SORRENTO - Newly seated Mayor Wilson Longanecker Jr. offered to work in tandem with the Town Council “like a well-oiled machine” and not cause embarrassment to the town.
Longanecker, the son of former Mayor Wilson Longanecker Sr., made the comments after he took the oath of office Tuesday from former state District Judge A.J. Kling at Town Hall. Longanecker’s children and wife were by his side as relatives and supporters watched.
Longanecker Jr., a town councilman, rode into office with a 1-vote win over Councilman Randy Anny, who remains in his seat.
Anny had challenged the results of the April 2 special election between the men, leading to a court-ordered, eight-voter election on May 21. Longanecker had led Anny, 195-187.
After the May 21 votes were tallied, Anny closed the gap but Longanecker still won, 195-194. One of the eight ballots was thrown out.
Reading from a prepared statement with an at times emotional voice during Tuesday’s council meeting, Longanecker promised to hold his office with dignity and think of the town’s reputation, adding that neither he nor council members should say or do anything that would “embarrass this community.”
“We as a council should work as a well-oiled machine. No one should be singled out or ridiculed. We were elected by the people to humbly serve the people and not ourselves,” Longanecker said.
He will serve the unexpired term of former Mayor Blake LeBlanc, who resigned in October. Interim Mayor Jason Adams stepped down after Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony. Longanecker then took control of the meeting and read his statement.
Other action taken by the council included:
COUNCIL VACANCY: The council also called for an Oct. 22 special primary election to fill Longanecker’s council seat and named John Wright as interim councilman to occupy the new mayor’s former seat on the council.
Jamie LeBlanc, 39, a former truck driver, also sought the interim seat and received a favorable recommendation from Longanecker, but the council backed Wright’s appointment unanimously.
LeBlanc said in a later interview that he plans to run for Longanecker’s seat.
Wright said in an interview after the meeting that he works for the parish School Board as a paraprofessional. He said he has not decided yet whether he would run in the Oct. 22 election for the remainder of Longanecker’s term.
BUDGET MEETING SET: The council postponed voting on the fiscal 2011-12 budget after mathematical errors could not be sorted out. A special meeting on the budget is set for 6 p.m. Monday.