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Councilman Porter calls Johnny Downs complex a ‘sacred cow'

Says Johnny Downs is a 'religion' to some in the City
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 4:17 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Alexandria City Councilman Gerber Porter isn’t backing down on his effort to block the multimillion-dollar reconstruction of the Johnny Downs Sports Complex. In a recent interview, Porter called the complex a “religion” for some people, and for others, a “sacred cow.”

The District 2 councilman called into the “Community Covent Radio Show” on 107.9 this week saying he was unhappy, when after the tornado hit the city in December, that the first place Governor John Bel Edwards visited was Johnny Downs. The complex was one of the most heavily damaged in the area.

Porter went on to add that a mistake he made was allowing the Alexandria City Council to put $7 million in the budget for the facility: “I cannot with a clear conscience approve to spend $7 million on a ballpark when we have major infrastructure issues in Districts 1, 2, or 3.”

On the show, Porter said, “They view Johnny Downs as their religion. Thou shall not do anything bad to Johnny Downs.” Porter didn’t clarify who “they” were.

The interview comes around the time some residents in Porter’s district held a rally earlier this week in the city wanting to recall the councilman. A petition was filed to the Secretary of State for an election to be called to recall Porter.

In District 2, according to the Rapides Parish Registrar of Voters Office, there are 5,514 registered voters. So, the district would need signatures 33% of them to sign the petition. After that, they have 180 days from July 20, the date they notified the Secretary of State of their intent, to get that done.

If the petition gets enough signatures, the Registrar of Voters Office will review the petition and certify it, and then the Governor will call an election.

We reached out to Porter for comment, but we haven’t gotten a call back yet.

Copyright 2020 KALB. All rights reserved.

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