By Leonard Ford Jr.
Though I have been quiet on the current problems happening over at Alexandria City Hall between Mayor Roy’s administration and some members of the Alexandria City Council, don’t think that I haven’t been keeping up with their shenanigans.
Too much doesn’t get by me. Sometimes I feel that it’s not my place to comment. However, with what has been transpiring at our “hall of bickering” as of late, my self-imposed silence has come to its end.
And that end leads me right into commenting about the deep political divide between our mayor, Jacques, and the city council, especially three of our outspoken councilmen, Myron, Jonathon, and Ed. This political divide both cripples the effectiveness of the council and administration and makes observers throughout Alexandria and surrounding cities wonder what has and is happening in Alexandria City Hall.
Some division between the mayor’s administration and the council is healthy, and disagreement on hot issues is expected. However, after the last several council meetings, there can be little doubt in anyone’s mind that Roy has utter contempt for Myron, Jonathon, and Ed. Likewise, it appears Myron, Jonathon, and Ed have utter contempt for Roy. Simply put, they don’t like each other.
This contempt among the “players” has now reached a new level. Both sides are ready to do battle in their “tit for tat” tug of war, which all boils down to finger pointing about who is making the other look bad in the public eye.
About two weeks ago, it came to light that the City Council, specifically Council President Myron Lawson had spent approximately $71,000 for food and beverages for council meetings. It wasn’t really stated who first brought this spending up. Nevertheless, the excessive spending was discussed in a council meeting. Both the administration and Lawson offered reasons behind the amount of money spent. Each one had their say, which wasn’t good enough for the other. Thus, it was the beginning of another way of “taking the blame off of me and putting it on you.” Discrediting one another can be a bitch.
Now it appears that this “taking the blame off of me and putting it on you” has taken own a life of its own. The Council’s Legal Committee is now pressing for the council’s to discuss a “potential conflict” of interest that involves Mayor Roy and whether or not he was double dipping in the Cleco case as mayor and attorney.
Here’s the thing. Something (the large amount of money spent on food) came out that could possibly make Lawson seem that he did something underhanded. He has not been accused of doing anything, and I want to make that perfectly clear. However, with the maneuvering to bring up the “potential conflict” for Roy, it makes it seem that some people, and I’m not saying who, is trying to take the wolves off Lawson’s tail and put them on Roy’s tail. I’m not saying that this is the case . We are smarter than that.
Then there’s Roy, who has stated that this thing with his “potential conflict” is the council’s (I’m sure that he is not referring to all council members) way for Lawson to “deflect attention” away from him because of the large amount of money spent on food.
This entire mess basically pits two men, who I think a lot of us consider honorable. However, with the way they have been playing the “blame game,” it is getting difficult to say who’s being straightforward, and who’s talking with a “forked tongue.” Roy will have his believers, especially those in his administration who has every confidence in him that he is doing what is right. He will also have those who think he is not right for the office and should go. Lawson will also have his believers, especially his allies on the council, who also have every confidence in him that he is doing a fine job. He also will have those who think that he is wrong for the council and should go.
Let’s see who is still standing come election time.