In honor of the outgoing Mayor of Bossier City, Mayor Lorenz “Lo” Walker, a retirement celebration was held on Tuesday, June 22, at the Bossier Civic Center.
The retired USAF Colonel has much to celebrate regarding his prolific career serving the Bossier community for 32 years, and having occupied the role of mayor for 16 of those years.
The celebration began with an introduction of the evening’s events by Sonja Bailes, public liaison for Bossier Parish Schools, subsequently followed by Parkway High School’s Color Guard performance. The National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance were then led by Meredith Landry and Bossier Press-Tribune publisher Randy Brown respectively.
In attendance, to speak about their mutual admiration and respect for Mayor Walker, were many government and military officials that have worked under and alongside him throughout his three decades serving the city.
Congressman Mike Johnson conveyed Walker’s significant impact on Bossier Parish when he visually depicted the change that has occurred under the mayor’s administration. He displayed a map of Louisiana’s parishes that depicted their individual economic development ranging from red – for worst – to green – for best.
Johnson was quick to make note of the fact that in Northwestern Louisiana, Bossier was the only green parish, another testament to Walker’s accomplishments.
A consistent motif amongst a majority of the speeches was a lighthearted, humorous atmosphere that conveyed an appreciation of the fastidious mayor’s own witticisms.
Ryan Gatti, former State Senator, jovially banters, “I’m at a very distinct disadvantage, because I thought [this event] was a roast; you know, have some jokes, have some punchlines.”
John Barr, speaking on behalf of Senator Kennedy’s office, also had an amusing anecdote to regale about one of his own peculiar experiences involving the mayor. “This sweet old lady [came] up to me and she goes, ‘Are you Mayor Walker?’ At first, I thought, ‘Gosh, do I look that old?’ He then goes on to realize, “Mayor Walker looks that young.”
There was also much esteem for his character as a politician and as a passionate resident of Bossier City; his compatriots all noted on some of his most admirable qualities being his coolheaded, taciturn disposition and his ability to make the right calls during the most strenuous times.
Recounting a character-building memory he has of the mayor, Bossier Parish Administrator Bill Altimus succinctly remarks, “That is a true leader. When everybody’s against you, you reach down deep and do what needs to be done. That is Mayor Walker.”
Pam Glorioso who is not only Walker’s right-hand woman, she is most notably the first female Chief Administrative Officer of Bossier City. Very proud of the achievements and progress that the two have been able to pioneer during their administration, she recounts, “Together we’ve made a team. You’ve allowed me to do what I needed to do and watch Bossier grow. We’ve cried together, we’ve cheered together, we’re proud to be here together. Thank you, Mayor.”
To wrap up the panel of speakers, the mayor himself took the stage to give some final remarks. He chose to dedicate a majority of his speech to credit the commendations of his success to his wife Connie. “She’s been a strong supporter of me and my role as mayor. She’s my confidant, and my friend.”
When asked about what he considers to be his biggest accomplishment, he said he ended up choosing three because it was so hard to narrow it down. He answered with the construction of the War Veteran’s Home and the Cyber Innovation Center, and the recruiting of the best possible staff for his administration. “You’re only as good as the people you work with.”
The ceremony concluded with the passing of the Bossier City flag from outgoing Mayor Lorenz “Lo” Walker to Tommy Chandler, the incoming Bossier City mayor.