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New Leesville council members address goals for terms

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BY ELONA WESTON

LEESVILLE -- Monday marked the first regular meeting for new Leesville City Council members.

District 1 councilman Chris Robertson and councilman-at-large William "Coach" Thomas spoke to the West Central News Center about their goals while in the seats.

Robertson said he'll continue eyeing street improvements, sewer and water needs, as well as park and recreation enhancements.

Robertson commented on an ongoing road project.

"The project on Belview Road is continuing and it's going to get better. We're also working the project with James Armes and John Smith. That's all coming together. It's still a ways away but it's coming along," he said.

Robertson said he wants to work toward creating an environment for city growth, and he wants to make things better for longtime residents who, for decades and decades, have paid taxes.

"We like our small town. We like our small city that we've got but we need to have ways of making it better for the people who live here. The people who live here pay taxes ... they do all the stuff that everybody in the country does but maybe their feelings are that they are not getting their return," he said.

Robertson said he thinks accountability is a big part of growth. He said if everyone does their part, growth is inevitable.

"If you hold people accountable, there's no way the city can't grow. Is it going to happen in a week? No, I'm realistic ... I know that, but do we want to see things progress? Yes, we do," he said.

Thomas told the News Center that his aim is simple -- just make the city better.

"My vision is for every district in the City of Leesville. That's what I am most proud of with my position. My goal is to just make Leesville a better place," he said.

Water, sewer and streets, he said, are the priorities.

"And we need to take care of them in that order," he said. "It's simple. The other business of Leesville will continue, but those are our priorities."

Thomas said infrastructure improvements will take some time. He said be believes building and enhancements need to come from within.

"If we continue to go too far outside of Leesville, our infrastructure dies. That's the law of the jungle, that's nature," he said.

Thomas said he has enjoyed meeting residents in recent weeks.

"And they need something to be energetic over. I think the city is energized. We have people who share the same vision and we are going to work toward that vision," he said.
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