MayorWeightLoss03.2019

A much thinner Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome speaks to the Baton Rouge Area Chamber at a late November 2018 luncheon. 

Fair or not, a politician who builds things gets applause for it.

When you are building roads and bridges in a place as congested as Baton Rouge, there are a lot of political benefits.

Having worked hard to push a roads tax, and having smartly enlisted a Democrat and a Republican as business leaders for the push (Jim Bernhard and Mike Wampold, respectively) Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome deserves a victory lap because of the weekend passage of the proposal she pushed so hard.

And a $913 million program of borrowing is a lot, meaning that there will be tons of orange barrels on Baton Rouge streets in coming years. Given the big nature of some projects, such as widening Airline Highway, construction will take years.

The promise made to voters was that the 30-year borrowing would allow the project list to be completed in about a dozen years.

What is true in the interim is that there will be orange barrels out there by the fall of 2020.

That’s when Broome might decide to seek re-election. And when you’re punctuating your re-election campaign with groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings, it makes a one-term mayor look good for a second.