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Story Archives: Johnson bids farewell to jury
|Johnson bids farewell to jury|
NEWLY ELECTED MAYOR SET
TO TAKE HELM OF CITY JULY 1
After more than two decades serving District 7, Jackie Johnson gave the Franklin Parish Police Jury his resignation at Monday's regular meeting to prepare for his new job as mayor of Winnsboro.
In quitting the police jury, Johnson said it has been an honor to serve at his post for the last 22 years and it is with "sadness and many mixed emotions that I now step aside."
"This time will begin a new chapter in my life and the lives of my constituents. I have served them faithfully and with honor," he said.
Johnson nominated Rev. Eugene Lumpkin to fill his post, but the jury voted on Joe Lewis to take his place until a special election can be held.
Lumpkin and nominee Charles Brass were also vetted by the jury for Johnson's seat.
"I feel really good about being chosen. I had talked about running for the position even before Jackie was elected mayor," said Lewis. "I plan to get in here and work with the rest of the jury and get things done for the whole parish."
Jurors said they have enjoyed their time serving with Johnson and he will be missed.
"We have been through some rough water, but he has been a good juror. He has always stood up for the people," said juror Harvey Guimbellot, who has served on the Franklin Parish Police Jury with Johnson since 1993.
Johnson won the March 1 run-off mayoral election with 57 percent, or 997 votes, of the 1,764 ballots cast.
His opponent, Ken Hill, received 767 votes in the election.
Johnson will take office July 1.
In other business, the police jury approved a resolution to allow Franklin Medical Center to incur debt of up to $200,000 in bond money for the purchase of the rural health clinic in Newellton from Tensas Parish.
The hospital currently leases the facility.
Franklin Medical Administrator Blake Kramer said the hospital would save half the money it currently spends to lease the building by purchasing it.
Jurors also asked Kramer about progress on a rural health clinic the hospital is working on to service the Crowville area.
The hospital's board of commissioners passed a measure last month to purchase 2.2 acres of land on La. Hwy. 17, about a mile south of Crowville where the clinic would be built.
Kramer told jurors that plans for the purposed clinic were currently being reviewed by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the bid process for construction would soon begin.
Hospital officials have said that they expect to break ground on the facility sometime this summer.
The police jury also passed a resolution to be forwarded to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Congressional Delegation urging President Obama to reduce the six month moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico to no more than 30 days.
The Obama Administration ordered the moratorium —which the Louisiana Police Jury Association fears will devastate Louisiana's economy—in the wake of the British Petroleum oil spill on May 27.
The resolution calls for tasking the Minerals Management Service with conducting inspections of all deep-water drilling facilities in the Gulf of Mexico as well as implementing strict safety measures and enforcement of ensure compliance with safety mandates.
IN THE PHOTO:
Winnsboro Mayor-Elect Jackie Johnson is congratulated by juror Harvey Ray Guimbellot on being elected to his new post. Johnson, resigned his post Monday evening and will become mayor next month.