LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Citizens of Ferriday listen as candidates for mayor, including Johnnie Brown, Justin Connor and Gene Allen participate in a debate Saturday morning at the Florida Avenue gym. The fourth candidate for mayor, Joe Sontoyo, was not in attendance.

Small crowd shows for Ferriday mayoral forum

Published 12:47am Sunday, March 18, 2012

FERRIDAY — A little more than a handful of Ferriday residents came out to a public forum Saturday morning to see three of the four Ferriday mayoral candidates field questions and voice their platforms with less than a week left until the primary election.

Candidates Gene Allen, Johnnie Brown and Justin Conner answered questions from moderator Teddy Schiele and residents at the forum, which was hosted by The Harvest Project in the Florida Avenue gym. Joe Sontoyo did not attend the forum.

Water concerns, education, recreation and economic growth were among the leading topics at the forum.

Conner said health and financial concerns about the local water supply is one of the main issues of Ferriday.

Allen, a former Ferriday mayor, and Brown, a current Ferriday alderman, both said they believed Ferriday’s water woes had been addressed through the approximately $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture the town received a couple of years ago for a water plant.

The water system will be managed by CP Management of Harrisonburg.

Brown said the town’s water problems did not originate from money but from maintenance and workers who were not trained properly to manage the system.

Conner said he believed the third-party management was a result of bad leadership and said, if elected, he would call for a federal investigation to find out what happened to the Ferriday residents’ money.

“We will settle this water issue, if someone has to go to jail over it,” he said.

All of the candidates said they want to aggressively to work with local school officials and educators to decrease the dropout rate and keep children in school.

Conner said he believed a truancy officer should be placed in the local schools.

Brown said the parish already has a truancy officer, but Conner said he did not believe one officer was enough to control truancy at all the schools.

Allen said he believed one of the main problems in Ferriday schools was the fact that there is not enough parental participation.

  • Anonymous

    “Brown said the town’s water problems did not originate from money but from maintenance and workers who were not trained properly to manage the system.”

    Six million dollars down the drain because of lazy uncaring maintenance workers. The equipment at a water plant can be maintained by anyone with limited ability….it just means taking responsibility…something that is obviously missing in Ferriday.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe more residents didn’t show up for the forum.  If I lived there, I would certainly want to know the plans for my third world country!

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps they should have taken a page out of the Natchez Public Schools play book in Parent University 2 article…”prize auction, activities, supper and entertainment”

  • Anonymous

    Or possibly free dope!  That would’ve gotten 90% of the town there.

  • Anonymous

    Oh no…then they would have had to move the forum from the gym to the football field…they would have been lined up for days, camping out so as not to lose their place in line…would have been total chaos…

  • tigereye1

    It truly is laughable , and that report on the citizens reaction about the BIG drug bust in Ferriday just keeps coming to mind !! Ferriday has a bigger problem than the water supply !!!

  • Anonymous

    You ain’t just whistling Dixie…

  • Anonymous

    All you Natchez residents……..whistle as you walk by the grave yard!

  • Anonymous

    As you walk by the graveyard.

  • Anonymous

    “Me” thinks they already know who will be voted in so why go to the time & trouble to listen to others. My thoughts are Gene Allen and all the work Glen has done will go down the drain. Poor ole Ferriday just don’t stand a chance. The one’s that pay taxes (not many) have no chance of control, so they just wave bye-bye to their tax dollars that will never get spent on improvement. I know for a fact that Glen has given his all with that dead horse that don’t plow. Ferriday is just a plain loss.