MONROE, LA (12/29/19)– With primary elections being over for a couple of months now, some elected officials will be sworn into their positions over the next month. One of those officials being Michael Echols, who is leaving his position early as a Monroe City Councilman.
“I’ve really enjoyed working as a City Councilman over the past several years. I’ve learned so much about this area, this region, and some of the needs of the region,” said Michael Echols, Monroe City Councilman.
Echols term doesn’t end until June 30th but he’s being sworn in on January 13th as House representative for District 14. This leaves his city council seat open until the municipal election, which takes place in April. Echols will be recommending an interim council member until the seat is officially filled.
“I’ve got a couple of community servants that would serve well in that role. However, we want to get up to qualifyings to see what happens,” said Echols.
To keep the race fair, Echols won’t release those names until after qualifyings, which end January 10th. If only one person qualifies, Echols will recommend that person so they have a chance to serve before they officially take office in July.
“If more than one person qualifies for the seat, then I would look at trying to appoint somebody that’s not going to run for the seat. That way you could have a vibrant conversation with the people running for the seat and then have someone serve as a community servant for a few months until the new person takes office,” said Echols.
However, the interim position is completely up to the City Council.
Echols says he has learned so much while serving as a councilman. His favorite has been meeting the people.
“They overcame so many different challenges and I guess the biggest lesson was I learned that great people we have here in Monroe and all over northeast Louisiana,” said Echols.
In addition, Echols plans to go to Baton Rouge and bring resources back to northeast Louisiana. According to The Ouachita Citizen, the only person to publicly announce plans to campaign for district one is Doug Harvey, a local businessman. Echols says he wants whoever fills his spot to know that communicating with the public and getting jobs done is important.