New Jennings Mayor Henry Guinn discusses first week in office - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

New Jennings Mayor Henry Guinn discusses first week in office

(Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC) (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)

The first week is over for many newly elected leaders across the state. For one Southwest Louisiana city, that means a new mayor after 14 years under Terry Duhon's tenure.

Henry Guinn won the mayoral election for the city of Jennings and officially took office July 1.

Guinn, a proud blue-collar worker turned politician, said his background in construction has helped him get to where he is today. He said understanding the value of growth within a city and a little bit of the legal and financial side of it has been beneficial. 

"This is truly a seamless transition," he said, crediting his new co-workers. 

As the youngest mayor ever of the city, Guinn said he's ready to tackle issues and has plans to improve the city both aesthetically and economically. 

"We're going to strength up our ordinances, get our ordinances up to date, and continue beautification projects," he said. "We're going to continue brick sidewalks down our main street and really try to revitalize it, and I think those are the first steps to bringing new business."

He said he plans to do this without raising taxes. 

"We are actually going to go after new business, increase sales tax revenue, not taxes themselves," he said. "The more money that we can get changing hands, the more money that the city will be able to allocate to different departments."

So how does Guinn plan on bringing new business to the area?

"I want to go to businesses and say, 'This is why you need to be in Jennings,' " he said. "Don't get me wrong, I love Lake Charles, but there is such an inundation of new business that the property values in Lake Charles have gone through the roof. Jennings doesn't necessarily have that problem."

He said he has big shoes to fill, but he's ready for it. 

"I don't take it lightly, I don't take it lightly at all," he said. "I know that I have a lot of responsibility on my back and I'm looking forward to the challenge of keeping Jennings as a top-notch city in South Louisiana."

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