Changing of the Guard

District 1 Councilman Jeff Ard accepts the gavel as council chairman for former chairman Tracy Girlinghouse, who represents District 7. 

John Dupont | The News

LIVINGSTON – The first meeting of 2018 marked a changing of the guard, of sorts, for the Livingston Parish Council.

The council at its Jan. 11 unanimously appointed District 1 member Jeff Ard the Council Chairman for the year. Members also named District 5 councilman R.C. “Bubba” Harris as the co-chairman.

Ard, as with every other councilman, is serving his first term in office. Harris served as a police juror prior to the parish’s transition to Home Rule Charter.

“It’s different because you can’t make motions … you’re just running the meeting,” he said. “You’re out of the game, but you’re still controlling, like being a coach.”

Ard will succeed District 7 member Tracy Girlinghouse, who assumed possession of the gavel from District 4 councilman John Wascom at the start of 2017.

Council chairmen serve one year in the post.

“This job was made abundantly easier by the staff we have here – Sandy Teal, Pam Kistler and Lauren White – who have given me everything I asked for, some things I didn’t ask for and everything I needed,” said Girlinghouse, whose birthday fell the day of the meeting. “I said this job is probably eighty percent commonsense, and I still believe that, and guys I serve here do their jobs with the utmost ability and integrity.”

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