Ministers welcome parish candidates to quarterly meeting

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 4, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; Ministers in the community meet once every three months at Vidalia City Hall for a time of prayer, praying the community, government and the nation. For this quarter’s meeting, the Rev. Troy Thomas, of The Bethel Church in Vidalia, decided to invite all of the candidates for parish office to speak their goals to community members in an open forum and prayer time.

Nine parish candidates attended the candidate forum and prayer time Tuesday morning.

Before opening the floor, Thomas set the tone for the need for leadership with scripture. &uot;Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he,&uot; he quoted from Proverbs 29:18

Email newsletter signup

The &uot;reason God lets us get into office is to serve the people,&uot; Thomas said. &uot;Share what you plan on doing, share what your vision is,&uot; share your goals, Thomas said.

Police Jury, District 1B

Two of the five candidates vying for the District 1B police jury spot, where the incumbent is not running for re-election, voiced their &uot;vision&uot; Tuesday.

Lynwood Wiley talked about many of the different aspects of the job of police juror from looking at the concerns of the community, to finding the money to meet those needs to hard work to the need of the police jury to work together.

&uot;I know what work is,&uot; Wiley said.

Wiley spoke of the importance of recreation. He stressed there is

&uot;always room for improvement.&uot;

Drainage &045; a problem many candidates addressed &045; was one area Wiley talked about in length, saying nothing can be done without funding.

Marc Robson brought a focus of &uot;job creation&uot; to the podium. Robson said he wants to change people having to move to find job by bringing jobs to the area.

&uot;Our biggest problem here is unemployment,&uot; Robson said. &uot;Our unemployment is the root of many of our problems.&uot;

Police jury, District 2

Carter Warner, a Vidalia alderman, said his main goals are to fix the streets and keep the grass cut on overgrown lots. Warner said he wants to continue his job for Vidalia for the whole parish.

Warner said he wants to &uot;spread what we have done here in Vidalia and spread to the parish. &uot;I promise you nothing, but I will do my best,&uot; he said.

Police jury, District 3A

Cyndie Dillon spoke of her community involvement and work with budgets as ways she can help the parish. &uot;When there’s not a way, make a way,&uot; the Vidalia resident said.

Dillon said she will put the effort into it and get things done like she did helping the school start summer school back, even though the district did not think there was a way to do it. &uot;Your problems will be my problems,&uot; Dillon said.

Police jury, District 3B

In a second race with no incumbent, three of the six candidates in District 3B spoke at the forum Tuesday.

John &uot;Sparky&uot; Evans said behind jobs, the most important thing is to &uot;increase the quality of life for the parish and the people of the parish.&uot;

Evans did talk about jobs and the importance of small businesses to the parish. &uot;As a small business man, I know what it takes day to day to make a payroll,&uot; he said. &uot;The small business man is the backbone of the Miss-Lou and the entire United States.&uot;

Ronny Cox said he will serve the police jury the way he serves now &045; by helping.

&uot;I have a big heart, and I like helping people,&uot; Cox said. &uot;Seems like that’s what we need here &045; help.&uot;

Frank Webb focused on listening to the people in his district &045; and he said would listen to the other members of the jury, emphasizing cooperation is needed.

&uot;I’m a firm believer of sitting down

Š and discussing your problems,&uot; Webb said.

Webb also talked about the main themes of the day &045; drainage, recreation, roads and the willing labor force in the parish.

Police jury, District 4A

Incumbent Cathy Darden touted her experience and successful projects while on the police jury at Tuesday’s meeting.

Darden said the police jury has done many things, but since the money is not in the parish budget, the jury must rely on federal and state grants for funding. This, Darden said, is what make much of the process slow when getting projects done. But, Darden said there are millions of dollars in the new sewage system, which should be complete and parishwide in five to eight years.

&uot;For industry to come to our parish, we do have to start with infrastructure,&uot; Darden said, citing many projects the jury has completed during her tenure.

Concordia Parish sheriff

Sheriff Randy Maxwell focused on the accomplishments of the department in his 13 years as sheriff, citing the expansion of the sheriff’s department during his tenure. Most of the accomplishments he spoke of revolved around the correctional facility and its services.

Maxwell also focused on jobs as a need in the parish. &uot;If we create jobs Š that keeps families here and that deters the crime,&uot; Maxwell said.

Maxwell also spoke of the need for community involvement to change things.

&uot;That’s what it takes in anything to be successful &045; community involvement,&uot; Maxwell said.