City of Central Is Building a Bright Future

City of Central Is Building a Bright Future

There is an old saying, “time flies when you’re having a good time”. Well, 10 years have flown by for the City of Central and there have definitely been some good times. From the beginning, our city planners used forward thinking  for the future of our city. The efforts of many people helped steer Central in the right direction.

For a week now, I have been reviewing the history of our incorporation and the massive effort has paid off in spades. To begin a new city takes detailed planning and I can assure you that while our incorporator, Russell Starns, humbly says we probably made some mistakes, those mistakes were few and far between. This city was founded on “heart”. And the heartbeat of our city is the citizens’ involvement. Sitting on my desk is an exhaustive list of the committees formed to move toward the founding of our city. No less than nine committees, comprising over 70 persons, dedicated to working for all of the thousands of citizens were used to structure our city.

Streamlining Central was a priority that still exists. The idea of privatizing our City Services, was in a word, “genius”. Perhaps no other city in America can claim to have their entire city privatized. There is a statistic that says for every one private employee, it would take a municipality four employees to cover the same amount of work. By privatizing, we deliver services, quicker, more efficiently and certainly at a cost savings to the citizens. The work of IBTS, our City Service provider, is seamless and works to Central’s benefit.

I would be remiss, not to thank our first Mayor and Council who were appointed by Governor Blanco in 2005 for the trailblazing work they did to ensure Central’s success. Mayor Watts went on to serve two elected terms and oversaw the making of our Master Plan that guides our city growth today. His vision and conservative approach to city matters has propelled us into the 21st century. The $18 million surplus he amassed while serving will give us stability for a long time to come. The work of our appointed Council of Pete Humble, Carolyn Patterson, Louis DeJohn, Joan Lansing and Ralph Washington, took on a job few were prepared for, but they did an exemplarily job in forming the backbone of our new city. Our first Chief of Police, Doug Browning, set in motion the beginning of what is now our police department, serving the citizens of Central.

The Councils that served later included Lucky Ross, Aaron Moak, Dr. Tony Lobue and Wayne Messina. These city servants took what was handed them and improved upon our city. Today, we are led by Council members Wayne Messina, Dr. Kim Fralick, Shane Evans, John Vance and Jason Ellis. Our Chief of Police is James Salsbury. The work of our predecessors is not only appreciated, but we owe them a great deal of gratitude for taking on the responsibility of forming a new city, of embarking upon an adventure that had many pitfalls in the path, but working with a single purpose in mind of creating not just a city, but a “model city”, that would be the envy of Louisiana.

We all know that in 2007 our highly successful Central Community School System was born and like the city, has enjoyed great success. We are deeply indebted to many of the same people who formed the city for working diligently to create our school system too. The school system and the city are entwined together and the success of each depends on the other. Thank you, school board members and Mr. Faulk for leading us to the top!

As the next few years come and go, we will always be able to look back to the year 2005 and attribute what successes we enjoy to the brave men and women who stood up for the citizens of Central. Our future is in our hands. May God bless those who saw the future and acted on it!

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