Caesar appointed to fill vacant Baldwin board seat

Baldwin alderman met in special session Thursday to fill a seat on the board.

Ordered by the Louisiana Secretary of State to make an interim appointment until a special election can be held, former alderman Mike Caesar was granted the post. Caesar was the next highest vote-getter under Tony J. Gibson in the last election. Gibson was removed from the board on an elections law violation. The motion was made by Alderman Clarence Vappie and seconded by Alderman Mike Lancelin.

Gibson was not present.

The board also passed a resolution setting a special election on Oct. 19. Qualifying for that election will be Aug. 14-16. The term runs through the end of 2014.

Margaret Coleman told the board that the voters didn’t elect Caesar. “The voters spoke and said no,” she said. Coleman noted that she volunteered for the seat but wasn’t nominated.

Vappie explained that Caesar had the most votes in the last election after Gibson. “That was the voters speaking,” he said.

Legal counsel Vincent Borne clarified that Caesar will hold the seat until the October special election. Caesar is not barred by law from running for the seat.

“This is kangaroo stuff here,” Coleman said. “You’re trying to keep the board the same.”

“After the special election, the citizens of Baldwin will have elected the entire board,” Borne said.

Curley Lyons said the board has remained virtually unchanged for decades in some cases. He said “when you do a job for so many years, you get to feeling that you can do it better than somebody else.”

He said younger people offer “different ideas.” Baldwin was, when he arrived 30 years ago, an ideal town but has changed for the worse. “We’re going to have to open our minds to change,” Lyons said.

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