I had decided it was best not to run this article until after the election on Oct. 22nd. You will understand why as you read it.
After investing my time away from my family over the last several years learning about our local governing authority, everything from animal services to zoning regulations, I saw an urgent need for new representation in my district to keep our citizens informed of changes that sometime go unnoticed. You truly do not realize the time you have invested until you can no longer stack another piece of information on your desk for fear of collapse. At that point your better half asks, “what are you going to do with all this? Are you going to put it to good use?” Therein came the answer to my prayers asking for a clear sign that this is what God had in store for your run of the mill, blue collar worker. With my decision being made for me the next step was easy. I’ve never been one to be silent, simply was not raised that way, so it was ” Hey folks, I’m gonna run and people are going to remember my name.” That coming out statement was made to my Police Jurors that I had been scrutinizing for the past several years. Mixed emotions? You bet!! Encouragement from some? Absolutely!!
I am not one for being politically correct but I do strive to be tactful and use some of the common sense God blessed me with. This could very well upset some folks but this is where my politically incorrectness kicks in. You would think after nearly three years of building a relationship with most of your current elected officials you would have a sense of their beliefs and knowledge of their past actions, right? For the majority this holds true but there is nothing like a candidate forum to bring out the true colors in a person. First off, my incumbent was a no show, no big surprise there and our forum went well. Each forum consisted of three districts and six to seven candidates, two per district except mine, where three vied for the seat. I also felt the need to attend the other districts forums as well and glad I did. A few of the incumbents made some statements regarding certain laws and state mandates we must adhere to. Sounds logical until the truth of the matter came to light. It was our “own Jurors” that went to the State Legislature and asked for certain authority to be given to them concerning sewer inspections, passed, and signed into law by Gov. Jindal. You following me? What was printed in the paper for all the parish to read was the fact that we (jurors) are mandated to do this by the state, thereby taking the heat off the jury. I will simply call it an inaccurate statement because the person that made it, even though now an incumbent, was yet a juror at that time (2005) while others referred to this knowing it was them and not the state forcing this on the public.
You may ask what my agenda is here. It’s very simple. During the forum in which I participated, my closing statement was one simple promise to my district and every citizen in Calcasieu Parish. That promise was this; “I will make certain, as long as I hold this position, that the citizens of Calcasieu Parish will never be misinformed or deceived by the lack of or omission of information on any future issues that come in front of this body.” I am not making callous accusations towards any “one” person but I have continually researched nearly everything that will affect the citizens as a whole and take nothing at face value from staff. Should we be able to trust staff recommendations? Should be. Do I? Not everyone, for I have witnessed the forgotten information, the half-truths and the blatant disregard for the very people that are employed as our staff. The taxpayers of Calcasieu Parish would be livid if they knew we have very few on our jury panel to keep our staff in check and working “for” the people. My goal was to strengthen that backbone with Blue Collar Common Sense and a voice that will constantly keep our citizens in the know on all matters, small and large.
Being a three-way race in a largely minority district, I was able to garner twenty-six percent of the vote and force a run-off for our sixteen year incumbent. Did I lose? November 19th will tell the tale after I endorse my fellow candidate, who is the right person at the right time for the job. My goal was to retire my incumbent and bring a new voice to all the people of our district and this will still be achieved with the support of those that trusted me, to trust my judgement in my fellow candidate. As far as my promise to our citizens, I intend to carry out that promise as an active citizen with no fear of repercussions from staff or jurors. They can choose to be open with our citizens or they can expect to be publicly called out on any future lapse of memory. Did the citizens lose? Not by a long shot. They will gain a new voice, held accountable by me and my continued persistence of an open local government. It’s a win win situation all around. I do not know what will happen four years from now but I’ll follow whatever God places before me.
former Police Juror Candidate and ALWAYS active citizen in Calcasieu Parish