New Shreveport mayor Adrian Perkins took office on December 29.
In his inaugural address he promised to seek an international airport designation for the Shreveport regional airport, to remove Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) red tape, and work to make Shreveport a transportation hub.
The airport authority has four citizens appointed members.
The MPC has a nine member board. Four members are appointed by the mayor. One member is a joint appointment with the Caddo Commission. The other four members are Caddo Commission appointees.
The port of Shreveport Bossier has nine commissioners. Five of these are appointed by the city of Shreveport.
In theory these board members supervise MPC interim executive Director Alan Clarke, airport executive director Henry Thompson and port executive director Eric England.
Each of these respective bodies have been subject to well founded public criticism. Each is funded by Shreveport tax dollars. Each have important roles in the vitality of Shreveport’s economy.
Mayor Perkins is entitled to have his own appointees on all these boards. All of these members should promptly tender letters of resignation.
The members of the Property Standards Board , the Architect & Engineering Committee, and other committees/commissions should follow suit.
Then the new mayor can decide which persons should remain on these boards.
If Perkins is going to be successful in re-vitalizing the Shreveport economy, he should have all the tools to do so in his tool box. This includes the flexibility to appoint new citizens to these important positions.
(This article was published in The Inquisitor on Friday, January 4, 2019)