We are on the eve on what could be the most important election cycle in Shreveport's history. Currently, the city is struggling to drum up business, crime is up, violence is up...the city is just facing a lot of issues. Now, some people will tell you a lot of that is perception, which to a degree maybe that's true. Others will tell you that the city is going down hill and something needs to change before its too late...and maybe there's something to that as well. What I do know for sure is that the fate of our future is in our own hands tomorrow.

We will get the opportunity and privilege to vote on and shape our future this November 6th. We'll have the chance to choose who we think should be leading the city. Not only will we be deciding who should be on the city council, but we'll also be electing a mayor.

Now, some folks will say that their vote doesn't matter. And, honestly, in some elections  it doesn't. But much last gubernatorial race, your vote matters and anything can happen. Your vote is of the utmost importance. And in this particular election cycle, your vote could be the deciding factor in what happens next.

If all the polling data is remotely accurate, you basically have a horse race in the mayoral election. Current Mayor Ollie Tyler, according to all the stats, is out in front. After that, its a dog fight for second. In every poll, the separation between one and five is small. A handful of votes could decide who is in the run off and who is staying home in December.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you how to vote. That's not my place. But, what I will tell you is to vote. If you believe the city needs a new leader, vote for one. Adrian Perkins, Jim Taliaferro, Lee O Savage, Steven Jackson, Tremecious Dixon and everyone else running are all good folks with interesting ideas. Now, the argument could be made that some of those names don't have the experience needed to run a city. And what I will tell you is that if there is one you like, vote for them. At this point, what could they really hurt? The city is broke, business is down, crime is up...things will either stay the same or they'll improve. That someone you are on the fence about could be the right person to change our destiny.

Now, if you think the city is just going through a rough patch but should hold course...vote for Ollie Tyler. Mayor Tyler gets a bit of a bum rap due to things beyond her control. She HAS done a lot of good things for the city. She's worked hard to get police officers some much need equipment, secured grant money to beautify and improve the city, spent a lot of time and effort fixing roads, among other things. On the other side of that, there has been a lot of controversy around her administration. From water billing scandals to lawsuits, there has been a lot of not so positive press around her and her staff. Should that keep her out of office? Do her positives out weigh her negatives? That's up to you.

I don't have a crystal ball and I don't know whether we need change or if we should keep doing what we are doing. I know what I think and that's the way I will vote. All I can tell you is to look at the candidates, look at their plans, look at their backgrounds and accomplishments and make a decision. Just make sure you get out there and vote. Your voice can help steer the ship that is our city towards a better tomorrow.