Some call him the ‘shadow Mayor’, but his official title is Chief Administrative Officer and his name is Walter Monsour. Often the second-in-command position is just that, but Monsour is anything but #2.
Monsour is known as the most powerful man in city government guiding the overall plan for the parish and serving as the spokesperson for the Mayor’s office as the most frequent speaker at Metro Council meetings while the Mayor is gallivanting on out-of-town trips and serving as guest of honor at local galas and parades. Mayor-President Kip Holden has given Monsour the Green Light and the authority to set the city parish agenda, lay out the budget, and oversee the proposed loop.
As a native of Shreveport, Monsour is an attorney and successful businessman as one of the owners of First Responders System & Technology, Inc. He is no stranger to calling the shots. Under Mayor Pat Screen, he served as his right-hand man in the 1980’s.
In the upcoming fall election, Monsour has given us a peek into what he plans to propose in the way of new taxes including a law enforcement complex to house the Baton Rouge Police Department and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office near the airport.
Some say that Mayor-President Kip Holden seems to surround himself with individuals for political reasons. Back in 2005, an article in the Baton Rouge Business Report mentioned that Monsour may have been chosen to ‘calm white fears that a black mayor could turn Baton Rouge into a New Orleans.’ More recently there has been speculation that Mike Futrell, who Holden appointed as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, was chosen to squelch a behind-the-scenes move by republicans to have Futrell run against him this fall. Regardless, the old adage is ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer.’
Keep an eye on Monsour as the most influential person in the Red Stick affecting the policies and procedures affecting traffic, sewer, public safety, and budgetary planning.
Until next time,
Red Stick Republican