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Give and Take

Written by Aaron Williams on .

The city of Port Allen has been through an incredible amount of turmoil throughout the passed year –

and in the last month has been featured in newspapers, news stations and political blogs from Baton Rouge to Canada.

A lot has happened in the city, from the election of Deedy Slaughter to her demise, as voters decided to recall her.

From January until now, the city council was divided among racial lines with seemingly every vote.

Simple city government tasks became hour-long discussions between officials and residents, which sometimes resulted in name-calling and verbal bashing, and more often than not resulted in a stagnant government.

Well, Port Allen, Deedy’s gone now – so now what’s your excuse?

The former mayor was recalled in an historic November 16 election that saw the most early-votes ever in an election in the parish. Therefore, she has been out of office for an entire month, yet the council is still divided, unable to come to agreement on, again, simple city government tasks. There remains to be a proper give-and-take toward one another – everybody just wants their way and are not willing to budge on their ideas.

Is this a residual effect of Slaughter’s reign? Or was she not the actual problem to begin with? It’s a question many in the city are pondering.

In reporting the possibilities of who may become interim mayor of the city in the past few weeks, I’ve spoken with each of the council members. Some said they’d rather the governor make the appointment, some wanted a specific person to take over the position, some wanted the position themselves – but none were willing to budge on what they wanted.

I’m praying that the Jindal’s appointment of Lynn Robertson as interim mayor will, in some way, help bring the city together.

One thing that I believe we can all learn in this holiday season is a very basic Christmas principle: giving and receiving.

In my short six years as the West Side Journal’s editor, I’ve learned that government, and nearly every aspect of life, is about the give-and-take.

You can’t always get everything you want, so you give a little; but you can’t always let someone else get everything they want either, that would be unfair and leave you unhappy.

Life, sometimes, is about finding the happy-medium – but it should always be about moving forward.

So, city officials in Port Allen and elsewhere, married couples, friends – well, everybody – don’t be the selfish one who makes everyone around you unhappy by always taking and never giving. This is advice for all throughout the year, not just the holiday season – give a little.

If we, as a people, can put aside our own personal agendas and look ahead and make attempts, together, to move forward – in the process, giving a little and taking a little – we will assuredly achieve what we set out to accomplish together.

Merry Christmas!

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