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West Monroe Mayor and aldermen sworn in

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 4:48 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - History was made in West Monroe on June 21, 2022. Five aldermen and Mayor Staci Mitchell were sworn in at City Hall.

Family and friends cheered as Rodney Welch became West Monroe’s first-ever Black alderman. His swearing-in follows a Department of Justice lawsuit saying the districts violated the Voting Rights Act, so this is the first time voters elected three aldermen by district and two at large. Welch said he hopes to focus on economic development, affordable housing, and being a role model to Black youth.

“I mentor a lot of children and so they watch me on the daily basis -- so seeing me at this point being elected, and being the first black ever, trust me that speaks volumes to them and also lets them know ‘Hey, if Rodney did it, I can do it also’,” said Welch.

The other four aldermen -- Morgan Buxton, Polk Brian, Thom Hamilton, and Ben Westerburg -- were all re-elected.

Mayor Staci Mitchell was also sworn in to her second term. She says she has a lot of projects in the works for the city.

“So we have two major drainage projects that are receiving capital outlay funding, additional funding for the Drago Street lift station, and another sidewalk project funded,” said Mitchell.

Mayor Mitchell also said she plans to incentivize people to stay in West Monroe and recruit new businesses.

“If we just all continue to work together and work toward the same common end goal of making this a place that people and businesses want to be, so businesses will locate, our children will have things to do, and they’ll want to stay,” said Mitchell.

The Mayor and the board of aldermen begin their terms on July 1, 2022.

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