SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - It’s already been an eventful term for newly elected Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins.
And we’re only a little more than 100 days into his term in office.
In Part II of KSLA News 12′s conversation with the political newcomer, reporter Jeff Ferrell shows us how the mayor is grappling with controversies he’s already facing - including two this week alone.
Spend just a few minutes with Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins and he’ll be glad to tell you all about early victories in economic development and technology upgrades in his first 100 days in office.
Then there’s the issue of public safety. “I would give myself a B+ but that’s more so because of the work, the hard work that the men and women in uniform are doing. Our first responders have been doing a phenomenal job.”
Perkins largely credits community-oriented policing for the 9 percent drop in violent crime so far this year, along with a renewed emphasis on officers engaging with the public. He offered a few examples.
“If you see kids outside make sure you stop and talk to them. See how they’re doing. You see, you know, grandparents sitting out on the porch you really want to get to know them. So, it’s more of a cultural implementation than it is like, 'hey, we just wrote down a policy.”
But Perkins faces multiple controversies this week. The first, his plan to remove three members of the Airport Authority Board. The A-G’s office now says the mayor can’t do that before their term expires.
At the Monday, April 22 city council work session, Perkins asked for a two-week delay for confirmation votes on two appointments to the airport board to secure federal funding before making board changes.
Councilors also became upset with the mayor for paying a $250,000 service fee to the city’s new insurance carrier Frost Insurance.
That’s despite the vote by council members during an emergency meeting last week. At the work session councilman, James Flurry expressed his displeasure.
"We have to have rules and regulations that will be followed if we pass them as a council. If we don’t, we’re the laughingstock in town.”
But Perkins told the council his administration is simply following the charter and the law.
Some worry whether these early confrontations could be a harbinger of what’s to come. Or, they could simply be speed bumps on the road to success in Perkins’ term as mayor. Observers acknowledge time will tell here at city hall.
As for more self-assessment, Perkins also gave himself a “B+” in implementing new technology - and a "B" for Economic Development.
Perkins told Jeff it’s much too early to even be thinking about an A-grade yet, especially with so much work yet to do over the next 3-and-a- half years.