The possibilities of and limits to what Republican Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux can do quickly have become apparent – and voters this weekend may make his life more difficult still.
Arceneaux succeeded Democrat Adrian Perkins, who from the very start when he didn’t appear distracted or disinterested in governing wanted to hook up allies and/or pursue a quasi-progressive agenda at the expense of mundane but needed city tasks, behavior that produced a steady stream of drama. By contrast, Arceneaux already has made the trains run on time and stressed accomplishing the basics without latching onto pie-in-the-sky ideas.
In his first three months in office he appropriately handled a suspicious police shooting that has led to charges against the former officer, who recently resigned. He demurred over a project to bring professional baseball back to Shreveport that Perkins had hyped in the final days of his failed reelection bid. He junked another Perkins tout, a real-time crime center, as it appears it didn’t operate by statute because of security concerns, and will reevaluate the idea. He began the process of reviewing city policy about use of parks for private functions, which for years has allowed a for-profit festival to take place in one that he seemed to know little about. And he expeditiously set in motion getting city pools open on time later in the spring; last year, under Perkins the city initially yanked the contract from the long-time operator because it appeared not to have enough racial diversity in its management only to restore that under public criticism after the initial winner backed out over the controversy, which caused a late start.