West Feliciana parish president announces early retirement - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

West Feliciana parish president announces early retirement

West Feliciana Parish President Kevin Couhig (Source: Facebook) West Feliciana Parish President Kevin Couhig (Source: Facebook)
WEST FELICIANA PARISH, LA (WAFB) -

Parish President Kevin Couhig announced Monday morning he will be stepping down from his position over West Feliciana Parish early.

In a lengthy statement on Facebook, Couhig says he sent his notice to the parish council on April 16 announcing his intentions to retire on December 10. He says setting the date now will allow the council to call for an election in November.

His full statement reads:

This morning I sent a notice to the Parish Council of my intention to retire from my position as President of West Feliciana Parish on December 10th of this year. Setting the date now will allow the Council to call for an election in November with a run off, if needed, in December. Since these are already election dates, there should be no additional cost to the Parish for the election. There are other people who can do a good job in this position and I encourage them to step forward in the coming months.

It has been a great honor for me to be elected twice and to serve as West Feliciana Parish’s first Parish President. The time has gone quickly Thank you to the people of West Feliciana for bestowing this honor on me. I have tried my best to live up to the responsibility and to work diligently on behalf of everyone in the Parish. I will continue to do so until December the 10th.

When I first ran for this office I believed that we had two major challenges. To implement the Home Rule Charter in a manner that would inspire confidence in the new form of government. As important, to put in place policies and practices that would insure growth in the Parish going forward. Quite simply, we had to be business-like in our approach and indicate to the world at large that we are open for business.

Even those who disagree with individual policies or actions must acknowledge that we are a transparent and open government. We started livestreaming all public meetings. We encourage citizen participation. Every bit of our budgeting and operations is transparent. Our financial reporting is professional and concise so that people can know the cost of operating their parish government. 

We have put in place the qualified people and given them the systems to do their job professionally. We’ve hired highly qualified dedicated people. We hold Parish employees to a high standard and they have reacted in an outstanding fashion. Our roads, bridge and utility repairs are evaluated professionally and are given priority based on usage, health and safety. This is due to the incredible professionalism of our team. 

The cooperation between our Parish Council and the Administration has been excellent. We don’t always agree but we know how to disagree without being disagreeable. I want to thank our Council for their role in fostering a civil and professional atmosphere for our public discussions and meetings. I sincerely hope this continues and becomes our culture in West Feliciana.

The recent agreement by the Louisiana Tax Commission to allocate nuclear plant values to West Feliciana was the major goal I set when taking office in December of 2013. That agreement allows our Parish to have more of the financial resources we need for our Schools, Sheriff, Fire District and others to execute the responsibilities they have to the public. It is an achievement I take great pride in but know that it was a team effort.

In Economic Development, we have - for the first time in our history- a certified industrial park that is one of the prime locations for industrial development in the region. With the amount of industrial prospect activity we have seen since opening the park, we know that it is only a matter of time and effort before we will be welcoming new industrial, distribution and commercial companies to our Parish. 
We also have several new residential subdivisions that have been approved and are in development. These will go some way toward allowing us to welcome new, young families to reinvigorate our community. 

We’ve also had some fun along the way. Our sports park is the envy or our region. The new rodeo arena, festival area, 4-H building, tennis courts and the splash pad coming this year all contribute to a strong sense of a community having fun together. I will always remember those events like the President’s Walk, the Big Chill, soccer and baseball games and traveling to the Dome for State Championship.

We’ve suffered through two major floods, snow storms, tragedy to people in our community we loved and venerated and collective and personal challenges.

Overall, we’ve experienced the joys and sorrows of life in our community together. Thank you for the chance to lead. I pledge to continue doing my best until December 10th.

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