DENHAM SPRINGS – A candidate for a seat on the Livingston Parish Council says she had no intention of seeking public office until she started attending their meetings.
Decisions council members made over the last year prompted a change of heart for Shannon Sloan, who has entered the race for the District 3 seat held by Maurice “Scooter” Keen.
“Decisions were not made based on what was best for the individual or for individual rights, but more about the politics and a matter of who’s doing what, what one person wants, what their buddy might want but not what’s best for the individual,” said Sloan, a member of the Libertarian Party of Livingston Parish. “The government job is to protect the rights of the citizens.”
She acknowledges that Livingston Parish faces challenges over drainage issues and road repair, but she said the rights of the individual must remain the top priority.
The current council term ushered nine new members to dais. Sloan believes the current council members have brought an improvement in comparison to the previous seat holders, but they still have a long way to go.
Sloan, a New Orleans native who has lived 11 years in District 3, believes an “old mentality” remains intact among some Parish Council members.
“There are still a couple of people who seem to be stuck on doing things the way they want or the way their friends want it,” she said. “They’re stuck on the idea that things have always been done a certain way and should stay that way.”
Sloan also touted her believe in a free market and individual property rights, and that the parish should not limit growth.
She strongly opposes the proposal for a mosquito abatement program for Districts 2 and 3.
It all comes down to more freedom and less government, she said.
“If it was only against me,” I’d probably approve it, but we have a lot of people who don’t like it, they worry about the safety, what it will do to their pets and the vegetable gardens,” Sloan said. “A lot of people don’t believe it’s worth the money, so I don’t think anyone should be forced to pay for something they don’t want.”