And it's much more than the just a “explain to me what you do before you leave the building” walk-through.
Last week Shreveport Mayor-elect Perkins named a 14-member transition advisory board.
Its members were both local and from out of town. They consisted of business, military, legal and academic people.
Termed a “transition management organization” this group is charged with overseeing the development of “white paper” policy report to be released in the first quarter of next year.
Perkins is seeking an analysis of Shreveport’s government in terms of the services provided and operational policies. Additionally, he expects to have goals and objectives for his four-year term.
The transition organization will soon have a website that sets forth various committees and the opportunities for citizens to volunteer to assist.
New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell followed a similar course of action after her August 2017 election.
Her team produced a 130 page plus report titled “Forward Together New Orleans.” It contained reports from committees on infrastructure, public safety, neighborhood stabilization, healthy families, economic development and government operations.
Cantrell released the report a few days before her May 2018 inauguration. Cantrell said that it would be a guide for her administration.
The Cantrell transition team was criticized for not having any public participation after it had promised to send out surveys to residents and to hold at least one public meeting.
The New Orleans media complained of no interim briefings before the findings were released. People who worked on the various committees were bound to not discuss their work by non-disclosure agreements that did not expire until after the report was released.
The Forward Together team obtained input from over 250 people.
Perkins has yet to announce the actual scope of his expected report. This will most likely be decided on early January when the transition team is operational.
Cantrell had the benefit of a five-month transition period after her election before she was sworn in as mayor.
Perkins only has a scant three weeks after his election before taking office on Saturday, Dec. 29.
Perkins and his advisors hit the ground running after his Dec. 8 victory. They have met with outgoing Mayor Tyler and city department heads. They have also requested documents.
Perkins is basically creating his own playbook for the changing of the guard at city hall.
The city does not have a policy procedure guide for a change in mayoral administrations. Perkins intends to develop one.
Expect Perkins to officially announce key officials in his administration shortly after his inauguration, if not before.
His goal is to “get it right the first time” as he moves into the mayor’s office, names staff and decides department heads.
From all indications, he is doing just that.
(This article will be/was published in The Shreveport Times of Sunday, December 23, 2018)