What Is the Plan to Get Rid of Blight in Shreveport?
Over the past 2 weeks, I've been noticing several things in Shreveport that are simply unsightly. It started with tall grass along 3132 and now I've been driving through several neighborhoods to see what's being done about cleaning up our city.
I found an Ordinance from 2004 that calls for the creation of a Blight elimination team. Members of this team are appointed from several different agencies. I wondered if this team existed and what are they doing. So I inquired with several city leaders.
Councilman Jerry Bowman sent me this about the Blight Elimination Team:
"I asked about that team 3+ years ago and was told by the then Property Standards Director and the then Public Works Director ( whom both are no longer with the City anymore) that it no longer existed."
Mayor Tyler has put together a comprehensive report about cleaning up Shreveport and I just got that from her on Thursday.
The Mayor says
The City of Shreveport is constantly working to improve its services and the overall quality of life for its citizens. I appreciate your questions regarding the Blight Elimination Team outlined in the Code of Ordinances and would like to draw your attention to several initiatives and laws that this administration has championed over the past three years. One of the first campaigns launched by my administration was the “Don’t Be Trashy, Keep It Classy,” effort. We have continually focused on addressing blight throughout our community. Although the ordinance you referenced is still “on the books,” many of the provisions contained in it are inadequate, outdated or have never been put into practice.
Tyler went on to explain that In 2015 she offered a more comprehensive policy approach to the Louisiana Legislature in the form of the Shreveport Implementation and Redevelopment Authority (SIRA). This Authority has been appointed with members from various groups throughout the City. She says one of the primary missions is to assist the City in eliminating blight.
Tyler also touted her campaign “Don’t be Trashy, Keep it Classy… Shreveport is Home.” Tyler says several beautification initiatives have helped improve conditions in the city.
She says "We have continued our efforts to combat litter and blight with strategies that include increased cleanup efforts and crews through our Public Works Department; increased citing of offenders; using judicial sentences of community service for individuals to pick up trash along roadways; involving Caddo Parish Schools; enlisting additional civic groups and neighborhood associations to play a role; increased inspections and citing of businesses that allow trash to accumulate around their property; and more."
Tyler also sent us these charts about the efforts to clean up the city since she left office:
We did get this comment from Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch about the Mayor's report: "Lies and alibis."