Former police juror seeking council seat

Published 11:31 am Sunday, August 2, 2015

Melvin Keith has announced his candidacy for election to Washington Parish Council District 1.

Keith is a 1967 graduate of Greenville Park High School in Hammond and a 1972 graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, where he earned a B.S. degree in civil engineering. He has also studied both mass and rapid transportation at both Marquette University in Milwaukee and at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

He is a retired senior engineer with more than 38 years at Temple Inland/International Paper.

Keith is married to Alice Dixon Keith, a retired elementary teacher with 30 years with Bogalusa City Schools. They are the proud parents of three grown children, two daughters and a son, all of whom are graduates of Southern University and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.  They are also the proud grandparents of four grandchildren, two boys and two girls.

Keith served as a former parish council member under the previous police jury system. During his previous tenure as a police juror, his attendance at various meetings was exemplary. He was recognized as having the best attendance record during his tenure. He worked with both city and parish constituents.

During his previous tenure, he served as chairman of both the Grant and Bid committees. He sought the grant and designed and served as engineer for the installation of the Riverside Drive boat launch.

Keith has served 30 years or more on the Avenue U and central board of the YMCA. He is a current and longtime board member of Nellie Byers Training Center and has served in different capacities. He also worked with the design for the new Nellie Byers building.

Keith is a long-time member of Bogalusa Little League. He served as player agent and as president and vice president of the League.  Under his leadership, he obtained the property, drew up the design layout and oversaw the construction of the Bogalusa Little League Ball Park.

Keith’s name is listed in the Outstanding Young Men of America 1980 edition.

Keith instituted the Washington MENS Club, which stands for Mentor, Educate, Nurture, Serve. It’s mainly a means to try to reach young people and guide them in a positive direction. The Washington MENS Club also gives scholarships to graduating seniors from numerous parish high schools.

The Washington MENS Club has also honored various community leaders and professional individuals for their community services at its annual MENS Club Banquet.

Keith is also an avid bowler and took home the City Championship Bowling Title in scratch and handicap divisions of the Bogalusa Bowling Association City Tournaments in 1995 and 2001. He now participates in league bowling at Tiffany Lanes in Mandeville and bowled a 300 game on Feb. 17, 2011.

Keith is a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church and has been instrumental in overseeing the construction of the new church building. Fire destroyed the old building in 2014. He also serves as treasurer and is on the Finance Committee.

Keith’s vision for the parish is to pledge to: faithfully attend council meetings; work with the parish president and others to move the parish forward; stay in his lane and not overstep his bounds, but to push or pull if progress is not being made; work with existing or new groups to help keep the parish clean; work with the parish and others to maintain the cleanliness of the Pool’s Bluff area to include the boat launch, the pavilion and the monument in memory of Cpl. David S. Stewart; and work with legislators to help bring more affordable housing to all citizens of Washington Parish.

Keith’s slogan is  “Moving Washington Parish Forward.”

“I would very much appreciate your prayers, support and your vote.  Please feel free to contact me if you can help in anyway,” said Keith.