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|Little says he wants to unite Monroe|
Tony Little spent his Wednesday morning riding city busses, getting to know the people he hopes will vote for him in the Feb. 9 Monroe mayor's race.
Little called the people he met on the bus "extremely disenfranchised" and said that changing their perceptions of Monroe ranked among his top priorities.
"They are tired of hearing the same old song and dance politicians promising them things and they want a change," said Little. "But they lack the organizational expertise it takes to facilitate that change."
Little is one of four candidates hoping to unseat incumbent Mayor Jamie Mayo.
Little said there are many changes to what he termed "foundational" that need to occur to attract business growth.
"If you don't address the key issues such as taxation, the work ethic of the community or the educational system, you'll always be building on a foundation that will not last," Little said.
Little, a 34 year-old newlywed father of one, is the managing partner of Louisiana Stone.
Louisiana Stone is a stone products wholesale firm Little owns with local manufacturer and developer Eddie Hakim.
As mayor, Little said he would adopt the ethics rules proposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, including what Little termed a "glass house" city hall.
"The citizens should be able to see how every dime is spent -- in a micro-way," Little said. "Right now, we only see the budget in a macro-way."
Little said he would put an end to local media and citizens having to file Freedom of Information Act requests to view city documents, opting instead to open up all city files to its citizens.
Little also responded to reports that a family member was arrested last week by Metro Narcotics officers.
Thomas E. Little, 51, was arrested and charged by Metro officers on a host of drug-related offenses. Thomas Little is Tony Little's half-uncle, according to Tony Little.
"I haven't spoken to him in years," Little said of his uncle.
Little pointed out all families have relatives who have "gone astray", but questioned what bearing those family members have on the office of mayor.
"I'd like to make sure people in my family behave but that's impossible," Little said. "I have one brother and he's an engineering student at Tech. I've told him he's going to behave because he's going to succeed."
Little's brother is a senior at Louisiana Tech and should graduate this summer with a degree in engineering, Little said.
Little said the race for Monroe Mayor is not about slinging mud but should instead be focused on the economic health of the community and the changes he would make if elected.
"At the end of the day, we're talking about someone who can truly unite northern Monroe and southern Monroe, move this community forward and stop the divide," Little said. "Our mayor has had 12 years to perpetuate change. If he was going to do something to perpetuate change, why hasn't he done it by now?"
The primary election for Monroe Mayor will be held Sat. Feb. 9. If any candidate fails to garner 50 percent of the vote, the race will move to a run-off on Sat. March 7.
Besides Little and Mayo, Jack Buttitta, Ali Moghimi and Clint Thomas are candidates for mayor as well.