I want to begin this column by simply saying congratulations to all the local election winners throughout the area, as well as nationally.
The West Side Journal, though the timestamp on page one states “Thursday” actually gets completed and printed on the Tuesday before it arrives in homes. If you’ve ever noticed, the “Thursday” paper is in stores on Wednesday mornings; and the papers are also taken to the post office on Wednesday to by mailed in order to arrive in to your home’s mailbox by Thursday.
All that to say that though you are reading this after the presidential and local election results have been released, as I write I have no idea who has claimed victories.
With that said, I want to make a plea to the West Baton Rouge election winners – in Port Allen, Brusly and Addis.
I became the editor of the West Side Journal in January 2008. Upon seeing the paper’s operations on a week-by-week basis as well as the final product at the time, there were certain things I wanted to change immediately in order to put out what I thought would be a better product for the Journal’s readership.
It has nearly been five years since my start here, and many of the changes I have made to the paper have been simple transitions, while others I have had to work hard to accomplish – but all-in-all, I think we have been in a position where we put out a quality product each week.
The Louisiana Press Association has named us Newspaper of the Year in our division two of the last three years.
But there are other things that I wanted to implement, or completely change, as soon as I became editor that have yet to change – there is obviously still a lot of room to grow.
So, my plea to the winners of the local elections is simply this: Do everything you can to make a true difference.
Don’t take office, whether you were an incumbent or you’re a new mayor or council member, do your best to make a difference in your community.
You campaigned for months, finding out the issues in the community – now take the four-year opportunity the people have given you and make your city/town the best it has ever been.
I don’t mean this as a knock on any of the past mayors, police chiefs, council members and others, but there is always room for improvement, and I believe it is the job of the people in charge to do everything in their ability to improve upon the last group of people in charge.
My last plea to the newly elected officials is more of a long-term plea: don’t fall into the political trap that so many in the state have fallen into. Remember that you are in your position because the people, as a majority, thought that you could represent them the best. Please don’t take that for granted.
Make a difference every day. Make a difference in your family. Make a difference in your city, parish, country and world.