IOWA, LA. (KPLC) -October 2nd election campaigning is in full swing-- there are hotly contested races for mayor and police chief of the Town of Iowa where some 3400 people live.
Voters will decide whether to return incumbents to office or elect someone new. Mayor C.J. Scheufens says he seeks re-election to continue progress-- especially when it comes to enhancing the town's appeal for visitors. "First thing that came through Iowa was the Old Spanish Trail where they drove the steers from Texas to New Orleans. And I'm going to rename Miller Avenue back to the Old Spanish Trail. We also had Mrs. Spaulding's Lily Patch. She was known around the world for her lilies. If someone doesn't take that and do something with it, it's going to be forgotten forever. So, I'm going to re-do the Old Spaulding Lily Patch."
Retired school teacher Carol Ponthieux, a former council member, was acting mayor for about nine months. "My ultimate goal is communication and a positive attitude about the town. It's a great place to live, good businesses, wonderful schools, we need to open up the communication between the citizens and the town. The big thing is the budget. Right now the proposals for the pay raises for the different people in the departments. It's not structured equally."
Mayoral candidate Calvin Caesar did not respond to our request for an interview.
Also on the ballot, chief of police with an interesting issue that has surfaced--whether the chief ought to be a police officer. Technically the chief isn't required to be a peace officer, but incumbent Keith Vincent says as a practical matter it's necessary. "I still go out and cover shifts because we're short handed. I still write offense reports, I still patrol, I cover dispatch. I do whatever we need to do. And you can't do that if you have no law enforcement experience."
Challenger Joe Anderson is an industrial mechanic. He sees the job of chief as primarily administrative. "I mean he's supposed to keep up with the budget. Make sure people are doing what they're supposed to be doing, coordinate with the assistant chief. My main thing is running the department. I"m not going out to make arrests. I have police officers that can do that."
Election day is Saturday, October 2nd. There are also three town council races. For a complete list of candidates click here.