Jobs, drainage issues among concerns for 4B candidates

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 9, 2003

Getting more jobs into Concordia Parish and addressing road and drainage problems are what District 4, Place B Police Jury candidates said would be among their first priorities if elected.

Ronald Barnhill

If elected, candidate Ronald Barnhill said he would like to meet with local officials about ways to get more industries into Concordia Parish.

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&uot;Kind of like they’re doing in Natchez with the (International) Paper mill,&uot; Barnhill said.

&uot;We need both smaller and larger industries Š and that would be one of my main goals,&uot; he said. &uot;I’d like to see industry come in and most of our people get decent jobs.&uot;

Barnhill said another one of his top priorities would be to investigate why some parish canals are not being cleaned out and why improvements are not being made to roads.

As far as keeping the parish in good financial shape is concerned, he said, &uot;I’m not for taxes.&uot;

Instead, he said, the funds the parish is currently receiving may need &uot;restructuring.&uot;

Barnhill also said he believes that his eight years as a Ridgecrest alderman would serve him well on the Police Jury.

&uot;I know a lot of the problems little towns like Ridgecrest and rural areas are facing, and I’ve worked with other leaders in the area,&uot; Barnhill said.

He said that also gave him experience in helping obtain grant funds.

Somer Lewis Lance

Somer Lewis Lance said she entered the Police Jury District 4, Place B race because she wants to see more programs for children.

In particular, she would like to see a softball field established in Ridgecrest &uot;so our children will have something to do.&uot;

In addition, Lance said she would work to address sewage problems and to clean up eyesores. &uot;A cleaner community benefits everyone,&uot; Lance said.

When it comes to roads, Lance said she believes the jury needs to make more substantial improvements instead of simply patching potholes.

&uot;Instead of going ahead and fixing roads, they’re patching them every two months,&uot; she said.

Restructuring parish finances might be necessary to find the funds needed for such projects.

&uot;People keep telling me that to make sure of that, where money is concerned, we (as a parish) need to make sure some of the things we’re doing are necessary,&uot; she said.

Lance said she would like to find ways to address the stray dog problem.

In addition, Lance said, if elected, she would hear and address each concern a constituent brought to her.

Incumbent Melvin Ferrington would not comment.