Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins talks about the upcoming bond proposal vote and why its passing is "critical" to the future of the city.

'Critical is an understatement,' says the Mayor

"Critical would be an understatement," says the Mayor, emphasizing the importance of the $242 million in borrowing, "We're talking about our streets, we're talking about our water and sewer system where we're just waiting for something like last February to happen again, and we're talking about public safety. We know we're on a record year for violent crime and we need to invest in our police and first responders to make our city safer."

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But critics say we already have the money

But how does the Mayor respond to opposition to the bonds, specifically the criticism that the city has enough in reserve and COVID relief from the federal government to cover what Perkins says are the city's needs? "I've looked at our bills, the cost of our water and sewer system and our deferred maintenance...and our water and sewer system alone, we're talking about a billion dollar problem. No way...are we going to get a billion dollars from the federal government. It is fiscally prudent for us to use local, state and and federal dollars for us to meet (that) price tag. We can't just wait on the federal government. We have to act at the local level. We have to take care of ourselves"

Here's everything Mayor Perkins told KEEL:

Is this a 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down' on Perkins performance?

And what about the Mayor's critics who say the bond issue is a referendum on Perkins and his administration? "I strongly disagree," he says, "This bond election isn't about a particular person, it's about what our city wants to do moving forward. This bond election is addressing problems from (previous) leadership. I've only been here for three years, so it will be a referendum on a whole lot of people if we reject it."

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