Oh, wait--that wasn't an episode of Parks and Rec. That is the basic story of the past few years of the Shreveport Dog Park. The Shreveport Dog Park Alliance (Facebook) has worked hard for several years now to bring a dog park to Shreveport, and the events that have unfolded seem ripe for adaptation to a TV sitcom. Do you remember the first season of Parks and Rec? When Leslie and co. work hard to turn an abandoned lot--and it's giant pit--into a park? It seemed like a great idea, an open and shut project for Ms. Knope. However, as she soon found out, nothing is that easy in local government.
In Shreveport, Mayor Cedric Glover has become the primary obstacle to the dog park. The funds have been secured from the Red River Waterway Commission (read: not costing the city a dime), the people have demanded it, and the City Council has approved it. Why is Glover not on board? Mainly, he wants the Commission's funds to be used for other riverfront improvements.
As seemed destined from the start, the matter has now headed to the courts. The Alliance has filed a lawsuit and Mayor Glover has been compelled to testify at a hearing as to why he has yet to act on the wishes of the city and approve the dog park measure. Seriously, it sounds like a TV plot. The city of Shreveport is actually about to go to court and expend who knows how much in legal fees to defend an indefensible decision to reject free money in exchange for building a dog park that has almost universal community support.
|Auditorium Shores Dog Park in Austin, Texas. Mr. Glover, what part of this picture do you not want in Shreveport?|