Ferriday mayor reports on first 100 days

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, October 10, 2012

FERRIDAY — Mayor Gene Allen was quick to mention Tuesday that the road to rebuilding Ferriday is long, but asked citizens to stay on board a little longer than 100 days.

In front of dozens of Ferriday residents and other elected and public officials packed inside the Arcade Theater, Allen recapped the first 100 days of his term in office as mayor of Ferriday.

“The first thing I want to say is thanks — thank you Ferriday for allowing us to serve this community,” Allen said. “We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.”

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The state of the city address is something Allen said he promised citizens he would host every quarter. The event is intended to open the channels of communication with citizens and their elected officials.

“Government, community and business need to communicate daily in order for this town to function properly,” Allen said. “We have an open-door policy at Town Hall and if the phone rings more than twice, I’ll pick it up myself.

“I want to hear from you.”

Bringing in new business, running an effective and efficient government, discipline in the schools and recreation for Ferriday youth were among the top priorities for his administration, Allen said.

“All of those things are necessary and are things I want to accomplish during my time in office,” Allen said. “But we need help from the citizens of the community to get these things done.”

During his speech, Allen mentioned several businesses — a restaurant, a convenience store and a deli — that are “coming real soon” to Ferriday.

“We’re excited about the businesses that are coming to our area, and we want to make sure we do whatever it takes so that these business can locate here,” Allen said. “We’re going to enforce our ordinances and our procedures, but we want to make it as convenient for citizens to come to this city to do business.”

Representing one of those new businesses interested in coming to Ferriday was former New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister who addressed the crowd saying he was looking forward to partnering with Allen and the town.

“I’m looking to lend any resources that I have available to share with the town,” McAllister said. “The relationship me and the mayor are working toward is a business to hopefully save the town some money.”

Allen would not comment on which business McAllister was bringing to Ferriday, but did say he was looking forward to working with him in the future.

Allen and McAllister also spoke regarding the importance of education to help shape the town’s younger citizens.

“I support public education, private education, magnet school, charter school — I think people should have a choice,” Allen said. “If there’s an environment where they’re confident they can learn, they should be in that environment.

“We cannot grow in this community if we don’t have discipline in our schools.”

Part of that discipline comes from placing school resource and security officers inside all the Ferriday schools, something Allen said was a great accomplishment during his first 100 days.

“We want everyone to interact, communicate and participate in our schools,” Allen said. “We want to rebuild our city, and it’s going to take all of us working together to accomplish that goal.”