Five candidates hoping to fill vacant District 1B position

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 9, 2003

With no incumbent in the District 1, Place B police juror race, five candidates stand waiting to fill the position.

Most of the candidates agreed on a number of issues, like the importance of bringing jobs and industry to the parish. But they all want to improve the parish using different approaches.

Robert Knoten

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Robert Knoten said he wants to start with improving the neighborhoods. Knoten said the neighborhoods need to be cleaned up and put to better use. Knoten wants to see people more active in the community. He wants to rid the parish of mosquito breeding grounds and take the wooded areas in the neighborhoods and turn them into park zones to promote recreation in the communities.

Another part of the wooded-area development, Knoten said, would be to cut the timber on parish land and sell it, putting that money back into the parish.

By beautifying the areas Concordia Parish has, Knoten said more industry would be attracted to the area.

While he offered no specific solutions to the industry shortage, only saying he would like to see more businesses in the Ferriday area, including more restaurants, Knoten did say he is willing to work for the parish.

&uot;Anything I can do to create more jobs here, to keep the parish going, I would do that,&uot; Knoten said.

&uot;I get along with everybody and I care a lot about doing the right things. I think I can do just as well as any other person that would try to be a police juror.&uot;

Marc Robson

Marc Robson said the main issues facing Concordia Parish are drainage and job loss.

&uot;Our unemployment is at crisis level,&uot; Robson said. &uot;Lowering our unemployment may help lower crime, drug use and racial tensions.&uot;

&uot;We need a parishwide economic development plan and need to take a critical look at our resources to determine which needs upgrades and which upgrades we can afford. Drainage, road maintenance and mosquito abatement are always important issues in Louisiana.

&uot;Rather than taking care of the areas with the most political clout, we need to plan from a parishwide perspective and address needs by priority.&uot;

Robson said his ability to negotiate would help him find common ground in the police jury to help it move forward, if elected.

&uot;I would like to see an end to the bickering and name-calling at the police jury,&uot; Robson said. &uot;Any issue facing the jury deserves a calm, meaningful and deliberative debate in order to find the best solution.&uot;

For more information, Robson set up a Web site at


Barbara Rutland

Barbara Rutland said she thinks the parish needs to become more united and work together. One way she proposes the parish could do so is with a communication system between all the precincts and towns in the parish. A way to link the community is through a &uot;committee from other areas so they can give their input of the needs in the other areas,&uot; Rutland said.

Rutland also said the community needs to make the parish more attractive, also a measure that can be done collectively.

Rutland said there should be a &uot;massive cleanup system in the rural area of the parish&uot; with cutting grass and weeds and picking up trash.

&uot;And (we need to) work with other parish officials in the maintenance of roads, repairing potholes and drainage ditches. I think we could do that on a cooperative basis,&uot; she said.

&uot;If we could take care of the physical needs of the parish, it will assist us in improving the attractiveness of the area.&uot;

Improving the physical would help bring industry, Rutland said.

Rutland also said she would visit other areas similar to Concordia Parish to see what they are doing to attract industry. Writing grants and starting a planning committee are ways she said the parish could work to compete.

Being a former business owner herself, Rutland said she knows how to manage budgets and money and has a good rapport with people, making her a good candidate for police juror.

Lynwood Wiley

Lynwood Wiley said he would not make promises to the people that he cannot keep and only promises to perform the responsibilities and duties of the police jury, if elected.

&uot;The police jury should have the confidence of the people,&uot; Wiley said. &uot;The police jury as a whole should provide a better quality of life for all residents of the parish.&uot;

Wiley said one way to do that is for the jury to work together in maintaining roads and drainage and obtaining grants for sewage, water, roads, airports and recreation districts. As far as jobs are concerned, Wiley said the jury should maintain and enhance the services the parish has intact to entice companies to the parish.

The parish should take advantage of the things it already has, Wiley said, like the river, the Vidalia Landing development and the technical college in Ferriday.

Candidate Joe Parker did not return phone calls before press time.