Mayor Richard Lee, III has served as Port Allen Mayor since 2014 but says his work is far from over.
Lee was first elected in 2014 following a recall vote on the previous mayor Deedy Slaughter. The people of Port Allen reelected him in 2016.
The city’s accomplishments over the past six years are just the beginning, he said.
Lee is a Port Allen native through and through. He’s been here his whole life. Prior to his time as mayor, he worked as an officer for the Baton Rouge Police Department. He and his wife Carolyn have been married 28 years and have five children: Richell, Richard IV, Rhecie, Rhea, and Rhenell, all of whom live in Port Allen.
Mayor Lee is exceedingly aware of the city’s problems, but he also knows the obvious answers are not always the easiest. He prides himself on collaboration and creative solutions.
“I would say my greatest achievement has been serving as Mayor and having the opportunity to work for the people of Port Allen,” Mayor Lee said.
The mayor has no shortage of planned improvements, many of which are already underway. He hopes citizens will reelect him so he can finish what he started.
First on the list is a long-awaited upgrade to the wastewater treatment facility with $250,000 in funding already secured to remedy the water back-ups that plague the west side of town during heavy rains.
Lee wants to continue revitalizing the city through his mission to beautify the city and its parks through recreation projects like securing funding for bathrooms at William and Lee and Cohn parks. He plans to continue investing in the city’s parks, citing a recent investment of $75,000 for an outdoor training area for in Centennial Park.
His revitalization goals also include bringing back the Port Allen ferry, which carried passengers to and from downtown Baton Rouge from 1820 to 1968. The ferry stopped operation due to a lull in use after the construction of the “new” Mississippi River Bridge. With the help of federal funds, Mayor Lee said the ferry could run again, increasing tourism through downtown Port Allen.
Most of Mayor Lee’s plans for the city are already underway, and he wants to see them through during another term. Lee’s five-year road repair plan, which includes improvements to roads across the city, is expected to be complete in 2-3 years. Phase one of the project is now complete - it included repairs and improvements to roads east of LA-1.
He wants to be in office for the completion of the proposed Westview Crossing housing development. Last year, the city annexed 200 acres for its construction. Mayor Lee expects the first filing of the subdivision to be complete in the next three years.
“People need to understand public government is slow, and that everyone needs to come together in order for us to grow together,” Lee said. “Even with an open line of communication, if both parties cannot listen to one another, [it’s] difficult to reach a mutually beneficial outcome...We ask those citizens who are unhappy with the city government to continue to be patient with us… Please continue to voice your concerns through your City Council member.”