BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Members of the new East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council were sworn in Monday at the Raising Cane's River Center theater.
Most of the twelve-member council returned for another term, though there were three new faces. Matt Watson, who once served as the legislative assistant for Ryan Heck, replaced his former boss.
Barbara Freiberg, who worked as an educator for more than four decades, replaced John Delgado after his failed campaign for Mayor-President. She is also a former member of the parish school board. "I'm excited for our community, this is an exciting day with new leadership," Freiberg said. "I'm excited about bringing education into the conversation with the metro council to see how we can work together with the school system to make things better."
The third new member, businessman Dwight Hudson, replaced his Joel Boe in the council. While he took the oath, he held one hand in the air while cradling his young daughter Sarah with the other. "My goal in running was that one day Sarah would want to raise her family here in East Baton Rouge Parish ... to have her be a part of it was really something special," Hudson said.
The council selected Scott Wilson to serve as Mayor Pro-Tempore. He beat out two other nominees: Councilmembers Tara Wicker and Donna Collins-Lewis. "We have to work together; we have a new administration in mayor-elect Sharon Weston Broome. And you have new members on the council. You have to work together," said Wilson, who is currently in his third term representing the Central area.
Several big hurdles await the council as they enter this new term, including the impending ruling from the U.S. Department of Justice on the Alton Sterling investigation, as well as the ongoing flood recovery efforts.
"You had people who lost everything, they lost everything. Here you are four months later some people haven't even touched their homes probably," Wilson said.
Members of the new council were sworn in in order by district number that they will represent.
- Trae Welch representing District 1 covering the northern part of the parish, including the city of Zachary and Northern parts of the Cities of Baker and Central.
- Chauna Banks of District 2 which includes most of Baker, Alsen, Scotlandville, Beechwood, Brownsfield, and north of Hooper Road to the Comite River.
- Chandler Loupe of District 3 covering southeast Baton Rouge which includes portions of Perkins Rd., Bluebonnet Blvd., Burbank Dr., Siegan LN, Nicholson Dr., and Brightside Dr.
- Scott Wilson of District 4 which includes the city of Central
- Erika L. Green of District 5 covering Glenn Oaks, Mickens Rd., and portions of Joor Rd., N. Sherwood Forest Dr., and Greenwell Springs Rd.
- Donna Collins-Lewis of District 6 which covers areas from Sherwood Forest Blvd. to Elain to N Ardenwood.
- LaMont Cole of District 7 including areas of North Baton Rouge between Airline Hwy and Plank Rd.
- Buddy Amoroso of District 8 which includes South Old Hammond Highway to the North, O’Neil Lane to the East, Old Jefferson/Tiger Bend to the South, including areas between Coursey Boulevard and Airline Highway and South Sherwood Forest Boulevard to the West.
- Dwight Hudson of District 9 located in the southeast portion of East Baton Rouge Parish and is bordered on the east by the Amite River and Bayou Manchac and on the west by Pecue Lane, Jones Creek, and O'Neal Lane.
- Tara Wicker of District 10 covering south Baton Rouge including areas from Gourrier Ave. to portions of Scenic Hwy and Airline Hwy.
- Matt Watson of District 11 which includes portions of Government Street and the Jefferson Highway corridor to Siegen Lane.
- Barbara Freiberg of District 12 which includes the Kenilworth, Magnolia Woods, Pollard, Highland Creek, Southdowns and Valley Park neighborhoods.
Wilson was selected as President Pro-Tempore, having been elected by fellow Council Members.
The swearing in comes just hours before the inauguration of newly elected Mayor-President Elect Sharon Weston Broome which will be held in the same theater.