Letter to the Editor: Odom would make best mayor

Minden, on November 4th we have the opportunity to elect Chad Odom as our new mayor. I know Chad to be an experienced and enthusiastic leader. He is a 39-year-old Minden native in his prime.

I have known Chad his whole life. He was reared in a loving family with a great love for this city, a family who has always been in the forefront of making great things happen in Minden. The generosity and leadership of Chad’s grandparents, Lou and Boe Cook, were responsible for many traditions of our community which we carry on today such as the St. Jude Auction and Christmas lighting in downtown Minden. His granddad, Troy Odom, was a firefighter instrumental in creating the Minden Civil Service board. His mother and dad, Pattie & Charlie Odom, have continued the family traditions by being involved in the Minden community. Chad is a product of that family. Chad has always pitched in and worked, not only in the family businesses, but also with neighbors, church and in community activities.

Minden had good fortune when Chad decided to move back home when his daughter Isabella was born. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience that he is excited to share as mayor with us. His experience was gained as a professional and as a volunteer during New Orleans’ recovery after Katrina. His college degree is in Urban Studies and Regional Planning. He was the manager of 1st Stop for International Business at the World Trade Center in New Orleans. In that capacity, he entertained business leaders from throughout the world. He was appointed to serve on the New Orlean’s City Council Energy Task Force that advised the city council on regulatory matters concerning their energy utility. Chad has also used his great ability to organize others as he traveled the world teaching communication to business leaders and working in organizational redevelopment for American Fortune 50 companies. He is a bright, intelligent and forward thinking man. He has contacts with professionals from all over the world with expertise in best practices for growing a sustainable community.

I know for a fact that when his mother, Pattie Odom, accepted her position as Minden Main Street Director, Chad stepped up to help her and advise her, using his knowledge of planning and his experience in post Katrina New Orleans to verse her on tax credits and historic preservation. Chad also volunteered as Pattie led the city’s committee to develop a strategic plan for economic growth. Chad volunteered his time as a leader in the strategic planning process that assessed our community’s strengths and weaknesses and set forth goals and actions to work toward making Minden a development-ready community. This process discovered that we are not ready for new development, which makes it even more crucial that we have new leadership who understands the problems we are facing and has the tools to help us prepare for the future. Chad has the experience we need to stop Minden’s decline and to move our city forward. There is no more time to waste.

The Odoms have always believed in building teams to accomplish goals. Chad is no exception. Chad is a great leader who knows how to communicate and has the right experience. He will be a great leader for building team spirit among our city employees. His abilities and work ethic are evident when you read the endorsements of Chad’s colleagues–just take a look at his website.

As a former Minden City Clerk, I know that Chad understands the city budget. He also knows the importance of sound fiscal management and maintaining and growing our city’s reserves. Chad understands that better fiscal management and proper utilization of our city assets is imperative while the city strives to recover from the loss of revenue, lack of growth and expenditures of reserve funds of the past several years.

I am excited to know that an educated, capable and home grown young man is stepping up to the plate and offering us a choice for leadership for our city. I am excited for our city and our future. Please join me and vote for Chad Odom for Mayor of Minden.

Ava Hines Morgan
Minden resident since 1966

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