(Lindell Webb, left, and Scott Irwin, right)
South Bossier will chose a councilman for their area later this month.
Residents will choose between incumbent Scott Irwin and Lindell Webb for the City of Bossier City Council Dist. 1 seat in the March 25 election.
The Bossier Press-Tribune spoke with both candidates ahead of early voting for the March 25 election, which begins March 11. Below you can find information about each candidate.
Irwin was elected to the council in 2007. He has a master’s degree from Louisiana Tech, certified employee benefit specialists through the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He manages his own branch of Lincoln Financial Securities. A republican, Mr. Irwin is a member of Friends of the Red River Wildlife Refuge and the Bossier City Rotary Club. He is married to Peggy Irwin and they have two children, Amelia and Jeffery. They attend the Gateways Church.
- How do you view the job you’ve done on the city council for the past decade? I am excited about he progress south Bossier has made. it has been an exciting transformation over the last 10 years. That’s not just words — the crown jewel is a $60 million wastewater treatment plant. Used to, I would get complaints daily on that and now I never get a complaint. I’d say complaints are down about 95% regarding the odor.
When I first came into office, we put up railroad safety crossings at every railroad. That’s not an easy thing to do, you have to work with the railroad. We have seven crossings and only three had safety gates. You were never quite sure which one had a gate and which one didn’t. In talking to a Bossier City fireman, he said auto-train accidents are virtually nonexistent. That’s lives saved. In the past, it seemed like every month or two there would be a tragic accident.
Another thing is the new South Bossier Park (at the corner of Sligo Road and Caplis-Sligo Road), which was a city-parish joint venture. Bossier City put up $1 million for that project. That’s where south Bossier is growing so that park is a great place where multiple teams can practice with plenty of room. Now people don’t have to drive to the North Bossier Park for soccer practice.
- What are some issues you still hope to solve when it comes to your district? We as citizens have to push these things forward: the intersection of Robert E. Lee and Highway 71. My first preference would be a stoplight, but the state has refused to put a light there. They have engineered a system of J-turns that would prevent a lot of U-turns. Work with the state to get that done. The other thing is the new Jimmie Davis Bridge. We have got to get a new bridge. The people of south Bossier need to make noise and let (the state) know it is of the highest priority so if money becomes available, it’s at the top of the list.
I want to ensure that south Bossier is safe and secure by supporting police, fire and emergency medical personnel. We can’t take those things for granted. Another huge thing is to constantly work on repairing roads and sidewalks inside neighborhoods. We have roads that are 60 years old and they need to be repaired. It’s a constant process. I want to do everything I can to attract jobs to Bossier City and CSRA is the biggest example of that right now. The big goal is for people to want to move here, work, and feel safe.
- Have you spoken with the residents of south Bossier, and what have they said are their concerns there? An overarching goal is to communicate with the residents. We have formed a neighborhood association called the South Bossier Citizens Assembly. I have been meeting with residents for over 15 years, before I was on the council, and the goal was to bring city hall to the people and the objective is to take action. I want these people to be my eyes and ears and bring it to my attention. I want to be accountable and truly represent people and meet their needs. When residents come, they come to me with about speeding problems, property standards – beautification of south Bossier – clogged ditches causing drainage issues, and road maintenance with potholes and cracks.
- What do you view as your biggest accomplishment during your time on the council? I’d say the wastewater treatment plant and the Parkway extension south. We had to coordinate with the parish to take it down to Parkway High School. That takes teamwork, and I believe in teamwork. I think we can accomplish much more together than being an island unto one’s self. The parish is great to work with, I highly value a good relationship with the parish, state and the different commissions. But that said, it’s all important — I try to address everything from big to little.
- Why should residents of south Bossier vote for you? We’re moving the right direction. You can see the proven results of trying to improve south Bossier and working with the people and all the entities that need to be worked with in order to make Bossier a great place to live and raise a family. We need to keep that going and I will continue to be a voice for the people and be accountable and we’ll make Bossier an even better place.
Lindell Webb worked for over 40 years in the oil and gas industry, served on the Bossier Parish School Board, was elected to the Louisiana Republican Central Committee, served on the Bossier Parish Executive Committee, and the Bossier Levee Board. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and National Guard. He is married to his wife, Jan and the couple have a daughter and son-in-law, three grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Mr. Webb serves as a Deacon and Chairman of the Personnel Committee for Bellaire Baptist Church.
- Why do you want to be a city councilman? Our city council lost about $30 million on the UL Coleman lawsuit and that really upset me and LSU did a study on that piece of land and said it would be $261 million impact for Bossier, which means jobs and taxes.
I am well qualified for it — I served on the Bossier School Board, the Louisiana Republican Central Committee, the Bossier Parish Executive Committee, and the Levee Board.
- What are some issues you would hope to fix when it comes to District 1? I would like to beautify south Bossier. We have some blighted buildings and I’d like to see them upgraded. Where UL Coleman was going to build his project, we have a lot of dead trees and (overgrowth) and it’s a mess out there.
And I hope (the Walker Place development) still gets built. The city is so unbalanced. I’m not knocking north Bossier, but I’m for south Bossier. I think we’ve been a little slighted for business. I know that development was going to be similar to the (Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets) and I don’t know if I’ll be here when it’s finished, but I want it to happen for my kids and grandkids.
I’d also like to raise police and firemen’s pay, if there’s any way we can do it.
- What are the concerns of the residents of south Bossier? Streets and drainage. The big issue is that tax payers lost their money. I don’t know what I can do as one person, but I’ll give it a try. I don’t want to go in and fight and argue, but I’m prejudiced for south Bossier. That’s who I would represent.
- How do you think your experience on other public bodies, like the school board, will help you if you are elected? I had to compromise on the school board and on the levy board. It’s all about compromising. I’m not going to be one-sided, I’m not going to fight for something everyone disagrees with. But I’m still going to put my district first. I think a lot of residents in south Bossier are tired of the way things are going and aren’t well represented. I’m not trying to be negative about the city council, I don’t know any of them, but that’s what I’ve been told.
- Why should residents of south Bossier vote for you? I will represent the citizens of south Bossier. It’s not about me. I’m not going in it for me, I want to represent the taxpayers of south Bossier.