Political commentary peaks the interest on some casual observers, yet it strikes fear in some who are defensive of candidates whose election will determine their paycheck of the influence they have in monies expensed by the system. It still goes back to the saying: “bite that hand that feeds you, and you won’t eat very well.” Citizens, particularly those who vote, must admit that their democratic right to vote is being manipulated by too many whose seat at the table needs to be questioned. Blame and guilt now seem to be the driving force for at least one of the front runners in the mayoral race.
What I observe in the “Double-Dip” controversy of Patrick Williams is just like the Mary Landrieu travel expenditure complaint. If you complain about one candidate, i.e. as the Tea Party is of Mary Landrieu, you can’t turn around and forgive Patrick Williams for seemingly the same submission for reimbursements for the same expense to two separate reimbursement sources – FOR FULL REIMBURSEMENTS.
Paying attention to discussion of the mayoral campaign, voters must certainly recognize that there are serious questions about campaign funding and money collected to run for this office and the motivation of candidates and their backers.. This gap in understanding is natural, those of us who study the candidates, their backers, funders and workers have a difficult time knowing the players without a scorecard, and we have training in scoring these things! Political workers, candidates and those who work in government have become far less public-minded and far more profit minded for special interests, or at least it seems easier to detect the money trail. The cost of paying for those who bring you the best that local money is producing more expensive city services and too much “shrinkage” in what we get for them cost.
I feel the need to repeat some statements I previously made about this campaign. All who live within the city limits require services from the city, which include fire and police protection, water, trash and other sanitation services, roads, traffic control and infrastructure and a legal and support system that is defined by the city charter and state regulations. These services are paid for by property taxes, court assessed fees, sales taxes and assorted assessments that add up to one of the highest municipal costs per capita in Louisiana. It shouldn’t be rocket surgery to figure out a more efficient way to get these services for the money we currently collect.
There are currently four leading candidates who might reasonably be expected to have the capacity to fulfill the office of mayor, assuming health, vetting and making it to election day and thru a probable run-off. But citizens deserve a few answers to nagging questions that haven’t been asked at any forum. I want to propose they make formal written answers to these wither on their websites or through other publicly available posting. The current “leaders” who should step up are: Sam Jenkins, Victoria Provenza, Ollie Tyler and Patrick Williams.
These questions are based on the background, personal history that the general public would feel that a clarification would make voters feel better about the ability to serve citizens for each candidate. These are from nagging questions the media and public have, and honest answers would benefit all citizens.
Do you have any health issues that would impede your ability to personally perform the rigorous requirements of being mayor of Shreveport?
What issues regarding current or former former spouse(s) should the public know and are there any issues about them you cannot discuss?
Would you provide a personal financial statement and is there anything in your personal or family finances that would impede your independence as mayor?
Who are your primary backers in terms of finance and expectations they may have?
Who do you plan on bringing to city government in terms of a) Who or what departments needs to be cleaned up. b) Who are you bringing into city government into the administrative team?
Specifically how will known shortfalls in city finances be addressed and can you give details for how you will address these?
Shreveport seems to have had a problem in the current mayor’s administration with real transparency for the public. No Candidate has yet stood up to admit the truths of current problems on all these topics. Mayor Glover, consistently has given long-winded diatribes blaming everyone, especially the city council. It‘s time the public demand from those seeking to fix the system their views of the true condition the current mayor will leave the city.
Shreveport may not be over the proverbial cliff, but the candidates could benefit by informing citizens how they plan to fix things. The truth can’t hurt, and preparing a plan by those seeking the office should tell us about their proposal and more about who they really are as potential successors to Glover.