Elections Have Proven a Time of Change in Central

by Woody Jenkins

CENTRAL — Since 2005, elections in Central have proven to be a time of change and often some important surprises:

• In April 2005, Central voted for incorporation, which took the community in an entirely new direction.

• When the appointed Mayor and City Council came up for election, voters replaced two of the appointed Council members, and that changed the tone of the Council.

• In 2007, Central voters played  a key role in electing Sid Gautreaux as Sheriff.

• In 2008, voters surprised the pundits by defeating the proposed school tax election overwhelmingly.

• Sharon Browning became school

board president in 2009 and led the board through the process of resubmitting a new, scaled down version of the tax.  Voters approved the new plan, raising sales taxes in Central to the highest level in the parish.  It was quite an expression of confidence in the school board’s plan by a strongly anti-tax community.  As a result, the new Central school complex began construction and will be complete in early 2012.

• In March 2010, Central voters elected two more new City Councilmen, giving a reform group a three-to-two majority on the Council.  This led to a strong stand in favor of the public’s right to know and a movement to replace CH2MHILL as city contractor.  That was accomplished in July of this year.

• In October 2010, voters elected Jim Lloyd and Roxanne Atkinson to the school board.  They represent a reform movement on the board.

• Now the fall of 2011.  What changes will we experience?  Reapportionment has already insured that some changes will occur.  You the voter will write the rest of the story.


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