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|Clark named treasurer|
For Larry Clark the Franklin Parish Court-house has a familiar feel. The new treasurer of the Franklin Parish Police Jury began his working career in the clerk of court's office in 1977, soon after he graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe (formerly Northeast).
"I was here in the clerk's office from '77 to '84," Clark said. "And now I am glad to be back."
Clark was hired by the police jury on March 13, and admits that at the time he didn't realize the enormous responsibility he was taking on.
"It really hit me when I went to the bank and had to sign 20 signature cards so I can write checks," he said. "That's 20 different accounts to manage for the police jury."
Clark has learned in his first few weeks on the job the vast the scope of the police jury.
"There are seven jurors with seven districts and each one has to take care of their district, plus do what's best for the parish as a whole," Clark said. "They are knowledgeable and well informed on everything that is going on."
Clark said he's impressed with the dedication of the jurors and the police jury staff – and not just those at the courthouse office. Clark said the crews at the road barn are doing the behind-the-scenes work that keeps the parish running smoothly.
"Most of us average citizens don't see these people out there working," Clark said of maintaining the parish infrastructure. "The roads, the drainage, the bridges. It's a tremendous undertaking."
Clark will have to manage the funding for the parish's infrastructure and he said that's something else the residents don't always understand.
"People don't realize where a tax is going, all the ins and outs. Once we pull the lever (and a tax passes) or we get a grant, the work is just beginning. All of these projects have to be managed from the bid process to completion," Clark said.
Clark referred to the parish as a "non-profit organization" and said, "We have to account for every dollar we get. We're not making any money here."
Clark said the state is good about informing the parish when funding and grants are available for different projects.
It can be a confusing process, but he's had help from the former treasurer, Shannon Gwin, who last week spent a few days going over procedures with him. Clark said staff members Johnnie Wesley, Bobbi Wood and Mary Beth Smith have been vital to his smooth transition into the office.
"They really have been a big help, showing me where things are and what things are called," he said. "All of them have been here several years and know what they are doing."
Clark said the biggest challenge for the treasurer is getting and keeping all of the components working together.
"I'm working on how to mesh the administration, technology, laws, bid process and grants. It's a big job and so far, I love it," he said.
When he's not at work, Clark said he enjoys golfing and he used to play tennis, until he "got too old." Clark has three grown sons who were born and reared in Winnsboro and still live here with their families. Clark also has four grandchildren and one on the way.
He said he's fortunate his children were able to find jobs and stay in their hometown.
"So many parents have their children leave for jobs and end up making their homes somewhere else. I'm proud of all three of mine and am thankful they are here," he said.
Clark feels pretty thankful about being here, too.
"This has always been my home and here I am, back (at the courthouse and working for the parish) after all these years. It's good to be back. I'm proud and thankful I have this job," Clark said.