On Election Day, voters in the City of Gonzales will have to decide whether to keep their current mayor or vote in a new one. A longtime city councilman is hoping he will get the job.
One look down Highway 30 in Gonzales and it is clear things are picking up. The new businesses, hotels and gas stations come with more traffic. It is a sore spot in the city recognized by both Mayor Barney Arceneaux and his opponent city councilman Terance Irvin.
"It is the biggest problem we are dealing with right now," Arceneaux said.
"Right now I think it's crucial because Gonzales is in the process of making a turning point," Irvin said.
However, that is not the only challenge facing the city. The two-term mayor said the city in the middle of an economic boom and he has the leadership skills to grow Gonzales smart. Arceneaux pointed to a new state-of-the-art police station, bowling alley and theater as his biggest successes.
"What I am so happy about is, even back in my law enforcement days, I can remember people telling me we need something for people to do in Gonzales for the young people," Arceneaux said.
Arceneaux said it was possible through the contacts he has made as President of the Louisiana Municipal Association and other relationships he has built through his years of public service.
"I don't think now is a time to change. I think I am the better candidate because of who I know and where I can go to make that contact," Arceneaux said.
Councilman Irvin said after a successful 16-year run, he is ready to take the job. He said, specifically, running a family real estate business and the time he spent on the planning and zoning committee have prepared him.
"Having gone through that experience, I learned how Gonzales got to the point it is at today as far as its quality of life it offers the citizens and those interested in moving to the City of Gonzales," Irvin said. "This is an opportunity for us to focus on the future of the City of Gonzales and prepare for future success."
The candidates have made that clear. Now citizens must decide which man is the best for the job.