Elected officials don’t always agree when making decisions for the people they represent. However, they should still try to work together to provide the best overall service.
The sentiment shared on Monday by the nine freshman Calcasieu Parish police jurors was encouraging. All 15 on the panel were officially sworn in to begin serving their districts over the next four years.
It’s certainly a different look for the Police Jury in 2020. Two districts had police jurors who served for 20 years, while two other districts had officials who served for 28 years.
The freshmen police jurors include Ashton Richard, District 1; Mike Smith, District 2; Eddie Lewis, Jr., District 3; Ron Hayes, District 6; Anthony Bartie, District 9; Roger Marcantel, District 11; Joe Andrepont, District 13; Randy Burleigh, District 14 and Tony Tramonte, District 15.
Tony Stelly also returns to serve District 10 after losing a re-election bid in 2015. He was first elected to the Police Jury in 2004. With these new faces comes a new set of ideals. They will learn the ins and outs of their districts, the issues residents are concerned with, as well as the views of their fellow police jurors.
Marcantel acknowledged that his colleagues will have disagreements and maybe “a few battles.” Any time that happens, it will never be personal, he said.
Smith said he won’t take his spot on the Police Jury for granted.
Andrepont and others said they are committed to making Calcasieu Parish a better place. At the end of the day, that should be the main focus.
Bartie told Francis Andrepont, a former District 13 police juror for 28 years, that he would rely on his wisdom during his first term. Burleigh said the freshmen police jurors should build upon the work done by those who served before.
Stelly assured the crowd at the swearing in ceremony that the panel “will all work together.”
Government bodies don’t always work together well. Some issues over the next four years could prove to be challenging.
As long as all 15 police jurors remain committed to working together, it can only lead to better things for Calcasieu Parish.