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John came to Shreveport in January of 1977 when he was transferred to Barksdale AFB.

He’s been active in Shreveport politics since deciding to make Shreveport his home.

John practiced law for 40 years and he now monitors local politics. He regularly attends Shreveport City Council and Caddo Parish Commission meetings.

John is published weekly in The Inquisitor, bi-monthly in The Forum News, and frequently in the Shreveport Times.

He enjoys addressing civic groups on local government issues and elections.



That’s the proposal that Tim Magner, President of the Greater Shreveport Chamber made to Caddo Commission committee recently. And he will soon be making it to the Shreveport City Council.

The proposal is for the city and the parish to jointly contract with the Shreveport Chamber for economic development. The cost for each is $250 grand per year. The Chamber will raise another $250 grand from the private business sector.

The Chamber’s plan is to focus solely on Shreveport and Caddo Parish. It includes an economic development marketing program, a community marketing program and lobbying in Baton Rouge and Washington D.C.

Magner’s power point presentation lists the many local economic development efforts that are not coordinated. He says the whole does not equal the sum of the parts. His list includes the city, the parish, North Louisiana Economic Partnership, the Downtown Development Agency, Entrepreneurial Assistance Program. CoHab, Sports Commission, Biomed Research Foundation, Committee of 100, Barksdale Forward, and many others.

Magner notes that a chamber lead initiative would put Shreveport/Caddo on the same footing as surrounding parishes. He points to the Greater Bossier Economic Development Agency/Bossier Chamber, the Minden Economic Development Agency/Minden Chamber, the Natchitoches Community Alliance, among others.

The Chamber’s program features a business development one shop. Existing chamber programs such as The Northwest Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Small Business Development Center, Service Corps of Retired Executives are in place.

The Chamber would create a business ombudsman to facilitate communication between business, the city, the parish and the state. The ombudsman would work with government agencies to resolve business problems (red tape), conduct research to provide government with information on the business climate, and the impact of government actions, etc.

Magner also wants to create a Start-up Sherpa program to help guide new start-up efforts. The Sherpa would work with the Start-Up Prize, serve as a central clearing house and case manager for start-ups, and develop networks and resources to support new business development.

A major component of the proposal is community branding. Magner suggests that Shreveport/Caddo be known as the Capital of the Arklatex.

He notes that this area is already the capital of commerce, culture, food, festivals, transportation, healthcare, and higher education. Magner says this moniker has many benefits: targets multiple demographics, develops external understanding and internal pride, leverages regional footprint and provides consistency.

The reception by commission committee was muted, at best. How he fares with Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins and the Shreveport City Council will be interesting, to say the least.