SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A $186 million bond proposal is now in the hands of Shreveport voters.
On Tuesday the Shreveport City Council voted 4-3 put the proposal on the November 16 ballot.
The proposal was originally well over $200 million but was trimmed down by the City Council.
The proposal includes funding for a new headquarters for the Shreveport Police Department.
The bond proposal brought debate inside Shreveport City Council Tuesday night, leaving District E Councilman James Flurry as the swing vote.
“I could vote with the four and kill this thing but it’s not the right thing to do. We need to have democracy! Let it go to the ballot and let the people decide!”
Voting with him were councilman Willie Bradford, Jerry Bowman, and James Green.
“Doctor King wrote in a letter and some of you would understand, that oftentimes that when people tell us to wait, it usually means never. This is the time to do it. Waiting… I promise you if we want there’s going to be more excuses,” said Bradford, District A.
“I just wish everyone could come together and do whatever we can to make this city a better place, but I’ll be supporting it in hopes we can get some things done,” Green said, District F.
Voting against were the newer council members-Levette Fuller, John Nicholson and Grayson Boucher, saying they support the public safety parts but think a ballot vote should be postponed.
“I feel like District D to a certain extent has been left out for many years and you can’t say it’s because of urban sprawl,” said Boucher, District D.
“I do feel we need and deserve more specifics,” said Fuller, District B.
The bond proposal spends 6.2 mills in expiring bonds to cover police, fire, street and drainage upgrades. While the council decided Monday night to cut out the parts for smart city technology and economic development in order to make it more appealing to the council members who were against it along with citizens who may vote for it now that it is cheaper.
Which disappointed Mayor Adrian Perkins who said he would be a “broken record” would not raise taxes.
“So I’ve the neglect we’ve heard about in these neighborhoods. I don’t have to like drive-by it to see it. It’s been a lived experience. I was blessed enough to go off to West Point and fight for this country, to see the world and go to Harvard Law School and what alarmed me in seeing all that… is I felt the world was passing Shreveport by,” Perkins said.
Now that the bond proposal has passed, Mayor Perkins will spend the next several months selling it to the public to get them on board to pass it on the ballot.