Candidates focus on parish roads

Published 12:43 am Monday, October 15, 2007

VIDALIA — The race for Concordia Parish Police Jury District 3B has two men vying for election.

Bartell Schneider

A retiree, 72-year-old Bartell Schneider is the former assistant chief of police for the Vidalia Police Department.

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The decision to run came after he noticed the state of the roads and what he sees as a drainage problem in the parish, Schneider said.

“There are a lot of people out in the ward that are not satisfied with the state of the roads right now,” he said.

Because he is retired, Schneider said he is an ideal candidate.

“I’m retired and I can devote my time to the police jury,” he said.

“Whenever the supervisor has his crew working in my district, I want to be there to help him supervise,” he said.

Schneider has previously held the elected office of Vidalia constable.

Whest Shirley

One-term incumbent Whest Shirley, 40, said he is focused on the current police jury road and sewage projects, as well as improving ditches and drainage in the district.

“I have four gravel roads left in my district,” he said. “Getting rid of those gravel roads is going to be my big focus.

Shirley said he wants to work more with his constituents who live and work in areas labeled as flood zones.

“A lot of my constituents are forced to pay flood insurance because their area is labeled a flood zone,” he said. “That throws businesses off because they don’t want to pay higher premiums.”

Working to bring more sports programs and recreation opportunities to the area is also a goal of Shirley’s.

“I want to see our kids stay busy, to see them have something to do,” he said.

Shirley is the head Principal at Vidalia Junior High School.