Fred Raiford to Co-Chair City Services Committee

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By Dave Freneaux 

    Mayor Mac Watts has named eighteen people to serve on the committee to consider Central's City Services contract which comes up for renewal in July of 2011.  The committee will be chaired by the Mayor and is made up almost exclusively of Central residents.  Mr. Fred Raiford is the notable exception and has been appointed to co-chair the committee because of his many years of service as the director of the East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Public Works.  Mr. Raiford retired from EBR Parish after 30 years of service and now serves as the Chief of Staff for the Town of Walker where he is in charge of finances and contracts and assists the Mayor with the day to day operations of the city.

    Mayor Watts has assembled the committee from recommendations made by Council Members as well as Central residents who possess a variety of skills and education which the Mayor feels will contribute to the overall effectiveness of the committee.  The Mayor expects the committee to begin meeting in the next two weeks and says that all meetings will be advertised, posted at City Hall, open to the public, and that meetings will be run by defined rules of order.  When asked about the large size of the committee Mayor Watts responded that there is a great deal of work to do and that he expects sub-committees will be actively working in the areas such as finance, research, contractor qualification and writing Requests for Proposals.  He states that this will definitely be a working committee.

    The members of the committee, in addition to Mayor Watts and Co-Chair Fred Raiford are: Buddy Ragland, award winning architect who has been involved with Central's Master Plan; Keith Cranfield, Executive V.P. of Finance of the Exxon Federal Credit Union; Mike Mannino, supervisor at Exxon; Jay Dykes, owner of Dykes Electric; Neal Paul Miller, business manager- Local 198; Paul Burns, construction contractor and P&Z member;  Mike Hooper, CPA and Executive V.P. of LA Capital Federal Credit Union; Wayne Leader, local business owner; Pete Firmin, contractor and Chairman of the Construction Board of Appeals; Louis DeJohn, Councilman and mechanical contractor; Ralph Washington, Councilman & business owner; David Medlin, retired EBRP Finance Director; Jeanie Barnett, member of CCSS Steering Committe for new school construction; Rodney Bonvillain, Chairman of Planning & Zoning and business owner; Ti Barnes, local attorney; Mark Miley, City Clerk and local attorney; and Mike Stephens, retired Baton Rouge Fire Department Chief Training Officer.

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