Why do we have such a high level of crime? Is it that we need more police? That we need to pay them more? Is the department being managed efficiently? As a person involved in business, I think it can be beneficial to get an outside perspective. I would support an independent audit of the department to identify areas for improvement and implementation of best practices in law enforcement. We need to search for new ways of addressing the issue of crime in District C and throughout the city.
Another concern is our city’s appearance. I’m sure you are as appalled as I am at litter and a lack of attention to property standards in our district. How can we polish our appearance and give ourselves a greater sense of pride? The “Don’t be trashy-keep it classy” bumper stickers may have articulated the message, but we need to articulate a plan with some teeth in it. We need enforceable fines for not adhering to very simple standards and a plan for those who are physically unable to maintain the property they own.
And there’s probably not a person here who hasn’t complained about our infrastructure – city streets and drainage. While the city streets are crumbling, what’s under the streets is crumbling faster. There is nothing sexy for taxpayers about a drainage system, which is why it has been neglected for so long. We have made some progress here in recent years, but the money allocated won’t go far enough. We need to work on long-term solutions to assure updates are continuously made to our infrastructure here and throughout the city’s neighborhoods.
While I want to represent District C, I also want to be an advocate for our city and for downtown. I believe that thriving neighborhoods and thriving downtown development are both essential to a prosperous city. Some of the things that keep us from thriving generate from downtown – in city and parish government. We look across the river and see governmental agencies working together and getting projects done, welcoming businesses and helping them. I’m tired of hearing about businesses that were frustrated in their development by lack of support from governmental agencies here. A business-friendly environment may be evident at the chamber of commerce – but we need to be sure it can continue from there. And while we’re at it, let’s look at what we can do to work with Bossier City so that we both benefit. We need to be partners, not rivals.