Veto Distraction? - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Veto Distraction?

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There are plenty of issues facing the city of Shreveport today, from streets to water and sewerage. But oftentimes you hear about the political fight over issues like the dog park. We asked city officials and tax payers if the vetoes and over-rides on issues take away from what the city really needs.

Caroline Newell lives in the Emberwood Community. Recently her neighborhood was the topic of a city council issue because a new business is moving into the area and people who live nearby are concerned about traffic becoming too heavy among other things. "The fighting back and forth between the council and the mayor is very ineffective. We have a large traffic concern that didn't get the time and attention it needs and unfortunately someone's going to have to die before we get a traffic study. But if they're bogged down with political games then it's just stall tactics going back and forth then it detracts from the real issues that are going on."

There have been a few issues before city officials that have been challenged, from paying the city's financial advisor to the dog park case, which is still being played out in court. Both items came before glover and were vetoed but council over-rode those vetoes. Critics say city officials are spending too much time on those issues when there are other issues that need attention. Michael Corbin is the City Council Chairman. "Right now the city council has a lot of issues that are before it and there's a lot of conflict if you will between city council and the administration. All these little things, that we're spending a lot of time on, how much is that taking away from larger issues, from dealing with infrastructure problems, dealing with water and sewer, dealing with streets."

Oliver Jenkins is the City Councilman for District C. He says Council and Mayor Glover are working together to come to a common ground on issues facing the city, but sometimes they simply disagree. "I do think that we've had a fair amount of vetoes and over-rides of vetoes and I think that's very different than what goes on across the river. It's really difficult if, when council enacts legislation and it's not carried out by the executive body. The bigger issue happens, he vetoes legislation, we override the veto and in my mind we just should be moving down the road at that point."

Mayor Cedric Glover says it goes a little deeper than simple disagreements. Glover says he believes council is overstepping their grounds on some issues and taking too much authority from the mayor's office. "We respect council as a separate but equal branch of government, we just ask for the same consideration. We think it's important to make sure we protect the powers that have been vested with the Mayor's office and it's something that I think is absolutely necessary to make sure you have a proper check and balance. The whole concept of check and balance is to ensure that no one ends up becoming a lap dog for anybody. The council shouldn't be a lap dog for the mayor and the mayor shouldn't be a lap dog for council." But Glover believes it's still a healthy discussion on topics facing the city. "Where there's too much unanimity, where there is no dissension, where there is limited discussion of issues before the community, that means that those discussions are probably taking place somewhere else other than the public setting where you know they are being properly aired, properly vetted and properly challenged."

Mayor Glover and City Council members invite members of the public out to discuss one of those issues facing the city, the dog park issue. The meeting will be Tuesday, July 2nd at 3 PM at Government Plaza downtown.


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