Gonzales mayor starts 2nd term, lists focuses

Barney Arceneaux has high expectations for his second term as mayor of Gonzales.

Taking his second oath of office as mayor last week, Arceneaux told an overflow crowd at the council chambers at Gonzales City Hall that he would spend the next four years working to improve a city he said already is viewed as “an envied icon for all cities in Louisiana to follow.”

Arceneaux cited improvements to traffic congestion in the city and public safety as key components of his second term of office, as well as continued emphasis on attracting new businesses and industry to grow the city’s tax base.

Arceneaux, whose oath of office was delivered by 23rd Judicial District Judge Guy Holdridge, was one of seven city officials sworn in Jan. 2. Police Chief Sherman Jackson took his second oath of office, while City Council members Kirk Boudreaux, Terence Irvin, Gary Lacombe, Kenny Matassa and Timothy Vessel also were sworn in.

The council members and chief were sworn in by District Judge Alvin Turner.

Jackson, who admitted to being as nervous about his second inauguration as he was his first four years ago, said he was committed to making sure his department remains engaged with the community.

“Today is our next step of continuing to fulfill the Gonzales Police Department’s mission of making the city of Gonzales safer,” he said.

Irvin and Matassa are the two elder statesmen on the council, entering their fifth terms of office. Boudreaux took his second oath of office, while Lacombe and Vessel were sworn in for the first time as public servants.

Vessel said the council members were “looking to moving Gonzales in a positive direction,” while Lacombe said he would “do my best to uphold the sacrifices people have given ... that give us the right to do what we do.”

Boudreaux said that he looked forward to serving the citizens for another term, while Irvin said he hoped to help move the city in the direction its residents wanted it to go. Matassa, meanwhile, said he would only make one promise — “to do the best I can for the citizens of Gonzales.”

Arceneaux said he was eager to begin working with the new council to make sure Gonzales is headed in the right direction.

“We will continue to put problem-solving ahead of petty politics to assure our city continues to prosper,” Arceneaux said.

The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday at city hall.