SHREVEPORT, La. - Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins revealed Thursday during a one-on-one interview with KTBS 3 News that that he will be running for a second term as mayor of Shreveport.
Mayor Perkins also revealed that he was approached by the soon to be sworn in Biden administration, but in the end decided to stay in Shreveport.
Perkins, in the middle of his first term as mayor, decided in 2020 to run for U.S. Senate. The move came as a surprise to a number of his constituents. The mayor lost to incumbent Senator Bill Cassidy, a Republican.
The mayor told KTBS 3 that his motive to run for Senate was to get Shreveport more resources. But, with that in the past Perkins says his plan now is to stay home.
“I'll say my heart and energy is with the citizens of Shreveport,” Perkins said during a one-on-one interview with KTBS 3 Anchor Bill Lunn.
“And I will run for another term. You know, there's speculation, ‘he's going to the Biden Administration’ and all that. They reached out, but I don't have a desire to do that. I want to do what’s best for the families in this city.”
Another topic discussed Thursday was crime. In 2020, Shreveport saw a dramatic jump in the homicide rate. There were 75 people murdered in the city in 2020 compared to 42 the year before. The mayor said he is aware and working with the police chief on the issue.
“These are senseless acts of violence and we will not be able to curb that if the citizens aren't working with us together, Perkins said.
“And that's the reason why, as we saw this numbers ticking, we figured out ways we could safely go out. Myself and Chief Raymond went out into the community most heavily impacted to see what could we do to curb the violence, what could we do to get them to work with us a little more. And we're going to continue to do that into next year.”
As for how the first two years have gone, Mayor Perkins gives his administration a B-minus. He says they were hit with some major curveballs especially in 2020 including Covid-19 and Hurricane Laura. The mayor says they are dealing with those issues the best they can. Covid-19 put the city in the hole by $23 million last year. The mayor says they handled that.
But the mayor now wants money for infrastructure. On the table now, a $206 million bond issue that still needs the green light from the city council.
The mayor says that money is critical because there is so much that needs to be done in the City of Shreveport.
The mayor told KTBS-3 News that his greatest infrastructure concern is the city's crumbling sewage system that's under federal mandate for at least $600 million repairs. And the mayor says the city has man other needs.
“We've got to put our police and firemen in the best facilities they can possibly have so they can go out and keep our communities safe,” Mayor Perkins said.
“We have to make sure we are investing in economic development. make sure we are putting fiber into the ground so our kids, despite whatever neighborhood they’re in can have reliable and affordable internet. And we have to make sure our streets, roads, and subsurface infrastructure are being improved, so we're not making future generations in Shreveport foot the bill by kicking the can down the road."
The city tried to raise money with a similar bond vote in 2019. That year citizens voted on three bond issues totaling $186 million dollars. All three were defeated.
The mayor told KTBS 3 News he learned some lessons from that, and is hoping citizens understand the need to upgrade city infrastructure.