Wednesday, January 20, 2021

It starts today:  qualifying for the March 20 Primary Election. Candidates can qualify in Clerk of Court Shelly Salter’s office from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. continuing through Friday, Jan. 22.

The Clerk will hold qualifying for Many Mayor, Many Chief of Police and Town of Many Aldermen, Police Juror from District 3, Constable/Justice of the Peace from District 4, Noble Alderman and BESE Board Member from Dist. 4.

Persons who have questions may call Ms. Salter at 256-6223.

Robert Hable, candidate for Many Mayor

Longtime local businessman Robert Hable, Executive Manager of Foy Motors in Many, has announced his candidacy for Mayor of Many.

“I will take my real-world business experience of over 20 years and put it to work for the citizens of Many,” Hable said. “It is their tax dollars that maintain our streets, build infrastructure, improve our town, provide police protections and more. I will answer to the people of Many, and I will give my all to provide our citizens the best services for the lowest cost. If we work side by side, we can create a community that is better for everybody. This is our moment to come together to make Many a great place to start a business, grow strong families, and ensure everyone has the opportunity to follow their dreams,” Hable shared.

It is no surprise that Hable says one of his top priorities is seeing more business and industry move into Many and Sabine Parish. While he is encouraged that some local businesses are expanding and leaving San Antonio Ave. to move to bigger locations, he is concerned about who will fill those empty storefronts downtown. “We need to draw businesses to this area,” Hable said.

Other challenges he sees include infrastructure. 

“We have an older infrastructure – namely water – that is starting to rear its ugly head. I know eventually upgrades will need to be made, and once I can look at the City’s budget, that is going to be a top priority. Our water rates are not cheap and I don’t know what the root cause of that is, so that is something I definitely want to focus on,” he explained recently to Observations.

“I want to be a part of a growing, thriving community that serves all of its citizens,” Hable said. “There are a lot of great people in Sabine Parish, we have a lot of diversity, and I’ve been able to make a wonderful life here because of that. So, running for Mayor came down to a choice:  I could put my head in the sand, pretend everything will be okay, and say, ‘You know what, I’m not gonna do this’ or I could dig deep in my heart and give everything I’ve got to do all the good I can for this town. And that’s what I intend to do.”

Hable has been Executive Manager at Foy GMC since 2013. Despite the ups and downs of the national economy and more recently, the pandemic, Foy Motors has continued as one of Many’s vital, foundational businesses under Hable’s leadership.

After graduating from Northwestern State University with a business degree and coming to Many in the late ‘90s, Robert joined First United Methodist Church. There he met Crystal Goodman. They married in early 2003, and the couple has three children – Hannah Lancaster, 23, Addison Hable, 16, and Hampton, age 10.

The Hable family – from left, Addison, Crystal, Hampton, Robert and Hannah Lancaster

Robert serves on the Board of Directors of Central Volunteer Fire Dept., Wards 3 and 4, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Sabine Parish Chamber of Commerce. His roles on those boards have uniquely informed his awareness of how all parts of a community must work together to make it good for everyone.

“We have a very diverse community and I want to hear what the people have to say. Whether you live on the east side, the west side or right here in downtown Many, I want to hear everybody’s opinion. I’m a good listener and I have a passion for finding good fixes to problems, solutions that work best for everybody. It’s going to entail getting people together – people of all ages and all races – to put in their two cents.”

Hable is quick to point to Many’s numerous strong points:  “We have so many assets here,” Hable said. “We have good, hardworking people, we have volunteers who organize all kinds of events and entertainment for our citizens, we’re at the heart of a huge lake just right down the road, we have devoted civic groups, and we have a lot of character-building fun groups, like the dance studio downtown. We have stellar athletes that deserve recognition, and behind all of our youth we have a strong group of parents and grandparents. We need to capitalize on all of that,” he said.

To learn more about Hable’s campaign, like and follow “Elect Robert Hable Mayor of Many” on Facebook. He may also be reached at rhablejr@gmail.com or (318) 315-1634. Hable said he will share his thoughts and plans often on his campaign Facebook page, as well as on the radio and elsewhere between now and Election Day.

James D. Kennedy, candidate for Mayor of Many

James Kennedy, a member of the Town Council serving District A the past 16 years, has announced that he will run for Mayor of Many.

His statement follows:

“To the residents of the Town of Many, I am announcing my candidacy for the office of Mayor, for the Town of Many in the election to be held on March 20, 2021.

“I am a life-long resident of the Town of Many and I am married to Robin Kennedy.  And, I am a member of the New Jerusalem Baptist Church where I serve as an Usher and a Deacon.

“For the past 16 years I have served as a member of the City Council for the Town of Many serving District 4. During this time I have gained a knowledgeable understanding of the complexity of city government. I will work diligently for the betterment of the Town of Many as well as its citizens.

“I am looking forward to meeting all residents of the Town of Many and tackling your concerns.”

Last week, Observations reported on a meeting of the Sabine Parish School Board and took President Terrell Snelling of Converse to task for not following “Robert’s Rules of Order,” regarded as the Bible for conducting meetings properly. Well, it turns out we owe President Snelling and the Board an apology because we were wrong. A very reputable person who asked to remain anonymous called and gave us an update.

I studied “Robert’s Rules of Order” in Agriculture Class at Marthaville more than 60 years ago. Seems things have changed since then and I didn’t.

There is now such a regulation known as Informal Meetings. The changes were included in the 11th Edition of “Robert’s Rules of Order” revised in Sept. 2011. An Informal Meeting was designed for groups whose membership is under 12.

Here are some of the things recommended for smaller boards:

  1. Motions need not be seconded. A second merely implies that at least one other person wants to discuss a motion. Sometime motions are not necessary, the chairman can simply ask, “Is there any objection?”
  2. There is no limit to the number of times a member can speak to answer a question and motions to close or limit debate are generally not used.
  3. On the other hand, some bodies adopt rules for recognition and the length of speeches.
  4. The President can make motions and vote on all questions.
  5. Meetings are for members. Unless there is a rule to the contrary, only members of the particular body are allowed to speak. An assembly can permit anyone to speak, but some require that it be placed on the agenda in advance.
Mary Perry, candidate for Many Councilman, Dist. A

Local businesswoman and community leader Mary Perry is looking to fill the Dist. A Town Council seat James Kennedy is vacating. She recently shared her intentions:

“I’m Mary Perry and I am announcing that I will run for Many’s District A City Council member.

“I’m retiring soon from 30-plus years of a career primarily in auto sales. During that time I have always been active in our community. Because I am retiring, I will be able to devote even more of my time to serve our town of Many and its citizens.

“This is a decision I have not made without praying and putting a lot of thought into it. I’m a daughter of a minister and my parents taught me to live a life of service. I have always followed their teachings.

“I believe, as your council member, that I can do even more to serve you, our district and the Town of Many.

“I am always available to discuss your problems and needs. With my retirement, I will have even more time to devote to serving you. Please feel free to contact me at 318-508-2911 to discuss any problems or concerns that you might have.

“It’s so important for you to go to the polls and vote this March. Remember that your vote is your voice. Therefore, I humbly ask you to Vote Your Voice for Mary Perry for City Council member, District A in the March election. Thank you.”

Monte Davis, candidate for Councilman, Dist. D

Monte Davis will be seeking the Town of Many District D Council seat. His statement follows:

“I have resided in this district all my life, except for eight years in Texas in the ‘90s.  My children and grandchildren also live in the Many area. My desire and goal is to help make this into a community we can all be proud of. Our children deserve every opportunity to stay and thrive in our hometown.

“I have owned and operated Davis AC and Heating for 22 years. Prior to that, I managed a rail car plant in Texas with abut 100 employees. I have the business and leadership experience needed to do the job of Alderman. We have an aging water plant. I want to be hands-on to see what we can do to improve the structure. I am not a sit behind-a-desk kind of guy. If you are looking for someone to take an active role, I am the man for the job. I will be available for you. Let’s make Many into the kind of city we all deserve.”

Cherry Williams, candidate for Town of Many Alderman, Dist. D

Longtime Many resident Cherry Williams announces that she will run for Alderman District D for the Town of Many. She issued the following statement:

“Our family moved into this district 30 years ago, and I still reside at this address.  My late husband Malcom Williams, myself, and our children all graduated from Many High School. We owned Williams Brothers Furniture until his death in 2015.  My daughter, Anna Cate, owns and operates Rigs and Rick Fitness. Many of you have known me all my life. I am self-motivated, a hard worker and like to get things accomplished. My goal is to continue to see our community grow, not only for our businesses, but also for young adults and families. I am retired and will always available as your Alderman for District D.”

Dewayne Rains, candidate for Police Juror, Dist. 3

Dewayne “Porkchop” Rains has announced he will run for the District 3 seat on the Police Jury.

In a Facebook statement, he said:  “Together we can find solutions to make this a better Parish. I am working towards making the rounds to visit, and if you would like to speak with me about my concerns or issues, call my cell at 663-5757.”

OTHER POLITICAL NEWS

Respected Many Attorney Chris Sylvia told Observations Tuesday that he will qualify for Police Juror from District 3 on Wednesday morning. We will carry his announcement next week.

Truman Nichols also told Observations that he is a candidate for Police Jury from District 3. He will be off work on Friday and plans to qualify at that time. Truman intended to run last election but, through a mix-up, missed the qualifying time.

Other names previously mentioned as candidates for the Dist. 3 Jury seat are Blake Byles, his father Valmore Byles and Randy Skidmore, who ran for the post a few years ago.

Caleb Burkett, often mentioned as a candidate for Many Mayor, after much consideration, will not run. His father, District Attorney Don Burkett, told Observations Caleb realizes he needs to devote his time to the five businesses he operates and to his family. He added, “Caleb goes to work before daylight and stays with it until after dark.” Bet we’ll hear more from him in the political arena later on.

We can’t get an answer from Cheryl Wooley as to whether or not she will seek the Many Chief of Police post. She was appointed as Chief following the untimely death of Chief Roger Freeman. Lots of folks are asking her to run. We also hear reports that officers in the department are very pleased with her leadership, and she’s had encouragement to run from those ranks as well. We bet she will.

And the bug man, Rodney Abington, was said to be considering a run for Many Mayor.  It is reported that he said he met with a group of “very influential” people Monday afternoon and came away with a smile on his face. Or was it the group of “influential” who smiled? Observations attempted to contact Abington Monday and Tuesday about the matter, but had no luck.

Rodney’s uncle, Pete Abington, who has groomed a lot of political candidates over the years, informed Observations Tuesday morning that Rodney would not be seeking the mayor’s seat.

Sabine Sheriff Aaron Mitchell, right, and a Corrections Center inmate pick up trash together along a Many highway.

You’ve got to appreciate him. He’s my kind of man. We’re talking about Sabine Sheriff Aaron Mitchell. He was out early Friday morning on the side of a highway picking up trash. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak back in March, inmates have been restricted to on-compound work only – no more keeping the highways clean. Their restrictions are being lifted somewhat, allowing the inmate trash crew to start cleaning up the roadsides again.

Sheriff Mitchell urges all citizens to not litter and to keep their trash secure in their vehicles and dispose of it properly. It is illegal to allow trash to blow out of the back of a pickup truck or to throw cigarette butts from a vehicle.

Louisiana law states violators shall be fined $500 and serve eight hours of community service upon their first conviction. Sheriff Mitchell said his deputies will issue citations to anyone caught littering in the parish. He also asks citizens to be patient as the inmate trash crew makes its way across the parish in the next several months.

And take a look a this mess in Many. This is along Nabours St., adjoining the shopping center where Brookshire’s is located and just down the street from Elegant Nails Salon.

This black Chevrolet Malibu was involved in a high speed chase with the Sabine Sheriff’s Dept.

Shortly after 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, a black Chevrolet Malibu was stopped for a traffic violation on Hwy. 171 traveling south into Many. The vehicle refused to stop and the chase was on. The vehicle turned on Trace St., cutting through Many, then headed east on Hwy. 6. At the intersection of Hwy. 6 and Hwy. 3118 at Ft. Jesup, the vehicle crashed into a house.

There were three subjects in the car. No one was injured, but one of them barricaded in a house owned by a person known to the subject. The chase was at speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour.

Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Walker said the chase unfolded after deputies saw a video on Snapchat advertising drugs for sale. An undercover agent contacted them and made arrangements to make a buy at Walmart in Many. Over 200 pills, comprised of Ecstasy and Xanax, and 1 ¼ lbs. of marijuana were purchased.

Jacquavion Davrious Ratliff, black male, 20, was charged with distribution of schedule 1, resisting an officer by flight, possession of schedule 1 with intent to distribute, possession with intent schedule IV, possession of controlled dangerous substances in presence of persons under 17 years of age and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Nikita Necole Montgomery, black female, 24, was arrested on charges of distribution or possession with intent to distribute Schedule l, aggravated flight from an officer and possession of controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a juvenile.

People who steal from a cemetery ought to be whipped. Ms. Flo McDonald said items from her husband’s grave at San Patricio Cemetery have been stolen. Her husband was the late W. T. McDonald. 

She commented, “The lowest of thieves is stealing from our loved ones. His family is buried there, and I have put new cemetery pieces on his gravesite. I had scalloped bricks around his gravesite, flowers and trinkets from our 40 years of marriage, and now even the bricks have been stolen.”

Ms. McDonald said if anyone knows who the thief is or thieves are, she will give a reward and tell them how low they are. She concluded, “He was a good man and this is totally disrespectful.” We agree and will add $100 to Ms. McDonald’s reward for the arrest and conviction of those involved.

That will do it for this week. As always, thank you for faithfully reading Observations. We appreciate you.

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