Chris Smith: Change is coming: not just for South Bossier, but for all Bossier [OPINION]
March 20 was a defining day in the history of Bossier City. Voters have turned out in record numbers to vote for the next four years in Bossier City. And the results spoke for themselves. Three challengers faced longtime incumbents and won. And in the case of District 5, one incumbent retired.
For the first time in 16 years, Bossier City will have a new face as CEO, in the person of Mayor-elect Tommy Chandler. Vince Maggio in District 5 and myself, Chris Smith, in one of the At-Large seats will join him. It remains to be seen who will occupy the seat of District 1, which represents a large part of South Bossier.
The unusual place we find ourselves in is in District 1. The winner of this race, Shane Cheatham, has been selected to be the OAC of Mayor-elect Tommy Chandler. Thus, the board will appoint an interim board member until voters decide who will be their new board member in October.
Much has been said about Cheatham resigning from a seat he won but never took and hopefully cleans the air.
During the Bossier City campaign, and honestly this happens in many campaigns at other levels, there was a lot of rhetoric about being “tax conservative” and “running Bossier like a business.” “. If we look at things through this lens, we can see why Shane Cheatham is named CAD makes perfect sense.
I run a small business myself here in Bossier City. When my business partners and I decided to embark on the adventure of entrepreneurship, we had to trust each other. We were spending a lot of money and time. If the experiment failed, we would lose thousands of people. We also had to put people around to help run the business. To grow we couldn’t just rely on ourselves. We needed help. But adding the right people around us was crucial. We needed to know that we could trust them. We had to review the candidates and make sure they were the right person for the role. We found these people, but it took a long time.
Likewise, Mayor-elect Chandler had to do the same as he built his team and administration. He had to submit different candidates to a series of interviews and meetings. He had to carefully examine each candidate. And most importantly, he had to trust that he could trust them.
My business does not have the staff or even the budget for most of the city’s departments. But when it came to staffing my business, I didn’t skip any steps and took the selection process as serious as a CEO of a company the size of Bossier City. I knew I had to do it right. I knew I needed people I could trust if I was to see success.
For the mayor-elect to be at the head of a budget and an employee base the size of the town of Bossier, he must know that the directors of each department are people he trusts to manage their affairs. talent pool. He should also know that his CEO, and one of the most important positions in his administration, is someone who can help him carry out his program.
He chose Shane Cheatham for this reason. Shane is someone he is sure he knows what the job entails. He is someone he believes is qualified for the job. And above all, he is someone who has won the trust of the elected mayor. As will be the case with any department head he proposes for confirmation.
The elected mayor will succeed or fail. There is no middle ground. Voters, with a 12-point victory, were ready to give him that chance. As a council, we should listen to the constituents of Bossier City and confirm who the mayor-elect believes is helping them succeed and deliver on their agenda.
In doing so, South Bossier does not get a victory round for having one of their own in the CAO headquarters and neither does North Bossier. Shane Cheatham’s confirmation is a victory for the entire town of Bossier as the mayor-elect feels comfortable with the team he thinks is the right one. We trusted the voters to get us here, we must continue to trust them and let the mayor-elect build his team as he sees fit.
Bossier City voters have sent the city government a warrant – this change is needed. Now is the time to put politics aside and embrace progress. If the city prefers progress to politics, the whole city of Bossier wins.
– Chris Smith is a Bossier City real estate agent and will be sworn in on Thursday, July 1, 2021 as a general member of Bossier City Council.
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