Cross BayouElliott StonecipherLocalNews

CITY COUNCIL RESCUES CROSS BAYOU POINT OP

By:
  • Elliot Stonecipher

CITY COUNCIL RESCUES CROSS BAYOU POINT OP

Last September 12th, the Shreveport City Council voted unanimously to shut-down the secretly designed plan of Mayor Ollie Tyler to “develop” the Cross Bayou area north of downtown.

Before taxpayers could take a deep breath, a small group of local pols and marketing folks called “GDC,” for Gateway Development Consortium, came up with their version called Cross Bayou Point.

Compared to this thing, Mayor Tyler’s plan was stellar.

This one would, these mega-players say, ultimately cost $1 billion dollars.

It, too, has gone over like a lead balloon, owing to the mix of its partners, no word on how much money the City of Shreveport would have to cough up, and the strong smell of a something more akin to a rig-job than a real and true plan for development.

After all, no one else in six decades-plus has figured out how to develop “Cross Bayou.”

Regardless, the “plan” made it to a City Council vote today.

It was very difficult to watch city government in such a state of utter confusion.

When the smoke cleared, a redoing (amendment) of the GDC plan – the one for a “MOU” with the City of Shreveport – passed by a vote of 4-3.

That amended agreement, most official folks seem to think, is certainly not the originally intended MOU, but it certainly keeps GDC’s hopes alive. Now, supposedly, they must meet a list of specific requirements the City Council has come up with.

The lead pusher of the mess was none other than Councilman Willie Bradford. Up until the last couple of days, he was thought to be the lone vote in support of the GDC deal (joined by the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and NAACP, we learned in today’s meeting).

City Hall officials joining Bradford in the “amending” and keeping GDC’s hopes alive were Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch, City Attorney William Bradford and Council Clerk Arthur Thompson.

Finally casting votes with Bradford / Lynch were Councilman James Flurry (a Republican) and Council Chair Jerry Bowman, Jr.

Veteran Councilmen Oliver Jenkins, Michael Corbin and Jeff Everson knew better and voted no.

Ironically, what passed by that 4-3 vote is specifically written to greenlight Mayor Ollie Tyler to do some deal with GDC, but Tyler made it abundantly clear in the meeting – more than once – that she does NOT want what GDC is peddling, and simply will not take point in any such effort.

Clearly, that does not bother Willie Bradford or the three other Council members who threw in with him.

Gladly, I decided not to watch the proceedings in person, and defaulted to the television broadcast. Now all I have to do is figure out what actually happened …

… other than breathing life into an awful, terrible deal for the City of Shreveport, otherwise headed to the graveyard of bad government close calls.

© 2018 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Joel Rodgers

Joel Rodgers joined RealShreveport.com in January 2018 as a reporter/journalist. Prior to joining our team, Joel spent the previous 5 years as a morning show reporter, entertainment reporter, and sports reporter for a local television station. At 6’5”, he's the tallest reporter in the history of Shreveport, but it’s more than just his height that makes this Shreveport native stand out. His editing skills combined with his love for storytelling makes for a creative and talented addition to the RealShreveport team. After attending and graduating from Evangel Christian Academy, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern State University. Joel is very active in the Shreveport community having won several competitions in recent years. In 2017, he danced his way to victory in the annual Susan G. Komen event, “Dancing for the Cure." He’s also won the “Mudbug Madness” Crawfish eating contest in back-to-back years and was named the top celebrity chef at the “Louisiana Food Prize” cooking competition. If you have a story idea, news tip, or just want to say "hey" - you can do so by emailing Joel Rodgers at jrodgers@realshreveport.com

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