City Council could not agree on a plan to raise the pay for police and firefighters.
The vote on the proposed 13% increase for first responders failed on a 3-3 tie vote.
Councilmembers Tabitha Taylor, James Green and Jerry Bowman voted against the proposed pay raise. Councilmembers LeVette Fuller, Grayson Boucher and John Nickelson voted for the pay hike.
Councilman John Nickelson Issues Statement on the No Vote
"I’m just incredibly disappointed that the Council failed today to approve much-deserved and desperately needed pay raises for our police officers and firefighters – the men and women who risk their lives every day to keep us safe. The raise has been under discussion for years, and we all know how badly it needed to pass, but politics got in the way at the last minute."
Councilman Grayson Boucher Also Issued a Statement About the Vote
"I’m sad, depressed and just sick that this latest pay increase did not pass. I really feel like we were almost there. I’m have to say I’m sorry for our brave police officers and firefighters. I and others on the council been working, begging and pleading for a substantial raise for public safety. Three years! I’m beyond defeated tonight. I honestly don’t know where to go from here. Sad day from Shreveport. Raises for Police and Fire fail."
Nickelson also had this message to first responders:
"To every police officer and firefighter who works for the City of Shreveport, I’m so sorry we couldn’t get the raise across the finish line. Grayson, LeVette, and I did everything we could, but we fell one vote short. The three of us are behind each and every one of you one hundred percent, and as long as I hold office, you and your families will be at the top of my list of priorities. We have to take care of you so that you can take care of our city."
Nickelson says the city does have the money to pay for these increases. He says over the past two years, the city has received more than $76 million of COVID-related money from the federal government, and we expect to receive another $24 million in the first quarter of 2022. He also says sales tax revenues have been substantially higher than anticipated. He says the city will receive a projected $14 million more by the end of this year.
Nickelson also has a message for Shreveport residents. He says election day 2022 is eleven months away.
If you care about this city and its future, get involved in politics. If you’re smart, honest, and committed to doing the right thing, think about running for office. The seven Council members and mayor who govern this city have a hell of a lot more control over your life and future than any state legislator, member of Congress, or anybody else talked about on FOX News or MSNBC. Serving as a local elected official can feel thankless, but don’t do it because you think you’ll enjoy it. Do it because your city needs you.
Nickelson says this vote was as disappointing as any vote during our three years on the Council.
The council heard from many other city employees who say they, too want a 13% increase.
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