It’s refreshing when a politician actually follows up on his campaign promises. Such is the case with newly inaugurated councilman Grayson Boucher.
Boucher is a former rural fire district chief. In his race last year he promised to push for pay raises for Shreveport police and fireman.
He is now trying to incorporate this pledge into the proposed Clean City User fee proposed by Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins.
The so-called "garbage fee" is to raise the pay of garbage truck drivers, offset the $9 million (plus) subsidy of the sold waste department and increase the woefully inadequate city reserves.
Mayor Perkins and the council have all agreed that the sanitation funding needs to be addressed now. Additionally, they concur with Perkin’s concern of a city bond rating decrease because of inadequate reserves.
Perkins repeated has advised the council that he is open to negotiations. His staff has promptly provided information requested by council members.
Perkins promised during his campaign to address the pay issue for Shreveport police and firemen. There is no reason to doubt that this in not high on his agenda.
In less than 40 days on the job, he has made major departmental changes. And his proposed garbage fee is a contentious issue that he has tackled head-on.
The fee discussion is very complex—without the additional dialogue about police/fire pay. Pushing for inclusion of pay raise funding could delay, if not scuttle ,the ordinance set for a vote on Feb. 12.
Boucher should not condition his vote on an issue that needs comprehensive review. Furthermore he should allow the mayor a reasonable time to address police/fire pay.