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Louisiana city councilman suggests nearly $100k salaried mayor shouldn’t “have to eat Whataburger every day” because of low pay

Shreveport, Louisiana, USA skyline over the Red River at dusk.

(Texas News Radio) — A Louisiana city councilman said Tuesday that the mayor there shouldn’t “have to eat Whataburger every day” because he makes too little money.

KEEL reports the statement came during a Shreveport city council meeting done over Zoom while discussing a city ordinance raising Shreveport mayor Adrian Perkins’ salary.

Currently, Perkins makes $95,000 a year.  The ordinance would increase the mayor’s salary to $125,000 in 2023.  For comparison, the mayors of Baton Rouge and New Orleans make roughly $175,000 per year, mayors of smaller Louisiana cities have salaries in the low $100,000s.  The mayor of San Antonio — a city more than 7.5 times the population of Shreveport and home to Whataburger — makes just over $60,000.

“It is ridiculous that a city with a population of about 190,000 pays the mayor $95,000 a year,” Shreveport city councilman John Nickelson said during the meeting. “This sends the wrong message about how critical that role is. I don’t think the Mayor of Shreveport should be eating a steak dinner every day, but I don’t think he should be eating Whataburger everyday either.”

The U.S. Census Bureau says the median household income of Shreveport is just over $39,000 per year and the city has a poverty rate of 25.7 percent with a population that has shrunk by nearly 7 percent over the past decade.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Shreveport suburb Bossier City — who makes a similar amount to his contemporary across the Red River — opined on the matter.

“Some mayors like to eat Whataburger every day!”

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