Our Views: Former foes, and old friends

After a lot of spilled political blood had flowed under the bridge, Metro Councilman Mike Walker and Mayor-President Kip Holden acted like the happy warriors that they used to be, burying their differences in compliments and best wishes for the future.

It was a good day at City Hall in Baton Rouge.

Despite the sometimes bitter tone of this year’s mayoral contest, the two men have a lot in common and were once allies.

Clashes between Holden and the Metro Council were subdued by the Nov. 6 election, in which the mayor won a substantial victory over Walker.

That relative harmony reflected something of the prestige associated with a winner. But it also reflects concessions to the council’s concerns in the city budget that had resulted in some acrimonious debates the last couple of years.

Council members also said that Holden had made good on a pledge to work more collaboratively with them. We hope that continues, as Holden promised in his re-election campaign, and that future differences don’t devolve into brawls.

But it was the highly public burying-of-the-hatchet between Walker and Holden that made the last week of urgent business before the current council more festive than it’s been in a while.

We applaud the two men, and wish the best for Holden’s third term as mayor-president. And even though Walker is leaving public office — in or out, his experience goes back decades — we hope the former metro councilman will continue to be an adviser and guide to the younger generation in City Hall.

That younger generation is coming, especially given the election of some new Metro Council members in November, and the election of two new members in the Dec. 8 runoff election.

And as Walker noted, issues like crime are not going to be solved in a day but will require concerted community action over a long period of time.