Lindsay Ard's Letter to the Editor on Local Government Session
The 2014 class of Leadership Tangipahoa had our first class on September 17, 2013. The class was on Parish Government. We started the day at the new, state of the art parish library in Amite and were addressed by Parish President, Gordon Burgess and Parish Council Chairman, Lionel Wells. Also, other department directors spoke to us, such as the Public Works and the TRACC director. We then heard from Assistant Director of the library, who gave us a tour of the new facility. Our morning continued at the Parish Landfill on Hano Road where we learned the ins and outs of how the facility runs.
We then traveled to Ponchatoula for lunch at Café’ Nola, where our guest speaker was the director of GOHSEP, Kevin Davis. After lunch we traveled to Hammond to visit the Animal Control Center, the Mosquito Abatement District and the Parish Health Unit. At the Health Unit, we learned about the health department, the planning department and the permit department.
We then headed back to Amite to the Florida Parishes Arena and ended our day at the Parish Council Chamber meeting room for our class wrap up. During our wrap up, my classmates spoke of certain things that really stood out to them throughout the day. They discussed how impressed they were by the communication and cooperation of different departments throughout the parish. They were also impressed by how well parish officials are using grants and other funds to improve the things that our parish really needs and, of course, the capping of the landfill is something everyone in the parish should see.
Over all, it was a very interesting, entertaining and educational day. We would like to thank Jeff McKneely and Missy Cowart for planning a great day. Also, a special thanks to our Parish President, Mr. Gordon Burgess, for not only sponsoring a wonderful class for us, but for all the hard work he does for our parish day in and day out.