OUR VIEW: Wheat’s legacy will live on

Published 11:16 am Friday, March 22, 2013

Washington Parish Councilman Ken Wheat surprised many observers by announcing recently that he will not seek re-election in 2015.

Wheat said his sole reasoning for not running again is to spend more time with his three granddaughters, which is understandable. He currently has three grandchildren and another grandchild is expected shortly.

The Bogalusa native has become somewhat of a political icon in Washington Parish, having been involved in government for nearly 30 years. He has put together an impressive vitae of accomplishments but perhaps none as important as playing a role behind the movement to move Washington Parish from the antiquated police jury system to the current home rule charter established in the late 1990s.

Wheat has also been a strong advocate for the development of Pool’s Bluff, the parish’s most pristine and serene fishing hole and launching point. With added improvements by the board, this area will likely be his lasting legacy.

He has also been a longtime member of the parish’s finance committee and currently serves as its chairman.

Through the years Wheat has always been accessible to his constituents, and ready to lend a helping hand to any parish resident, whether or not that person was a constituent.

When Jan. 1, 2016, arrives, it will be strange not to see Wheat being inaugurated. But his presence will nonetheless be felt for years to come, and he will be missed.

A grandchild’s gain is a parish’s loss.