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Story Archives: A new era
|A new era|
Winnsboro will soon enter a new era with Jackie Johnson as mayor.
He will be the first black man to ever hold the post. While he deserves accolades for that accomplishment, the kind of mayor he turns out to be will ultimately matter more than his skin pigment, as it should.
Johnson has a long and distinguished career of service, including a career in the U.S. Army and protecting the citizens of Winnsboro as a police officer for 14 years.
He has spent his retirement as a member of the Franklin Parish Police Juror, working to make his community a better place to live.
Winnsboro is a great place to live and I believe Johnson to be a good man who has this city's best interest at heart.
Those who supported Ken Hill —also a good man— should give Johnson the benefit of the doubt and work with him. The mayor-elect has indicated he would like to reach out to anyone who is willing to help him.
He spoke often during the campaign about creating committees made up of Winnsboro's best and brightest citizens to keep the city moving in the right direction and I think there are talented people in this community who fit the bill.
A great resource would be the man who lost the election.
Hill, a smart businessman with a lot of good ideas, told Johnson he would help out in anyway he could.
I'm glad to see that both men were able to emerge from the election as friends with good things to say about one another.
You don't have to look too hard to see that there are a lot of things going right in Winnsboro. During the campaign, this city was called a "shinning star" in northeast Louisiana.
It is and I hope it remains that way.
There are, of course, challenges ahead — just read the front page of this week's newspaper.
Johnson will most likely enter office with the city under criminal investigation over the treatment of dogs at the animal shelter. It's not a problem that Johnson created, but it will be one with which he will have to deal.
The city has plans to replace the shelter off Robinson Road with a new one. Winnsboro has an opportunity —and support from the community—to make the new shelter a model for towns this size across Louisiana.
The way Johnson deals with this issue will be an indication on what kind of mayor he will be.
He took a step in the right direction as a candidate by attending a recent meeting of the Franklin Animal Rescue — a new non-profit organization of concerned citizens working to make things better for local shelter animals.
Winnsboro has a history of good mayors.
The late Mayor Jack Hammons exemplified this and Johnson has a great opportunity to carry on this tradition.
We will be watching.