If Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler or the Shreveport City Council had a magic wand, what would they wish for?
A proposed billion dollar development on Cross Bayou or safe streets?
Would they want to fund infrastructure improvements for Cross Bayou or for more law enforcement assistance to mitigate murders—and find the criminals?
Councilman Willie Bradford has partnered with Caddo Commissioner Steven Jackson to ask the Parish to fund a $1 million high tech crime detection system. They have not bothered to talk to Mayor Tyler or Shreveport Police Chief Crump to see if this system is even wanted.
Bradford has also requested that Governor John Bel Edwards provide law enforcement assistance to Shreveport.
Bradford has also sponsored a Council resolution pushing Tyler to sign a requested Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Cross Bayou. The vote will be Tuesday, May 22.
The MOU clearly states that significant public (as in the City of Shreveport) infrastructure improvements will be needed to complete the proposed project.
Bradford represents the Martin Luther King (MLK) area of Shreveport. He has repeatedly advised the Council that this area is like a third world country with deteriorating streets, open drainage ditches and urban blight.
His Cross Bayou resolution does not address these critical issues in his district, nor does it provide any tangential benefits for this area.
Parts of Queensborough suffer the same urban ills, and many streets look like Puerto Rico after the recent hurricane. Bradford shares this area with Council Jerry Bowman who has also taken the lead on labeling the city’s current murder rate a crisis.
Cedar Grove is another area of the city with poor streets, open drainage ditches, and urban blight. Other than a long bus ride, what will the Cross Bayou project provide for this depressed area?
Viewed through rose tinted glasses, the proposed development may benefit the City that may pay for all the infrastructure costs.
With unfiltered vision, it is apparent that signing the MOU is not prudent. It is going down a road that will be a dead end trail.
Simply put, this MOU distraction is certainly not needed when the City is struggling with crime, more crime, and more crime.