Shreveport City Council discusses purchasing agent power


A proposed ordinance stirs confusion and passionate concerns at Tuesday’s Shreveport City Council meeting.

An ordinance about the city’s purchasing agent became a discussion on discrimination.

Councilman John Nickelson said he was advised by the City Attorney that the city’s purchasing agent rules needed updating. So he presented an ordinance to revise it which passed.

One amendment would have required the City Administration to come to City Council for approval for all contracts and expenditures more than 500-thousand dollars. He said that’s common in other cities and it would allow the public to see who is being contracted. However, it was withdrawn today because people spoke out how it would discriminate against minority contractors. 

“I can’t imagine why any group of people would think that an ordinance that requires City Council approval for expenditures over 500-thousand dollars would disadvantaged a particular group of people. That was not the intention of the ordinance and that would not have its effect has it passed,” Nickelson said. 

Nickelson spoke out during the meeting saying he was attacked on social media being called “Stalin” and racist for the ordinance. 

While people at the meeting spoke about how the council was trying to limit Mayor Adrian Perkins authority and pass laws that disadvantage minorities. 

Councilman Nickelson said he will revisit that amendment at a later date and work with the council to compromise on a cap limit for contracts. 

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