street money discussed. “I know how a council member mind works to divide up the money available.” District C used for one street. Glover held up the process to show what was being done. Carol street work was the cent of attention.
Far more was discussed and readers may view the contents when they are posted on YouTube.