RAYNE PRESENTED STATE BEAUTIFICATION AWARD - In attendance as the city of Rayne was awarded the 2018 Lt. Governor’s Beautification Award at the Louisiana Municipal Association Conference held in Lake Charles were, from left, City Councilman Kenneth Guidry, Mayor Charles “Chuck” Robichaux, City Councilman Calise “Michael” Doucet, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, Susan Russell, Keep Louisiana Beautiful Executive Director; Lena Bateman, Louisiana Garden Club President; Eligha Guillory, Keep Louisiana Beautiful Board Director; Mayor Pro-Temp Lendell “Pete” Babineaux, City Councilman Jimmy Fontenot and John Gallagher, LMA Executive Director.

Rayne awarded during 2018 LMA Convention

LAKE CHARLES – Statewide and local elected officials and municipal employees, representing over 300 municipalities from every corner of the state, descended on the city of Lake Charles between July 31 and August 2 for the 81st Annual Louisiana Municipal Association Convention at the Lake Charles Convention Center.
Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter and his team welcomed over 800 delegates to the 2018 event with every city in Calcasieu Parish coming together and working to welcome all.
On Wednesday afternoon of the three-day event, Lt. Governor Nungesser presented the third annual Lieutenant Governor’s Beautification Awards to fifteen communities and Don Pierson, LED Secretary, announced the three LED Development Ready Community Awards recipients.
Joining the city of Rayne were the following 2018 Lt. Governor’s Beautification Award recipients: City of Abbeville, Town of Homer, City of Lake Charles, Village of Loreauville, City of Bogalusa, Town of Grand Isle, City of Gretna, City of Hammond, Town of Jean Lafitte, Town of Lecompte, City of Monroe, Town of Pearl River, Village of Florien and City of Winnfield.
This prestigious award is presented on behalf of Keep Louisiana Beautiful, the Lt. Governor’s Office, Louisiana Municipal Assoc., and Louisiana Garden Club Federation. The awards were presented during the LMA conference luncheon held Wednesday.
Each year, municipalities are offered an opportunity to be honored with the Lt. Governor’s Beautification Award for their efforts supporting a clean and green community.
The goal of this joint effort is to facilitate permanent change in the operations and appearance of a community by providing municipalities with necessary resources, best practices, support and education to reduce litter and waste, increase recycling.
In addition, LED Development Ready Community Award winners were the cities of Amite, Gonzales and Ruston.
Thursday’s main events included a keynote address by Governor Edwards, installation of new officers and multiple salutes to the achievements of Louisiana’s cities, towns, villages and public servants with recognition and awards presentations.
The President’s Award was presented to three individuals for their contributions to municipal government:
• Vern Breland - Mayor, Town of Sterlington; former Sterlington Police Chief and served on the town’s Board of Aldermen, LMA Past President and Executive Board Member;
• Carroll Breaux - Mayor of Springhill; LMA Past President and Executive Board Member; and
• Eugene Smith (posthumous award) - Four-term mayor of the Town of Arcadia; one of the longest serving District Vice Presidents in LMA History; served the Town of Arcadia as mayor for 15 years.
Harry Lewis, mayor of Rayville and former LMA first vice president, was installed as president of the association on Thursday. Mayor Lewis succeeds Lawrence Henagan, mayor of DeQuincy, as the LMA’s highest ranking officer.
Also installed Thursday night were Jimmy Williams, mayor of Rayville, as LMA first vice president, and Micheal Chauffe, mayor of Grosse Tete, as second vice president, along with 10 District Vice Presidents, including:
• District A: Peggy Adkins, Mayor, Sarepta;
• District B: Roy Lewis, Mayor, Homer;
• District C: Lucy Holtzclaw, Mayor Pro Tempore, Sterlington;
• District D: Rick Allen, Mayor, Leesville;
• District E: Nathan Martin, Councilman, Pineville;
• District F: Purvis Morrison, Mayor, Scott;
• District G: Kenneth Stinson, Mayor, Vinton;
• District H: David Toups, Mayor, Addis;
• District I: Donald Villere, Mayor, Mandeville; and
• District J: Rodney Grogan, Mayor, Patterson.
Governor John Bel Edwards, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, State Treasurer John Schroder, and Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon were among those attending the state’s largest gathering of municipalities. The opening session on Tuesday included an address from Eric Soileau, President of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana and Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin.
Ben Waites served as the featured entertainment and gave a truly moving performance. Two-time Olympic medalist and motivational speaker, Hollis Conway, was the keynote speaker who delivered an entertaining and inspirational message at Wednesday morning’s prayer breakfast, hosted by the City of Pineville.
A range of topics were presented at the convention workshops. Public and private sector experts presented 18 educational sessions on blight, audit compliance, public records and open meetings, census preparation, small cell technology, the opioid crisis, mayor and chief of police relations, and much more.
The convention closed with the unveiling of Monroe as the 2019 host city and the presentation of the much-anticipated Community Achievement Awards. Ten municipalities won LMA’s highest honor in three categories and the Town of Jean Lafitte took the coveted “Best of Show” award.
LMA is a unified voice for Louisiana’s municipal governments. Its mission is to advocate, educate, and empower local governments to efficiently and effectively serve the citizens of Louisiana. There are 305 LMA members consisting of 127 villages, 111 towns, 65 cities, and 2 parishes (www.lma.org).

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