Public service has been a lifelong commitment for husband and father Eligha Guillory. You probably know him from his charitable work.
"Many people know that my father had Parkinson's Disease. He lived with it for over 30 years. And when we were beginning to research and find information to help us out, we noticed it was very difficult. No one knew anything about Parkinson's. We felt if we were having those difficulties, other people were as well."
And so began the Eljay Foundation for Parkinson Syndrome Awareness. And it's been going strong for more than a decade.
But Eligha Guillory has also spent the last several years absorbing all he can in the mayor's office as assistant city administrator.
"He mentioned he was gonna retire, so we wanted to see who would fill his shoes.And iI felt Ii was just as good as anyone else," he said.
Especially since he helped with one of the city's most recent undertakings - the new downtown transit center.
"As we stand here in front of our transit center, this is one of the newest buildings. An investment in our people of $4.5 million and it was built with a disadvantaged enterprise business contractor," Guillory said.
But he would like to see the transit system expanded.
"Oftentimes people may be able to ride a transit system to work, but they can't come back from work because the transit system is closed. So I would like to expand that to help productivity," he said.
Guillory credits the current administration for running a tight ship. The current general fund budget for fiscal year 2017 is $74 million, with nearly $30 million in general fund reserves.
"The budget is great; we've been experiencing a surplus for the last few years - does a great job," Guillory said.
The decision to run for mayor was a family affair, said Guillory. It's all hands on deck, with his wife, Nomica, being his biggest supporter.
"She's again my biggest motivator and cheerleader. She's ready to be first lady. She was born to be first lady," he said.
Tune in Monday at 10 p.m. on 7 News Nightcast, when KPLC will sit down with District 7 Calcasieu Parish Police Juror Chris Landry.
All eight mayoral candidates have agreed to participate in a forum, hosted by KPLC-TV, from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, and will be broadcast live on KPLC-TV, kplctv.com, the KPLC mobile app and the KPLC Facebook page. For more information, click HERE.
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