Shreveport's City Charter has a provision in it that names the Chairman of the City Council as Mayor Pro Tem when the Mayor is out of state. This is not as uncommon as you might imagine.

We found similar verbiage in the charters of a couple of other cities. In Monroe, the charter says

During the temporary absence of the mayor from the City, the mayor shall designate, by letter filed with the clerk of the council, a qualified officer or employee in the executive branch to serve as acting mayor.

The Lafayette charter says

When the Mayor-President1 is absent from and unavailable to Lafayette Parish for more than 48 hours, the powers and duties of the office of Mayor-President1 shall be exercised by the chair of the Council

The language in the Shreveport Charter is more specific. Here's what it says about the absence of the Mayor:

The chairman of the council shall serve as mayor pro tem and, as such, shall perform the duties and be vested with the powers of the office of mayor:

(a)Whenever so requested by the mayor;
(b)During any period when the mayor has been declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be incapacitated;
(c)When the mayor is suspended from office, or is absent from the State of Louisiana, or when the council has determined that his whereabouts are unknown; and
(d)When the office of mayor is vacant.

We wondered if Louisiana has a similar measure when the Governor goes out of town. Here's what's in the State Constitution:

19. Temporary Absences

Section 19. When the governor is temporarily absent from the state, the lieutenant governor shall act as governor. When any other statewide elected official is temporarily absent from the state, the appointed first assistant shall act in his absence.

What do you think? Should the Shreveport Charter be changed?

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