EBR Parish’s Chief Administrative Officer, Walter Monsour, has announced his retirement from the top position in the Mayor’s Office.  Monsour is referred to as the Shadow Mayor because of the power he yields coupled with the fact that he is the actual decision maker for EBR Parish.

Now that Monsour is retiring, it will be interesting to watch future developments in the parish.  As the spokesperson at Metro Council meetings, the author of the city parish budget, and the speerheader of both the infamous loop and failed bond issue, Monsour leaves Mayor-President Kip Holden alone to figure things out.

Mayor Holden has been the face of the Mayor’s Office, but Monsour has been the brains and driving force behind the scenes.  Without Monsour, Holden will now be forced to go back to the business of the people instead of dancing around town in nightclubs and festivals.  Perhaps this will mean a major cut in the city-parish budget for his security detail?  Making appearances, shaking hands and motivational speeches is Holden’s forte, not planning and implementation of strategic plans.

Holden will most likely move one of his staff members into the Chief Administrative Officer position like Mike Futrell, who came aboard in an effort to thwart his running against the Mayor last fall.  As a legislator, Futrell was liked, but did not effect enough changes to show any savvy as a CAO. 

Another candidate that lost his chance at being CAO is former employee Alfred Williams who served as Holden’s campaign manager.  Williams is not popular, but does specialize in hauling (uh, driving) voters to the polls in an effort to to turn out the minority vote.  He was moved out of the Mayor’s office after a not-so-well-known controversy involving the casino vote where the Mayor played both sides of the fence and got caught.  As an loyal friend to Holden, Williams took the hit.  No need to feel sorry for him though as he has stockpiled large sums of money from democratic campaigns with his ‘non-profit’ organization employing family members and confidantes.

If Futrell takes the reigns of Chief Administrative Officer, what happens to Holden’s raise-our-tax-plan?  Futrell warned citizens in Holden’s first run for Mayor-President that the parish would suffer increases in taxes.  In politics, your words often come back to haunt you.  Will Futrell now support higher taxes?  Perhaps Futrell can convince Holden to repeat history and cut the city parish budget as he did to fund the tax pay increase for police officers? 

Whatever Holden’s decision, the facts remain that the taxpayers of EBR Parish are not interested in increasing taxes or funding bond issues that develop one part of our parish – downtown.  As far as bridges, synchronizing lights, traffic and crime, the citizens of our parish deserve these services to be provided without tax increases.

How can this be accomplished?  T-R-I-M  T-H-E  F-A-T!

Who can do this job effectively and to the pleasure of the citizens of our parish?  Will Holden return to the office of Mayor to be about the business of the people?  Let’s hope Monsour’s retirement brings positive changes in city government and in our leadership.  If we are to be America’s next greatest city, we need hands-on management by the man elected, not a Shadow Mayor.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican