BEST OF Elected Leaders! Local Leaders The Podcast #132

About This Episode

We have talked to many of our community leaders and elected officials over the past 2 years.

In episode 132 of Local Leaders the Podcast we put together our favorite moments with three in particular.

This episode includes snippets of our conversations with District 1 Livingston Parish Councilman Jeff Ard, Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff Taylor and City of Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry.

It’s a new edition of our “BEST OF” series and we are proud to bring it to you! Hosted by Local Leaders: The Podcast creator Jim Chapman.

Transcript (Beta)

hi this is lori johnson with hancock whitney bank and you’re listening to local leaders the podcast visit localleadersthepodcast.com for previous episodes or for information on appearing on the show hi it’s tricia johnston residential realtor with later in bloom with your real estate tip of the week now that we’re in the fourth quarter of 2021 people are wondering if there are going to be any noticeable changes in the housing market between now and the end of the year i don’t see anything that indicates that interest rates are going to noticeably rise between now and 2022 i think they’re going to continue to hover right around 3 percent the shortage of building materials is going to continue into the new year as well and while we might see a drop in the number of houses sold it’s not due to lack of demand it’s due to lack of inventory especially in the more affordable price ranges where first time home buyers are looking if a house goes for sale and one of those affordable price ranges it usually sells very quickly as long as it’s priced right so if you’re a buyer and the right house comes on the market go for it interest rates are still incredibly low if you’re a homeowner and you have a house to sell there’s never been a better time to sell and if you have any questions about real estate at all please don’t hesitate to give me a call and i’ll be happy to help i’m trisha johnston with ladder and bloom and i’ll be back here next week with another real estate tip for you hi folks i want to tell you about denim springs fit body boot camp in their 28-day 77 dollar jump start program there’s no strings attached and really no reason not to try you can be in and out in just 30 minutes and best of all these 30-minute sessions are scheduled throughout the mornings and evenings to fit your busy schedule these 30-minute sessions are fun positive encouraging and you can even sign up online just visit getfitdenhamsprings.com denim springs fit body boot camp a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast we had the the day on the friday before the event we had had an evening meeting at seven o’clock we it’s kind of like an emergency operations meeting where all got together make sure everybody had fuel in their trucks and flashlight i mean just the normal process of reminding everybody that what’s getting ready to happen and we’re going to meet again tomorrow morning at 7 a.m right here at the police department we’re going to see what we need to do and kind of assess yeah what does the weather look like what does wherever stages look like now we expect it because if you remember in march of that year we also had had a little minor flood where water came across river road and that would be the best case scenario just to have that little bit yes that might have been what we were kind of expecting until until yeah seven o’clock i actually got there about 6 30 and government street government boulevard was already underwater yeah and it was threatening to go into city hall which is across the street i said oh my goodness so i think it was curtis one of my street department guys uh curtis myers had a front end loader he put me in the bucket and took me across the street dropped me off at the front door and by that time the water was about an inch from coming in the door and i said oh my goodness so i got inside and i’m thinking what do i do because you just don’t know what to do but yeah but the water’s coming yeah man i just started taking hard drives off the floor and putting them on top of desk and taking the bottom drawers out of the file cabinets and throw it up on the top thinking maybe we’ll just have a couple inches and then the water started coming in the building and i’m thinking oh goodness yeah oh goodness yeah so i called uh ben harris one of my guys in the water department kind of ironic water department but anyway he was close by and he started helping me pick up all these things and then i called michelle hood as a city treasurer and i said i know there’s got to be something because we had this big safe and it was for records sure i know there’s something in there that i need to get tell me what it is and so she gave me the combination to get in we finally got it open and she wanted the backups she had backup tapes and hard drives for all the documentation yeah finally got that up her husband came up there to help us make sure we had everything that we needed and by that time the water now is probably two and a half to three feet inside city hall wow i’m saying oh man we need to get out of here so we went to the entrance closest to my office down the hall and ben and i tried as hard as we could to push open door and we couldn’t because of the force of the water coming from the river so we just turned around made 180 degrees went to the far end of the building that was facing the other way yeah and they sent our boat over to get us and we were able to get that door open and escape and then the water just kept rising and where we ended up was in the walgreens parking lot yep and uh we stayed there for two or three days because that was the only dry spot that we had we really couldn’t go anywhere right albertsons didn’t flood they were still open still operating yeah as best they could didn’t lose any power yeah thank goodness yeah we were able to feed all of our staff and and have we set up a charge account and see here’s my credit card water food whatever these guys the girls need make sure they get taken care of and it was difficult um i can remember sitting with uh dee womack okay she is the current um well she’s married to the chief of police but she’s also our evidence officer and uh at the time her and i were sitting on mill crates in the parking lot because that’s all we had sure we both had cell phones for a while because if you remember at t went underwater so i lost my cell phone she still had verizon service if i recall and i remember she’s sitting there talking to somebody and she’s screaming i can’t fax it to you because i don’t have a darn fax machine so you don’t think about how when you lose everything in city hall you lose it all and you can’t you can’t just produce a fax machine you can’t send the email i mean we were we were struggling yeah but we made it you know yes we made it and the most important thing was really trying to save lives because eventually the national guard did show up eventually we were able to get our thoughts together and send everybody to the water’s edge as a matter of fact on florida street fairly close to your store yeah just to get water we get people out of the boats escort them up the hill if you go to albertsons and we had to separate them i had to get on the microphone in the front of a police car right they have a mic thing i said okay if you have any medical emergencies if you’re in a wheelchair or whatever please get to the front of the line so that when the national guard gets here you can go first i was getting phone calls can you find my mom and daddy if you can please yeah it was a mad house it was just a mad house yes and you know i i can remember the most surreal moment for me was watching the coast guard literally flying over plucking people off exactly off of roofs and taking them up and and off they go and and i said oh my gosh this is right by the bass pro shop right you know exactly you know where i live that area of town and i’m i’m watching the coast guard these are amazing people these this guy would come down the zip line and it was like he’s done it a million times and come here get in the basket take you back up well here’s the other group the cajun navy showed up right yeah and these guys are just good old guys like you know you and i are sitting out there and they come in their bass boats and they’re battles and uh the young guy uh the baco family that owns the koa yes the youngest son comes up he said mayor he said i’m hanging in here he said but i need gas i said okay we got gas because we there was a convenience store right across from walgreens just east not selling gas to anybody else it’s ours yes and then in time of emergency i didn’t realize i had that power but i do

so we completely said this is only for emergency use right yeah so uh so the guy from uh cajun navy says but i need some i don’t have any gas cans i said oh my goodness so i turned to one of my police officers and i said i know we gotta have gas cans around here somewhere he said i’ll get you one don’t worry about it he comes back in about i don’t know five or ten minutes he’s got five or six of them brown i said where’d you find all the gas cans he said they were floating right there on centerville well if it was in your garage it floated out so we found all kinds of things that we needed unbelievable so we took the gas cans in and got them filled up and the cage navy was able to continue their work yeah fantastic oh yeah it’s just you have to be creative you have to be creative and it was really a point in time where citizens just uh you know normal people stepped up and uh and they did what they had to do to help their fellow citizens and i always tell people the war that was the worst of times and the best of times as they say citizens always take we always reach out and help each other you know i don’t care what part of the country you live in you’re going to help your neighbors because it’s the christian thing to do is the right thing to do yes maybe the only thing we do a little differently down here is that you know cajuns love to cook right so when the power goes out the first thing they start thinking about what can i make we’re gonna make a jumble and make a gumbo and and i’m going to tell you what we were in those little tents out there for a little while we had a lot of good food brought out to us yeah because people had to do something with the food that they had right yes yeah and uh it was it was a very emotional time when you didn’t when you weren’t in the middle of and you had a little quiet downtime for you know for a few minutes and i would tell you the emotions would take over and it’s like oh my gosh what are we going to do now yeah and then when you have to make the call uh uh fire chief i said chief wheat i said i need you to go out there i don’t want this to look like new orleans after katrina but we have to do a search of every house yes and what i meant by i don’t want to look like neurons i don’t want the big red x’s and zeros right just go to the house yeah and make a good informed decision do you need to break in and see yeah or if you see the attic stairwells down and it’s down and some somebody’s probably in the attic yeah bust in and get them yes if the house looks normal they probably don’t have to go in 100 and so we had to we we had to work through that process i’ve never done that before yes i’ve ever done that before so how do you do it how do you execute it right how about this one my wife calls me up she said baby she said there’s a coffin across the street at denver springs elementary oh lord oh lord is right i said we had 19 gr had 19 coffins up out of the ground they just popped up because of high flood water right yeah and i think seven or eight actually escaped the cemetery one was by my house and there was a couple in a ditch over there by off a river road yeah now what do you do yeah right so you know mary got on the phone and she called the state funeral directors association and she finally got down to a guy that gave her some advice and gave me his phone number i called him that later that evening and he said this is how you do it awesome so we had to go collect the bodies collect coffins and put them on a tarp bring them back to back to the graveyard cover them up with a tarp and then we were able to get some help from arby coins uh who worked with uh he’s a part of the dmort team he actually done some work in new york city after 9 11. oh wow he’s retired uh raven horse funeral director lives here in town great guy wow and uh he’s so he he just he said don’t worry about i got this and he did and you said take it saw you

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as you promised in your re-election and we just talked about this but the capital one building you ended up buying that and uh and you saved a little money i mean look you’re a businessman at heart right and they had they had listed on the market for 1.4 million yeah i knew of a guy that had tried to buy it and was almost able to close the deal at 1.2 million yeah and then i approached them uh after we had leased it for a year they gave it to us for the first six months for free no rent no utilities of fine corporate partners and we really appreciate that because we had to have a place to operate out of sure and then after the six months i said let’s renegotiate this let’s get a year lease from you and they they were very generous again i think it was like five dollars a foot which is a pretty pretty good price i’d say and then when we got to the end of the year we were in that process now with fema to decide what we were going to do next and i just reached out to capital one the realtor and i said okay guys this is what i want to do i know you have 1.4 million i know you got an offer for 1.2 i’ll offer you 1 million minus the rent that i’ve already paid you for the last year dog on it they took it yeah okay fantastic yeah so we were in a brightness check for seven seven hundred thousand seven hundred seventy one thousand i believe and then over the four million dollars that we had uh that paid for that and then we used about a million four or a million five in the remodel yeah you know new roof uh unlike some new finishes new floor walls painted didn’t move a whole lot of stuff around because you know what it’s working okay yeah it works okay i think it looks great uh and it’s paid for and it’s paid and that’s right yes yes indeed now let me ask you this if you could have one thing for the city of denham springs if the fema ferry came down and juice from a ferry fare came down and granted you just one thing just said here you can take this uh what would it be eliminate flooding there you go clean out the emit river do whatever you have to do south here to get the water out of our area as quickly as you can yeah do detention detention ponds or whatever up north of here to stop the water from ever getting here in the first place yeah i would love for our citizens to be able to go to sleep at night knowing that they don’t have to worry about a flood any longer now it’s happening all over the world sure look what happened in germany last week and there’s folks that have gotten killed with torrential rains and flooding there it’s just i don’t know i don’t know if we’re just more aware of it today because of the media that we have in this world or if it really is worse yeah i i’ve never been a proponent of of global warming right there’s something going on there’s no doubt about it yeah and but if we could just eliminate that fear for a lot of folks i would just i would i would feel like i’ve accomplished something fantastic fantastic now you also discussed with me a little bit around about you were proposing for the bass pro area for those big rigs that come out coming in and out of that i guess way station they’re coming out the way station and that uh there’s a pilot i think truckster yes and uh so they they come out that side entrance and they’re going to turn left and it really just blocks up that whole intersection it’s a bad design but they were there first sure okay and we built around them yeah over the last couple of decades and it’s been it’s been a challenge with traffic so i reached out to an engineering firm that does a lot of work with us fort and zlatan yeah and uh one of their engineers is a retired dotd employee because that’s where dotd employees go yeah i go to work for engineer firms and uh and she uh she said well why don’t we look at a roundabout yeah and so i work with capital regional planning i’m on the metropolitan planning organization so we that’s part of our job is is to approve and use dotd funds for road improvements around the state sure so one of the things i did was i immediately added bass pro to the mpo so that we would have access to federal funds in the future because that is a some major road here in our area because of the bass pro and sams and future developments that may come up down there absolutely so that opened the door then for the uh some of the other programs that are available so now what i have is a set of plans to have a roundabout at bass pro itself so that you could the truckers now this is who i’m really worried about let’s get the truckers to come out of the pilot and turn right yes go down to the bastrop make the loop and then come back up to range and that way they’re not blocking traffic i agree because if you are south of the city coming up range and you turn left onto bass pro if you’re not paying attention there’s a truck right in front of you absolutely and if you’re heading south and you turn right on that turn on that you’re looking to merge because this the truck is right there in front of you so we are very fortunate that we haven’t had any fatalities there but it’s uh it’s obviously a dangerous situation fixed and there’s several other projects a matter of fact i just was on the phone this morning with christine gallin from dotd and uh it looks like the contract’s going to be let for range avenue in november and what dotd is doing this is a state highway and it’s a state project it’s all based on crash data yes and they’re going to turn range avenue into left turn lane only okay this doesn’t sound very popular but you know what i think they’re going to take out one or two red lights left turn lane only it’s going to speed up traffic it’s actually speed up traffic and it’s going to i call that the suicide lane in the center because everybody’s using it as an entrance ramp right they speed up and they run into the back of somebody or the side swipe somebody yes and the number of accidents on range is horrendous yeah so this should eliminate most of them i can’t say all but most of them fantastic so it’s going to be a little learning curve for everybody and get over the shock of billy going new orleans oh yeah yes here we go yeah yeah hey ladies it’s pete with ida lane spawn boutique located in walker we offer all things skincare hair care makeup spray tan lashes and more and we have a full selection of clothes and we also do private events from birthday parties bridal showers and more so stop by today and get your queen on making every woman a queen see you soon good morning chairman and thank you for the for the invitation to uh to share some information with y’all today

it is true that 90 of my homes in my city received water 90 that’s hard to kind of it’s hard to comprehend that that many homes had water of the 4200 homes about approaching 3 000 had over 18 inches and that triggers the mitigation piece that we are so concerned about going forward but this is such an unprecedented event when you have 25 to 30 inches of rain in 72 hours we talked about trillions of gallons of water coming down upon us it is unbelievable what we have just gone through and we talk about so many of these folks 70 80 percent of the folks did not have flood insurance where the reason they didn’t have flood insurance we’ve never had that issue that bad the crest of the river was five foot above the highest recorded flood stage that we’ve ever had back in 1983. how do you even prepare for that

so our folks in our and at least in my community don’t live there without flood insurance because they want to live dangerously or because they can’t afford it they didn’t need it so this is such a a unique and rare event that has occurred it has just devastated all of us

we can go into great detail about the response from fema i have documented a lot of that in in my brief that i have submitted to you but the biggest single issue well there’s actually two single there’s two big issues one is the the inconsistency of the information that is given to us and to our citizens and the mitigation piece we talk about mobile housing units and how we all we need those gesturally so that our our seniors can get back to their homes and that our kids can get back to school because school starts again in a week or two they need to be back in their communities they need to be able to go back home and live in their driveway in a trailer of all things so that they can put their houses back together again but it starts off with mr myers you you need a trailer so we’ll we’ll get you one and then the next day or two somebody comes back and says oh no mr myers you can’t have it because you’re in a flood zone or fema guidelines say you can’t put one in a flood zone well who needs one more than anybody else that somebody that just got flooded so that just there’s no rhyme or reason there and we were instructed last week okay fema has relaxed the guidelines we can now have mobile homes in a flood zone but you heard me talk about mr myers he’s a 90 year old war veteran guess what fema went to his home just tuesday and said no we changed our mind again you can’t have the where is the consistency and the message to our people and you want to know why our people are frustrated because they don’t know who to turn to they cannot get the consistent information that they need to make an intelligent decision so to say that i’m disappointed and frustrated and angry is an understatement my community unlike unlike mr shelton’s is very old we’ve been around since 1828 when mr denham came and discovered some springs it’s the name denim springs and it was it was at that point in time when this con this community started to flourish and and we have large families a lineage of generation after generation such a strong sense of community and that we all pull together and we all support each other and so this this disaster is about real people it’s not something you just see on tv and you don’t connect with but we’re all we are definitely all in this together my community has and has an antique district and the buildings go back to the early 1900s we have football everybody has football we also have football but you know what it is that we sell season tickets and we sell a lot of season tickets every year to high school football that’s the kind of community that we have our citizens love our city and i love my citizens

and i’ll try to be their voice another 90 year old mr hughett underwood mr hewitt served our country in the second world war in the coast guard has always been to the veterans has always been attended every veteran’s function he’s such a proud man and now his home had 57 inches of water he has a bride of 59 years is how long they’ve been married and they want to just go back home but with the possibility of having to elevate their home of at a cost of about a hundred thousand dollars he can’t afford that the home is only worth about a hundred thousand dollars he’s 90 year old he just wants to go back home and live the rest of his life in peace and enjoy his kids and his grandkids and his great grandkids to show you how dedicated he was some of the possessions that he had were they were able to remove them from the home before the floods and then after the floods they went back to to go in and retrieve some of those and when when mr underwood walked into his storage room the first place he went to was the drawer where he kept his medals all of his service medals from the military back in the second world war that’s how that’s how much he served his country that’s how much he loves his country but now the country is not serving him with the ridiculous guidelines and the in the procedures that fema subjects him and his family and everybody else in my community and these other communities is uncalled for it’s unbelievable you have to be on the ground to truly understand exactly what our folks are being are going through i would challenge anybody from the fema headquarters play under curve a boss come to my city go work the streets and see what your folks are telling my people i had a 70 year old man gentleman in my office just yesterday in tears he was out of town during the flood event came back home drove into his driveway saw the devastation his wife had a heart attack now she is in hammond 30 miles away in her hospital her sister is taking care of her while this poor guy is back at home trying to take care of his possessions trying to gut out his house and a female rep goes to him and says well i’ma tell you what you got to tear your house down it’s devastating it’s devastating it devastated him he came to me he said mayor what am i supposed to do and we sat down and we talked and we talked and we’re we’re okay but the the response from fema has been totally uncalled for so in closing my biggest challenge to you is to make fema change the mitigation piece because if i had 3 000 homes that had more than 18 inches of water and they were deemed as substantially damaged they want us to elevate them that will be the death of my city i received an email the other day of a guy that lives on gerald and draft four of his neighbors have already said they are leaving and he’s strongly considering doing the same that peace does not need to go into effect please suspend it please use some common sense the fact is you’re going to make somebody raise their house on a 1 000 year event a reign of such epic proportions nobody could ever comprehend what is a what you know what what was going to happen so do not please i ask you please do not make us raise our homes

thank you very much

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well in the flood we gave a 20 25 20 and 20. if you remember over the four years this one is going to get the value yeah if you come in there and your value to your estimate to replace your uh home or get it back in order is a hundred thousand you’re gonna get a 000 off we’re going to give you the value i’ve got people that went through the flood in my subdivision yeah that had trees on their home wow they just got through my neighbor across the street just literally last year got through repairing her home from the flood and now she’s got trees all over the back of her house not in the yard on her house wow so she’s now having to start all over again look that’s very trying that that will that will um that would break the strongest that’ll break your journals that it will and so we when i talk to the districts i’ve told them whatever people come in we’re going to inspect it and we’re going to put it on our uh our numbers yeah and whatever that number comes up to be that’s what we’re doing yeah we’re going to give it to them yeah and

see if you’ve got enough money to make it through yeah the people are going to get it because they’ve been through a lot the people this pair has been through a lot and and they need to get their discounts absolutely and of course uh there was a cove discount that had kicked in at one point tell us about that and and if it’s still existing and yeah cove it’s still going you know it started last year we gave it 10 i was the only assessor that gave a 10 to both residential and commercial i gave 10 percent you got 10 percent across the board yeah now it’s important that people understand that if you got a flood discount a kova discount i had a discount you’re not getting all three of them you’re going to get the one that is the most yeah whichever one comes in best for you if the flood discount comes out higher you’re going to get that if the coven one comes out higher you’re going to get that yeah if the ida comes out higher you’re going to get that right so that’s only fair i can’t can’t go through there and add them all three together and give you 80 percent pay you money back yeah by the time we get through with everything so we’re going uh be working on that uh we talked a few minutes ago that you know the the parish workers and the sheriff’s office and everything they’ve been working real hard yeah over this last three weeks four weeks been working real hard as their work winds down ours really picks up yeah so we were able to assist them for this last four weeks yeah with whatever needed to be done cooking getting supplies keeping our office open we were the only office for a while that internet so they were actually coming over to our office and using our internet yeah so we were able to do some of that but now as their work is winding down we know in the office of the assessor’s office the next four months is going to be just absolutely unreal yeah because we’re going to have to go all over this place looking to see what kind of damage we’ve got and making sure that you know we’re going to verify it yes you you hate to say that but you’ve got to verify it because there’s going to be people that are going to call me sure they got 300 000 worth of damage you’re going to get there and they lost a shingle yeah there’s going to be some people that’s going to tell me they’ve got about four thousand dollars worth of damage you can get there in their roost call yeah yeah there’ll be some people that are underestimated they’re going to underestimate sure so we’re going to verify it for them yeah very good and and interesting in that a lot of ways that you can verify damage now

you’re not just driving out there and and going to each individual although there was a time where that you know you had to do that but you have a pretty amazing uh flyover mapping system that that you can do that you can actually see that damage from the sky right oh yeah we’ve got a mapping system uh jim we’re about to um create a full-blown livingston parish mapping system yeah we’ve got it through the assessor’s office now but we’re going to have our own department we’ve got a in the back of our building that we’ve just built there’s an area we’re going to put the uh mapping department there where people can come in there and get all their maps they’re not going to have to just go through the front door they’re going to be able to get there yeah but one of the things that our mapping system has done is that we’ve been able to add pictures of all the houses in the parish and then we do flyovers yeah and those flyovers come in and we can lay them over every two years they do a flyover yeah and so we can lay it over the top of the one and we can see what’s the new construction an added benefit of that is as i can now take and lay that one down from two years ago and i can lay idle over across it and i can see what the damage is wow so we can do a lot of the assessment from the air yeah now the ones that we can’t we’ll obviously have to go out there and drive sure but it’s so much easier if i got three or four guys that are sitting there just looking at it as a flyover you’re missing a roof you got substantial damage yeah if you’re missing this so we’re gonna be able to see a lot of that from the air they’re already there they’re 40 something percent finished with the flyover in the parish they would have been finished already but the weather yeah timing turn around it rains yeah cloudy so it’s good we’re real close yeah very good and and the time that that saves is just uh phenomenal i mean you’re you’re probably talking months and months of people don’t want to see right now you don’t want to see a necessary vehicle driving them down the street yeah first of all you’re in the way yeah that’s the first uh you know the sheriff’s department of paris they’re trying to get things cleaned up yeah and so if you’re in there trying to do all that you’re just in the way yeah so we’re gonna have a way to be able to do this and then when they get everything cleaned up then we can start doing all the work that’s necessary and right now we can do support and then we’ll they’ll be giving us support yeah and and speaking of work and things like that you know the assessor’s office which incidentally uh congratulations you are the 2021 assessor of the year uh you know statewide that’s a that’s a huge thing uh you got a little bit of experience in the in the assessor world with 21 years now that you’ve been doing this and i can’t tell you folks how much i believe that is of benefit to our parish because uh jeff jeff has worked with these people in the state of louisiana for a long time you know throughout the entire state really to get uh a spotlight on livingston parish and when your assessor of the year when you have that much experience that goes a long way um it really does so uh shout out to you for for your award well deserved thank you

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tell you how it happened about two months ago i got a phone call yep one morning i said all right we got a little situation and i said okay and it was another assessor from paris he called and he said i’m just finding out this information the company that we’ve all been using has been breached we’re fine the assessors are fine yes the sheriff’s association is not yeah some of them got really breached and so they’ve been hacked yeah okay so what’s that mean for us well your sheriff should be calling you sometimes what i was on the phone with him sheriff cut in he’s like i got some information for you he said the company’s been breached he said it’s pretty serious they brought in the state department the fbi military everybody come in and raided this company yeah but the sheriff’s association knew about it for one year before they could let us know under penalty of arrest yeah they could not they had to continue doing business with this company acting like nothing happened yeah you realize how hard that would be i can only imagine especially when you want to tell other districts sure and you can’t yeah so he told me as soon as he could yeah and at that point we decided okay we need to start searching because if this company was breached that easily and the reason they couldn’t tell us anything is they was trying to find out where the breach come from yeah they didn’t want to tip off they didn’t want to tip off the company and all this kind of stuff we understood it completely so we had to do our due diligence and make sure that we were not breached we were not so we we come out fine but we found that the company was probably there were some things that they should have done better as far as protecting and security yeah so i decided i need to start looking for another company or see if there’s somebody out there that’s a little bit better if not if this company is good we’ll stay here but i’m gonna i’m gonna use this time to research sure so i have done some extensive um review in the last two months i have talked with them in los angeles i actually went to los angeles looked at their software i didn’t want to be sold i didn’t want to sell them everybody said well won’t you just have the salesman come in because he’s only going to tell me the good when i went to these different deals we went to tampa we went to dallas i went to uh los angeles i’m going to seattle and i’m going to vermont why those areas because every time we’re up for anything in iwa they win every time yeah so if i’m going to get to where livingston parish is the best yeah you got to play the best that’s right you know i i already know what louisiana’s doing i know every company that is represented in louisiana yeah there’s one embosser that is leading the pack right now as far as i’m concerned in louisiana yeah but we haven’t visited the king daddy yet which is seattle they’re they’re the best they’re the best i’ve talked to the assessor up there a few times and he says yeah we kind of got a decent district up here yeah i think everybody thinks that y’all are the best i said i’m coming to see you i said i want to see what you have i said and i want you to be brutally honest with me yeah i want you to tell me the bad and the good yeah los angeles did that they told me everything that they didn’t like about their system they told me everything they liked dallas did the same thing tampa told us the same thing yeah so that’s what we’re trying to learn is what is the good one so i can bring it back here again if you want to be the best you got to get the best and so we’re working on all of those things with the deal i take different groups of my office i’ll take personal property and residential with me i’ll take commercial and change orders with me and we’ll put them in an area you need to work with these people and they’ll spend a day yeah doing nothing but change or watching them do change orders does that work for you yeah what what doesn’t work for you i was telling you a little bit ago we went to los angeles and when i was talking to a cesar preen out there um we were he was saying well this is what we have we’re spending 100 million dollars we’re doing this 100 million that’s a lot of money yeah okay yeah so when he started putting everything up on screen i was looking at i said okay that’s pretty good i like that i like that i like that well when they finally started saying well what do you all do in losing i said well we’ve been doing that for about five years and we’ve been doing that for ten years and he was like you really have i said we we already have the scan documents in we already have the pictures i’ve already got everything in my parish measured yeah we’re the only one in the state that has everything a tape measure been put on it wow i made a decision 12 years ago to make sure that i put a tape on everything yeah so when people come in and tell me they got a 1200 square foot house yeah you actually got 18. yeah because my guys went out here on this date and we measured it for you so when he was talking about all these things nevertheless they were already doing some of that but he did have some good ideas that i said i’m going to take that home with me and i’m going to put that on my screen and so all of these things i’m writing down i’m taking the best of what everybody has yeah and i’m adding it to whatever i’m going to buy but i am going to by the time we get through with this in january february or march we’re going to have a top-notch software service that’s fantastic and you know the interesting thing about all of that to me is you’re going to different places and you’re taking kind of the best parts of what you like out of individual assessors offices and then you’re bringing it back here and you’re kind of tailor making your own program i’m making my own program and it’s beautiful it’s tailor-made yeah so yeah a little play on words yeah i like it but if it’s not working for them why would i bring it into here yeah so i can go ahead and take all that out whereas if i just bought a canned program i would have all the bad with it yeah so i can go ahead and just take all that out and say let’s don’t even bring that in here let’s replace what they’re doing over here with what tampa was doing over here because it worked better there i need that program in mind that’s a great thing and so all of a sudden we’re going to have a pretty good one absolutely and so i’m looking forward to it it’s a big learning curve man i can only imagine yeah but we’re not going to be good stephanie berthelot and the crew at sr enterprise can handle it all from sheetrock to texture to paint give stephanie a call at 504-432-9284

sr enterprise where they spread the paint and you spread the word

i guess an issue that we still have with some of the older people in the parish that were used to the police jury system because you know they might have called their police jury back in the 80s yeah and hey i need you to take care of this for okay and they did it right away yeah you know but the police jury men actually in his district he got a pile of money he had his own work crew and he was basically the supervisor over that crew yes he directed them and they did everything he wanted done and he was over at all yes we’re overdone of that right you know we we write the laws if we see a law that needs to be tweaked we tweak it we change it you know um we really don’t have any intel on the actual work in the employees that’s the administration’s job under a council system yes and so that’s the primary difference in those in those days and times that you kind of handled everything now it’s it they split that essentially yeah and look it was opening for me because you know i have an uncle james sibley used to be a police chairman and uh i kind of always watched the position and i might be interested in that one day and i kind of got married moved out to walker and but i always wanted to go back to where i grew up to do it and we finally moved back out in that area and i decided to run it’s been good things it’s been good i mean you know i i really i get more upset when somebody calls me and i can’t help yeah you know because i feel like there’s a lot of times that i just have to say i just can’t do nothing that’s not my job you know yeah and some people just don’t want to hear that yeah yeah they and that’s one thing we want to definitely impress on everybody is uh you’re not necessarily passing a buck your hands do get tied yes and uh and so leighton rex office that’s more of the administrative side of things that that uh you would deal with on situations like that now if you’ve got a you know good idea or a law that you think you want to bring to the to the council and say hey this might make for a good ordinance they they’d love to hear it i’m sure yeah and that’s another thing i’ve had people come up to me and ask me something and i’ll say you know i’m gonna have to look into it and they’re like you don’t know it but you know how many hardnesses that we have there’s no there’s a lot i’ve seen them so if it hasn’t come across our desk and we’ve dealt with it we would probably have to look it up and and see what the ordinance says and see if there’s an issue with it and you know and and we’ve had a lot of them that’s come across our desk that we’re like they made sense back in the 90s when they wrote it sure but it doesn’t make sense now because our parish has changed so much that you know and we probably have a bunch of them that’s still on the books that we just haven’t come across yet that really doesn’t help us out as a parish now but until something comes across our desk as in part of that ordinance we just we don’t know yeah and it’s it he’s 100 right i mean you can go online and print out the entire thing and you better have a ream of paper in there to print it out because i started to one day and i’m like i ain’t got enough ink for this yeah uh so yeah i said it uh it’s a lot hey ladies it’s pete with idaho lane spawn boutique located in walker we offer all things skincare hair care makeup spray tan lashes and more and we have a full selection of clothes and we also do private events from birthday parties bridal showers and more so stop by today and get your queen on making every woman a queen see you soon

2015 uh the entire council was pretty much replaced this was your first term it was my first term um i was probably the first one to come out of the group and say that they were running and at the time transparent was the councilman and he had said that he wasn’t going to run and then he come back change his mind and ran so i ran against him you know he was still the incumbent yeah um got a pretty high percentage of that 69 on that one uh and and just went around and uh you know a lot of people know me and me and tracy gardner have known each other since we were five years old went through school from kindergarten all the way through and you know he was a councilman in city of walker and i kind of made you realize to do this with me let’s let’s do this together and let’s go in and took a little convincing kind of finally got him going and then uh you know started hearing of other guys wanting to get in and do it and i i mean it was when we all won we all kind of get in there and like okay yeah cause you’re all new we’re all new yeah what are we gonna do and yeah you know luckily uh john wascom and tracy both had a little experience at least being on city council right and uh we kind of leaned on them but i’m gonna tell you our our savior was miss sandy teal yeah our clerk yeah you know she she kept us in line she’s awesome she is awesome and she she really she really kept us going yeah we we would try to do things and she’d be like no you can’t do it that way you have to do it this way i’m sorry yeah there’s a lot of red tape involved that uh that you got to kind of work through and things like that miss sandy teal i i did leadership livingston with her and uh just an amazing uh lady indeed yes she is so uh and has to deal with a bunch of you guys all the time and then yeah it’s gonna be tough you know i mean look at that scooter running around yeah we have classes you know uh i i at one time i had a little joke going around and i don’t even remember it about each councilman’s part and what they do and you know and yeah i used to mess with scooter all the time and say we we just use you when we want information leaked out scooter that’s all we usually i love it i love that yeah so uh and interestingly enough the council they have a they have a lot of responsibility and there’s a lot of things y’all been doing uh towards the positive lately i guess you could say one of those i want to bring up that is kind of a big topic is water safety regulations so we’ve had unfortunately some deaths at uh tiki tubing um you know lately and and of course those make the news and everything and from the council standpoint y’all said man we need to look at this and maybe we need to institute some regulations uh for businesses you know to operate it wasn’t being it was really common sense stuff that you’re not you’re not trying to be hard on any sort of business but there were some safety regulations lacking there so let’s discuss those a little bit well you know the ordinance committee gave it to us at the last meeting and i thought they did an excellent job on it you could tell they really put their time into it uh you know they they put where they’re gonna have uh gps markers down the river so when something happens they can call in and say hey we’re at this marker yeah that’s huge and we don’t have people trying to go up and down the river or send a drone up or whatever we got to do to try to find them we have a marker that at least puts us right on top of them yes so we’re also going to have depth gauges along the river to be able to see they’re going to try to mark some of the more dangerous areas of the river that typically get deep and when the river gets high it gets a little sure a little stronger current there yeah uh the life vest we had a little discussion on that uh yeah but uh you know it basically said the business had to provide them it doesn’t say you have to wear them right that’s still your personal liberty yeah we’re not going to stop stepping on that liberty but we want the business owner to have to put it in your hands yes you know um and you know mr wascombe wanted to add available and i was the one that said um wait a minute i feel like if we put available they’re going to put a tub of life vests right there and hey they’re available yeah you know and if you want it get one yeah and i would i would prefer put a tub where you drop them off at and if they don’t want to wear it they can put it in the tub over there but they did that yeah on their own they put it in that tub and they chose not to wear it yeah that’s right they made that decision for themselves they made that decision yeah i agree with that 100 and that was uh more semantics than anything else you know as far as wording but it was worded very well and there’s a you know one thing we also want to say is it does not include private boat launches so yes anybody that has a private boat launch it’s all good you don’t have to yeah you know it’s primarily for business you know because it it was like did we put you know the you know floating devices that don’t have a motor inflatables you know how how do we word this and uh it was a lot of discussion on how to get it right yeah you know and at the same time we didn’t want to be like we’re picking on this one business right you know we wanted it to pertain to river safety that’s right not just this business yeah uh that you know it just so happened this business brought the attention to us that hey we have an issue that we probably need to look into yeah and that’s and that’s the you know the great things about a council is it’s a bunch of minds getting together and kind of working out the best solution in the best process for those sort of things

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