Ascension, Gonzales officials take oath of office

Brandie Richardson
Staff photos by Brandie Richardson.

Gonzales city officials, accompanied by their wives, were inaugurated into office on Jan. 3 in front of City Hall. The Master of Ceremonies was conducted by Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley.

City Councilmen David Guitreau, Kirk Boudreaux, Harold Stewart, Tyler Turner and Neal Bourque and Gonzales Chief of Police Sherman Jackson were sworn in by Judge Alvin Turner, followed by the swearing in of Mayor Barney Arceneaux from Judge Guy Holdrige.

Sherman, who is in his third term, said when he ran eight years ago he set out to accomplish five goals, a new police department, make sure the department has all the tools they need, get the best training possible for the whole department, keep the integrity intact and to reach out to youth programs. He noted that he accomplished all his goals.

"I stay committed to the city," Sherman said. "My love, my passion, my conviction remains the same and I will continue to work tirelessly to make this city a stronger and safer city."

Arceneaux, who is also in his third term, touched on his the goals of his platform, roads and infrastructure, public safety, economic development and recreation.

"I assure you my platform has not changed," the mayor said. "The City is looking forward towards a very, very progressive future which will rely on all four of those areas to be vocal points."

Ascension Parish Assessor M.J. "Mert" Smiley was sworn into office for a second term at the Parish Courthouse in Gonzales on Jan. 4. by Judge Marilyn Lambert.

"My goal when elected was to become the very best and most technically advanced assessors office in the state of Louisiana," Smiley said.

Smiley gave recognition to his staff, which he said helped the assessor's office win two awards during his first term. The first award he won during office was a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Finance Reporting in which the Ascension office was one of only two assessor's offices in the state to receive. The office was also received the Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award, which has not been won by any other assessor in Louisiana.

"By winning these awards we are proving to our citizens that we are good stuarts of your tax dollars and that we have reached the goal of being the very best assessors office in the state of Louisiana," he said. "I pledge to the citizens of Ascension Parish that we will stay on the cutting edge of technology to preserve and improve the services of your assessors office."