Will New Law Prevent Shreveport’s Mayor From Doing His Job?
In 2019, the Shreveport City Council passed a measure to give the council oversight on city contracts. The ordinance would have required Council approval for any contract over $1 million dollars. Mayor Adrian Perkins veto'd the measure saying it "would have impeded his administration's operations."
At the time, the council attempted to override the veto. But it takes 5 votes to override a Mayoral veto and the override vote was 4-3. Jerry Bowman, Willie Bradford and James Green sided with the mayor.
Fast forward to 2022 and the council passed a very similar measure. This ordinance requires council approval for any contract above $1 million. It passed on Dec 31 at the 8am meeting, and Perkins signed it before he left office at noon... which happened to be his last day in office. It's disappointing to think that this might have been done on purpose.
Because the ordinance was passed and signed before Arceneaux was sworn in, he had no chance to veto this one.
The measure in 2019 was more than likely instigated by then Mayor Perkins' actions to change the city's insurance AOR (Agent on Record) to Roddrelle Sykes, a personal friend of the mayor. According to a report from thecentersquare.com:
A staff member for then incoming Mayor Perkins directed city officials to change the AOR for excess workers' compensation over $750,000 from Risk Services Louisiana, Inc. to 3rd Millennium Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. in late December 2018 and assign Roddrelle Sykes as the AOR. AORs aren't the actual insurance provider, but instead broker the coverage.
When asked about the contract being signed as the previous mayor was leaving office, Mayor Arceneaux told KEEL News on Friday:
"I think it was passed at 8 o'clock in the morning, so he had to have signed it before noon..." Arceneaux then stated, "We can live with that... I tend to have a good working relationship with the city council, and keep them informed... so I'm in hopes that that will simply be another means for us to be able to stay in communication with each other."