Calcasieu Planning Director Jimmy Vickers retires after 35 years

WEB EXTRA: Jimmy Vickers

He was at the helm as Calcasieu Parish undertook comprehensive zoning around 1980. And after 35 years working for the police jury planning and zoning director Jimmy Vickers is retiring.

There were many familiar faces from the past coming to wish him well at his retirement party Friday afternoon at the Calcasieu Government Building.

Vickers and his wife Jill are building a home in Biloxi, Mississippi where they plan to retire.

He's been in the midst of many controversies from zoning to Vision Calcasieu but Vickers says it's been a great career. "I'm proud of the work we've done. What I always try to do is work with people to whereby, even if we couldn't work it out the way they wanted, to try to take a different path to make something work on behalf of the public. And it's all about treating the public with respect."

Vickers is also recognized for helping to ensure that Calcalsieu maintained adequate codes for areas such as plumbing and electrical work in residential and commercial construction; Parish officials say he worked to foster economic growth through projects involving entities such as Conoco, the Westlake Group, Sasol and many others.

His colleagues in parish government will remember his efforts after Hurricane Rita which included everything from special temporary licensing procedures for contractors to hazard mitigation grants to operating the blue roof program with the Corps of Engineers.  They say, "Jimmy and his staff were there and were critical to our success."

As well administrative officials agree the mechanical sewer inspection program that the Calcasieu Police JUry approved last fall was possible because of state legislation Vickers fought for and successfully pushed through in the previous decade.

At 5 p.m. Friday Vickers' successor Wes Crain became the new director.

To hear more of Jimmy Vickers' parting thoughts watch the web extra.

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