More than 1,000 federal, state and local government officials gathered for the 89th Annual Police Jury Association Convention. This year's event was held in Calcasieu Parish at the L'Auberge in Lake Charles from February 20-22, 2013. Attendees were given Congressional, state and local updates on a variety of issues. They also visited with over 100 interest groups related to the day-to-day operations of parish government.
Elected and appointed officials such as US Senator David Vitter, US Congressman Charles Boustany, Lt Governor Jay Dardenne, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain, PSC Commissioner Secretary Scott Angelle,, State Representative Tim Burns, Department of Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield, DEQ Secretary Peggy Hatch, GOHSEP Director Kevin Davis, Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham, DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein, State Fire Marshall Butch Browning, and FEMA's Louisiana Recovery Director Bill Doran, Governor Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Anthony Ramirez, Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach addressed the local government leaders during the three-day convention.
The convention was a special time for outgoing President Gerald "Mike” McLeod of Beauregard Parish, as he hosted the successful convention. During the Friday night banquet McLeod passed the gavel to incoming President Melvin Haymon of Vernon Parish.
"This is a crucial time for all forms of Government, so it was essential that we all gather and discuss the issues and look for solutions for our common citizens,” says Haymon.
Topics of conversation ranged from tax reform, sequestration, member services, state and federal budgets, local government financing, ethics, highway funding, tourism, emergency preparedness, drainage and the upcoming regular session of the Legislature.
Other officers installed at the annual banquet included 1st Vice President Lisa Nelson of St. Martin Parish, 2nd Vice President David Cox of Caddo Parish and 3rd Vice President Guy Cormier of St. Martin Parish. Other 2013-2014 executive board members include Cynthia Hedge-Morrell of Orleans Parish, John Young, Jr., of Jefferson Parish, Mack Calhoun of Ouachita Parish, Gordon Burgess of Tangipahoa Parish, Francis Andrepont of Calcasieu Parish, Joe Bishop of Rapides Parish, Bernard Broussard of Iberia Parish, John Marceaux of Jefferson Davis Parish, Scott Perry, Jr., of Rapides Parish, Glenn Benton of Bossier Parish, Major Coleman of St. Helena Parish, Eric Solieu of Evangeline Parish and Kenneth Epperson, Sr. of Caddo Parish.
Also included on the executive board are past presidents including immediate past president Gerald "Mike” McLeod, Paul Naquin, Jr. of St. Mary Parish, Sandy Treme of Calcasieu Parish, Richard Billings of Rapides, and Timothy Roussel of St. James Parish. Theresa Pacholik of Rapides Parish was elected as the new President of the Organization of Parish Administrative Officials, and Perry Holmes of Winn Parish was re-elected President of the Louisiana Parish Engineers and Supervisor's Association.