The Loop – Community Leaders Comment

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Graydon Walker, Former Chief Administrative Officer of EBR, Former Assistant Superintendent of EBR Schools, and Administrator of Zoar Baptist Church: “It would be a major mistake not to at least get to the table and be a part of the discussion.  If you cut yourself off, then you have no say so period, anywhere.
Rodney Bonvillian, Chairman of Central’s Planning & Zoning Committee: “The loop is a very complex and contentious issue.  I believe that the most prudent path forward is to stay engaged and informed.  As responsible community leaders we do not have the luxury of only complaining about solutions with which we disagree, we must also offer viable alternatives to address the challenges we face.”                              
Russell Starns, Incorporator of the City of Central: “It is important that Central has a voice in this matter.  Since Central now controls whether any toll road is built, it would be short-sighted to walk away from an opportunity to influence potential improvements for our City.  Central needs to be engaged in the process and seek ways to improve our infrastructure, attract new businesses, and increase our sales tax base to support our school system.  If this can be done while preserving the Central Community as we know and love it, we should stay in the discussion.”
Wade Giles, Chairman of the Central Economic Development Foundation: “Currently, Central is spending 49% of our dollars outside of the city because Central lacks the retail outlets that provide the things we need.  This means that 49% of our sales tax dollars are being lost to the surrounding areas, EBR, Zachary, and Livingston Parish.  These lost dollars are being spent to support the schools and governments of those municipalities. Without added retail, Central will be forced to accept higher taxes to support our schools.  
In addition, our roadways are overburdened by through traffic with people travelling to and from Livingston Parish via Magnolia Bridge.  Even if we add a bridge at the extension of Hooper Road, the traffic leading to these two bridges will only continue to grow.  This means that the traffic on Hooper, Sullivan and Greenwell Springs Roads will continue to get worse because these are the roads leading to the bridge(s).
In terms of traffic control in Central, a bypass or loop would be the best solution to reduce the traffic on our main arteries.  In terms of economic development, an Interstate type roadway with exits in areas of our city that would attract a regional shopping center that would provide the necessary retail outlets to allow us to keep our tax dollars at home.  To oppose a bypass or loop is to advocate higher taxes, which we are all opposed to.”


  1. Mike Mannino

    December 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Dave you are embarrasing. How often do you come up for air ?

    • dave

      December 23, 2011 at 8:26 am

      No Mike. I am not the embarrassing one. I would normally delete inappropriate comments such as yours, but I don’t want to be accused of either protecting myself from your thinly veiled and inappropriate insults or suppressing your right to criticize, as classless as your comment is. I assume you are referring to my choice of community leaders. Well, why don’t you give me a list of four community leaders aside from Graydon Walker, who has been a long-time leader not only in Central but in all of EBR, Central’s Planning & Zoning Chairman, Central’s Incorporator, and former School Board President, and the Chairman of the Central Economic Development Foundation, who have done as much for Central or are serving in similar volunteer capacities. Please give me YOUR list.

  2. Tim Lazaroe

    December 23, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Who is he embarrassing Mike? Unlike the owner of your paper, Dave actually lives in Central and therefore has a very personal interest in where this city is headed. We can only imagine your guy’s motives.

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