Focusing on incumbent Hanisee and candidate Harvey
Between 2009 and the April 6 election, Bossier City Council District 5 residents have witnessed the representation of more council members than most districts see over several terms of office. In the May 2009 run-off election for the Bossier City Council District 5 seat, Larry Hanisee lost to James “Chubby” Knight by only 50 votes. Knight resigned his seat and Council members appointed former District 5 representative Dr. Jim Rogers to serve until the October 22, 2011 election at which voters selected Larry Hanisee to serve the balance of Knight’s term.
Hanisee, who ran against Tommy Harvey won that election by the slim margin of two votes. And now it’s time for the match-up that will send the winner of the District 5 election into a full four-year term. As expected, Hanisee would like to keep the seat, and Harvey would like to have it. But a surprise last minute candidate is also in the running this time: well-known realtor Mischa Angel.
More on Angel next week; today the focus is Hanisee and Harvey.
As he did a year ago, Hanisee defines himself as presently semi-retired, having taken an early retirement from FedEx. He previously served one term as District 3 Council representative from 1989-1993. He was defeated in a re-election bid for that seat in a race that reflected the district’s opposition to the introduction of riverboat gaming in Bossier City, and concern for property loss due to Arthur Ray Teague Parkway planning. Hanisee supported both the introduction of gaming and the parkway.
Hanisee said that his first year as District 5 representative has given him the opportunity to review the finances of the city and some of the major projects currently underway, such as the water and sewer upgrades, as well as the city’s transportation improvement plan.
He has also met with the Mayor and City Traffic Engineer to better understand how the city’s computerized signalization program works, and the city’s efforts at continuous fine-tuning of the system.
“I’m there to keep them honest and keep them working,” Hanisee said.
Hanisee ticked off a list of efforts on behalf of District 5, including street panel projects, completion of a bridge in the new Greenacres area, cleaning of ditches in both the old and new sections of Greenacres, cleaning up lots in Old Bossier, and addressing drainage issues.
And he said that he had worked on riverfront development to keep roads open, as well as reviewing the design of the new road in front of Boardwalk that will go to Marguaritaville Casino.
Finally, Hanisee emphasized that as District 5 residents have contacted him, he has been accessible and attentive to their concerns and needs. Moreover, he noted, “Very important information comes from District 5 residents.”
Tommy Harvey counts his US Air Force and business experience as high on his background list of achievements for City Council candidacy. Harvey grew up in the Air Force and then spent a career in Air Force recruiting, in both active duty and reserve capacities. He retired as a Chief Master Sergeant, and with the distinction as the second most tenured recruiter for the Air Force Reserve.
Following retirement, he was employed as the coordinator for donor recruiting for Lifeshare Blood Centers for eight years before going into business with his sister to open the UPS Store on Airline Drive. Harvey said that his interest in service stems from his lengthy military experience: “My military background gave me a strong foundation for service; to be a Chief in the US Air Force, you don’t wait -- you step up and do.”
Harvey has been a regular audience member at Bossier City Council members for well over a year. He noted that he and Hanisee had been friends for years.
But, he said, “I think I’m more versed in giving attention to issues than he (Hanisee) is. He’s a good guy, but I don’t see that he’s given the attention that District 5 deserves.”
“Larry Hanisee hasn’t done what voters asked him to do,” said Harvey of his second run at the District 5 seat.
Harvey pointed to issues in Greenacres subdivision such as Douglas Drive being asphalted instead of having concrete replacement. Harvey believes that areas such as Greenacres should have periodic meetings with their Council representatives, even including At-large Council members.
“If you get residents together and start listening, you can find out what their solutions are,” said Harvey.
Harvey said he’d also like to see more information offered during City Council meetings. He described various issues discussed at the meetings where the Council members clearly had diagrams, photos, or other informative documentation – which could have been shared with the public if the Council employed overhead technology.
On the other hand, Harvey strongly endorsed the city’s attention to proactively addressing infrastructure improvements, such as water and sewer upgrades. But he’d also like to see attention in his district to such as the crumbling sidewalks and streets he witnessed while walking the district last year.