The City of Lake Charles mayoral election is just a few weeks away. But on Thursday, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury took the time to honor the outgoing mayor for his nearly two decades of service.
Kevin Guidry, police jury president, presented Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach with a commemorative plaque.
It's a way to pay tribute to Roach's 17 years of service to the residents of Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana.
"That is quite impressive," said Bryan Beam, parish administrator.
What's more, Beam said that Roach is the longest-serving mayor in the city's history.
"He has a heart for service; he has vision, but I think above all, Randy's demonstrated he has a love for the people of Southwest Louisiana," said Beam.
"Thank you for your service as mayor," said juror Guy Brame.
One by one, jurors shared their appreciation.
"I've never seen you actually speak from a piece of paper so it's always come from your heart," said juror Les Farnum.
Some commented on Roach as a person.
"Randy you've been a friend - a great friend," said juror Tony Guillory.
Others commented on his role as a public servant.
"It's so easy for people to paint politicians with a broad stroke and you've always been an individual that is my example of what public service is," said juror Nic Hunter.
Of course, there were also jokes.
Guidry joked, "The biggest game of last year was the Alabama game. Who's there with me on the sideline? Now, I'm a former player but how did he get on the sideline?"
There were plenty of laughs.
"A lot of people that I speak to say he's just everywhere. And if we could bottle up that energy, I definitely could take a dose of it," said juror Chris Landry.
Juror Francis Andrepont added, "One of the things that impressed me about you is the number of functions you attended in the 17 years that you've been mayor. I don't know how you did it. I don't wanna know because I ain't gonna do it!"
There were also well wishes for Roach's future.
"I look forward to seeing where you're going to serve next because real servants never stop and I know you won't," said juror Dennis Scott.
Mayor Roach was for once, left speechless.
"I just don't know how to thank you for honoring me and for the kind words. I'm just overwhelmed but thank you so much. I have truly, truly been the one who's been blessed," said Roach.
The mayor took time to thank jurors for their service.
"It's been a wonderful 17 years and you will all be a part of that memory that I will carry with me forever," said Roach.
The parish and city collaborated on a variety of projects to benefit the community through the years. Mayor Roach was given a plaque by Police Jury President Kevin Guidry and thanked by Parish Administrator Bryan Beam for Roach’s long-term commitment to the people he served.
You can click on our Web Extra in this story to hear the full comments from the jurors.
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