OUR OPINION: Local elections an opportunity for change

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Saturday marks one of the biggest opportunities for change in Ascension Parish in quite some time.

Thousands of voters will make their voices heard by selecting the candidates they feel are the best choice for numerous offices throughout the parish, districts and muti-parish area.

For the first time in decades, three high-profile positions in the parish and surrounding areas will be vacated for new blood to take over. Long time 23rd Judicial District Attorney Anthony Falterman is stepping away, with four would-be successors hoping to earn the spot.

Meanwhile, in Gonzales, Mayor Johnny Berthelot and Chief of Police Bill Landry – two staples in the community – say they’re ready to step aside after leading long and productive careers.

Two current assistant district attorneys – First Assistant Ricky Babin and ADA?Charles “Chuck”?Long – have been making their case for the post, while former State Sen. Louis Lambert and recently retired district judge Pegram Mire Jr. say they can bring a breath of fresh air to the position.

In Gonzales, former Chief of Police Barney Arceneaux and former Parish Councilman Martin McConnell are eying the mayoral spot, while veteran GPD?officers Chris Anderson and Sherman Jackson want to be the next top cop in the city.

These three specific openings – along with three races for Gonzales City Council seats – mean that there is a chance to bring fresh perspectives into offices that have featured familiar faces for years, if that is the will of the people come Saturday.

Other races around the parish have incumbents looking to retain their positions. Across the river in Donaldsonville, inucmbent Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. has two challengers, while three city council seats are also on the line.

Think about it. There are many of us who may complain about the way things are done around here. Well, for those who think that things just aren’t the way they’re supposed to be, now is your chance to have a say in how things will be.

We urge every registered voter in Ascension?Parish to do their civic duty and visit your respective polling places. Don’t disregard this right that you have. There are millions across the world who would give up so much just to be able to have a voice in their government. Please don’t take that for granted.