I've said from the very beginning that quite possibly the greatest thing Mayor Adrian Perkins will do as mayor is hire Keith Hanson. Hanson is the City's first Chief Technology Officer and he is killing it at his job. From working with industry to ensure they have an educated work force to putting the city budget online for all to see to making sure your water bill is correct, Keith is just on it and knocking it out of the park.

And one of his latest things really sets the city up in a big way for the future. Small, black cell towers are being strategically placed throughout the city. The new antennas will not only improve cell signal and connection speeds for near by areas, but the new towers will automatically switch over to 5G when service providers make that change. Additionally, the towers will be used to help implement future smart city initiatives. Back in 2018, the Caddo Commission passed a resolution to allow telecom companies to install these kinds of towers.

Now, I know to some people everything I just wrote in the previous paragraph is gibberish. But, really, you don't have to understand it. You just have to know its a good thing. To kind of sum it up quickly, the world is ever changing. And in a lot of instances, Shreveport is behind the curve every time it does. But not this time. This time, we're actually out in front and set up for years to come.

And not only will you have better cellphone/internet reception because of it (which you will), but the city will be able to function more efficiently. Basically, once the technological infrastructure is built, instead of paying dozens of people or outside companies to monitor things in the city, a guy behind a computer can do it. They can keep an eye on street lights, security cameras, traffic lights...its more or less Alexa for City Government, if that makes any sense.

Not only will you be alerted when there is a problem, but you'll be made of issues that haven't even happened yet. The things these systems can do are amazing. And these new towers are the first steps towards that. Mayor Perkins, regardless of what you think about him at the moment, has a clear vision of what he wants from Shreveport in this regard and Keith Hanson is working his butt off to make that vision a reality. A reality not only for the Mayor's resume but for all of us.

Smart Cities are safer and more efficient. Maybe, more importantly, major companies are flocking to smart cities and creating major economic opportunity. This is a really, really good thing. We got a lot of ground to cover in a lot of different areas...but for once, were in front of the tides of change. We may not be leading the way but we're not in dead last for once.

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