What Does Mayor Perkins Need to Do to Sell Bond Proposal?
Watching the Bond Proposal work its way through the City Council has been fascinating. It started at $220 Million. Then after some push back from the Council, got dropped to $186 million. And literally, up until the vote was over, I wasn't 100% sure how it was going to go. Eventually, the Council voted 4-3 to pass the measure on to the voters, who will either vote it up or down on the November 16th ballot.
Now, to me, this is one things are going to get the most interesting. Because now Mayor Adrian Perkins and his administration are going to have to sell this thing to the general public. Which, given Perkins' first few months in office, is going to be quite the undertaking.
Look, I've said this before and I'll say it again, I like Adrian Perkins. He's a smart kid. But, he's working in a world that is completely new to him and I think, in several instances, he's gotten some bad advice and had to learn the hard way about the ways of the world. With all that said, he is learning and is getting better.
However, it would seem that the thing he and his administration struggle with the most is selling things to the public. And, personally, I think its because the Mayor hasn't really been in front of people nearly enough. Different people have different takes on Adrian and his personality, but I've never found him to be anything less than charming and engaging.
I think he's got every tool in the world to make people buy into what he's selling. Hell, he got a bunch of people including Republicans to vote for him and elect him as Mayor with no political experience whatsoever. But, for whatever reason, he quit getting in front of folks. I don't know if its bad advice, if he's busy doing stuff behind the scenes and not letting us know...I don't know. I don't know what he's up to. But whatever he's doing, isn't helping build a relationship with the general public (or according to some Council members, with them).
What I do know is that if he wants to get ANYTHING other than the public safety portion of this bond proposal passed, he's going to have to be everywhere, all the time. He needs to be on KEEL a lot. He needs to be on TV. He needs to be at town halls. He needs to be shaking hands and kissing babies with everyone in this city. I think AP can sell this thing and get the ball rolling on his vision.
But he better, for once, get out in front of this thing. Facebook infographics aren't going to cut it this time. Relying on the people on his staff to push the narrative isn't going to work. Adrian Perkins, himself, has got to press flesh and turn on that charm or else the funding for his vision of Shreveport will be dead.
The ball is in his court and I think we're going to see if he sinks or swims.