New Llano names new mayor

Leesville Daily Leader

Carolyn Todd stepped into her new role Tuesday night at the town council meeting after Denis Jordan resigned.

"I'm a public servant," she said. "I'm a Christian woman, and I believe that if Jesus served, that I need to serve. Until you learn to serve, it's hard to be a servant. You have to have a willingness to do it. You have to have a passion for it. Of course, you want people to like you and respect you, but you have to give it first. You have to learn how to follow then lead."

Jordan resigned due to personal reasons, and as mayor pro tem, Todd was named acting mayor.

"I always had the mayor's back, anyway," Todd said. "It didn't matter if I agreed or disagreed. I always filled in where he was lacking and fed him a bit. This is where I've been so long, and it's just natural to me. I love people and the community. This is home for me. It's like owning a home. You want your home to be pleasant, so I want New Llano to be a pleasant place for people to come in. It's all of us working together."

There is an election in November to choose a permanent mayor, but Todd plans to run against whoever else is interested.

Being Mayor Pro Temp, Todd stood in for Jordan whenever he was unable to attend meetings. After his resignation, the council selected Todd to take over the job.

The New Llano Council has to fill Todd's empty seat and will pick someone in the community that it believes can fill the void.

Todd made history in New Llano after becoming the mayor. She is the first African-American and first woman to be named to that position.

"It's an honor to me because I've been on the council for 30 years," she said. "It's something I've always dreamed of. It just had to be the right timing. I felt like if it wasn't broken, don't fix it. I had more voice as a councilperson. The board is really the one that makes the decisions.

"My family is proud, and the community is proud. It doesn't swell me up. It makes me realize that I have a lot of work to do to keep the people proud of being in New Llano."

Todd has been part of the New Llano community since moving into the area over 30 years ago. She began attending council meetings to figure out how to get involved and ended up serving on the council a few years later.

"I want something for this town," she said. "We have had our ups and downs, and New Llano was on the map for being negative all the time. I want to bring positive things to New Llano, whatever that may be. I want to see it grow, but I believe as mayor, we can get the people that want to be involved and the businesses involved."

The New Llano Town Council holds its meeting on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Public comments begin at 6:30 p.m., and residents are welcome to attend.

"A lot of the people that were here (Tuesday) night, it was their first meeting," she said. "They've been living here for years and finally came. They got to see how we handle a mayor resigning. Everything fell into place and it ran like it normally does.

"You may only be here for a few months or years, but I want people to enjoy the community they live in. For the most part, New Llano is not a bad place to live. It's quiet and people look out for each other."