Why I Have Accepted a Spot on Shreveport’s A&E Committee
If I am confirmed by the Shreveport City Council next week, I will begin serving on the city's Architectural and Engineering Committee. This is the panel that makes recommendations to the mayor on professional services contracts.
Mayor Ollie Tyler approached me a week ago about serving on a committee for the city and I told her I would be interested. I also told her local concerned citizens have lots of questions about the A&E committee and how it functions. There have been many allegations of shady deals going back for several years. I haven't seen any claims of recent problems with the committee, but the Mayor's 2 appointees have been on the panel for many years (long before Tyler took office).
Tyler contacted me and asked if I would seriously consider serving. I prayed about it and I got in touch with several people who could give me some advice. I had 2 serious concerns:
1. I have no experience in these 2 fields.
2 Could this be an effort by the Mayor to curry favor with me during an election year.
If I could get the answers to these 2 concerns, I would be honored to serve. Someone with knowledge of how this committee works told me I didn't need to know about architecture or engineering. It was most important that I would study the proposals and make a recommendation based on what is best for the city. In fact, the Mayor told me she did not want to put someone on the committee from those two fields because they may have connections to local companies.
The Mayor and I had a long discussion about the political angle. She told me the primary reason she wants me on the committee is because I will speak my mind and that I have "integrity". While I appreciated her comments, I still wanted to make sure in my mind that she was not trying to use me during what will be her re-election bid. I told her that this appointment will in no way impact what I do on the radio. I will continue to be critical of things going on at city hall if I think the criticism is warranted. I am confident she understands this.
What I do bring to the table is a keen eye for detail and a willingness to do what is best for the city I love. If anything unethical happens during my tenure on this committee, you can bet I will shine a bright light on it.
I do have to go before the Shreveport City Council on Monday to be confirmed and I do expect to be questioned thoroughly. That's their job and I welcome any questions they may have.