Meet the Council: District 3 Councilman Travis Turner
With six years of service on the council already under his belt, District 3 Councilman Travis Turner is pushing for improvements in his district and across the parish as a whole. Turner ran for his first public office because he said he wanted to make sure the area in which he lives has everything it needs. He said he wanted to help the people in the parish.
Recreation is a key platform for the councilman in his second term. He said having after school activities is good for kids, as it keeps them out of trouble and puts them on a path to success. It's something that is near and dear to his heart as a basketball coach in the Gonzales city league. He even runs a nonprofit travel basketball organization. He wants to see more opportunities for kids to get involved in sports and other activities in the parish.
"Kids are the future," Turner said. "A lot of times kids are going to places to participate in recreational activities, and with the population of our parish, we should have more activities here for our kids so they don't have to miss out."
Turner said he wants to see improvements made to parks throughout the parish, as we've seen in Gonzales in recent years with the renovations to Jambalaya Park and the construction of the new Kids Kove Discovery Park. The Lamar-Dixon Expo Center is another facility he'd like to see upgraded, especially the gym, which can be used to hold sporting events for kids in the community.
Drainage is another concern for Turner, as it is for many Ascension Parish residents following the devastating flood of 2016. Many in the parish saw several feet of water in their homes that have never flooded before. Turner said drainage is part of the problem. Keeping ditches cleared, retention ponds drained, and easing the flow of water out of low lying areas is essential to making sure homeowners can protect themselves from future floods.
"Further improvements are still needed parish-wide, and hopefully we can get those things accomplished," said Turner.
Turner has also been pushing for roadway improvements, as have other members of the council. The council successfully launched the Move Ascension initiative, which is working to make upgrades to parish roads. The work is being done in conjunction with the state department of transportation that is handling roadwork on state highways in the parish. Turner said they've got a few projects in the pipeline on the parish side.
"You can always do more. So hopefully we get some funds to make more road improvements to ease the traffic flow in the parish," said Turner.
With the parish growing at a rapid pace, keeping up with infrastructure is more important than ever. That means making sure roadways can handle the increased traffic and ensuring that new industrial development doesn't worsen flooding problems for Ascension neighborhoods. When areas are built up for new construction, it can force water into lower areas like surrounding subdivisions.
Turner is proud of the council's work to get a new parish courthouse. He said they were successful in raising the funds necessary to get the process started. He said they were able to pass ordinances to raise fees so the project can get underway.
An attorney by trade, Turner opened his own law firm in 2011. He handles criminal defense, personal injury, and family cases. He graduated Southern University Law Center in 2004. After college, Turner began practicing in Baton Rouge before returning home to Ascension Parish, as he was born and raised in Kennedy Heights and graduated from East Ascension High School.
Since Turner is not very active on social media, he keeps in touch with his constituents by attending local events and churches. As a local coach with three kids in parish schools, his personal life also gives him the chance to interact with voters on a regular basis.
Outside the council, Turner is a family man and busy dad. With three kids who share his love of sports, he definitely has his hands full at home. He spends his free time going to their games to see them play. When he's not running back and forth from basketball practice to soccer games, he likes to enjoy his down time by going out to eat with his wife and seeing movies.
Active in both local government and community sports, Turner is scoring points in public service and taking Ascension Parish to the next level.
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