|Frederick Herman "Fred" Baden, Sr.|
|Mayor of Pineville
Rapides Parish, Louisiana, USA
|Preceded by||Floyd W. Smith, Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Leo Deslatte|
|Pineville City Council member|
May 4, 1934|
Pineville, Louisiana, United States
|Died||December 17, 2009
|Resting place||Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Pineville, Louisiana|
|Spouse(s)||(1) Divorced from Patsy Nugent (later Mrs. Terrell D. Corley)
(2) Roxann Babb Baden
|Children||Three sons and four daughters from first marriage:
Mark Wendell Baden
|(1) Baden kept Pineville free of alcoholic beverage sales during his 28-year tenure as mayor.
(2) Baden was known for his assistance to the needy, particularly disadvantaged senior citizens, for whom he often performed pro bono plumbing work while he was mayor.
Frederick Herman Baden, Sr. (May 4, 1934 – December 17, 2009), known as Fred Baden, was a Democratic mayor of Pineville, a small city across the Red River from Alexandria in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Baden, who was of German extraction, served in the executive position from 1970 until his defeat in 1998 by the Republican Leo Deslatte.
Early years and family 
Baden was the only son of four children born in Pineville to Herman P. Baden (1885–1959) and Maude H. Baden (1896–1973), who are interred at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Pineville. Baden was reared in a house located Lakeview Street in downtown Pineville. The late Alexandria Mayor John K. Snyder, whose tenure corresponded with that of Baden in Pineville, also grew up on Lakeview Street about a block from the Baden household. "He was the mayor of Alexandria, but he spent more time in Pineville," said Baden, who recalled that while Snyder maintained an apartment in Alexandria, he spent more time at his mother's Pineville residence. At the age of eighteen, Baden became a volunteer firefighter and worked as an auxiliary police officer. Baden also became a plumber and attained the level of "Master Plumber" by the age of twenty-eight. He served on the Pineville City Council from 1966 until his election as mayor in the spring of 1970.
Baden was twice married. After his divorce from the former Patsy Nugent (born August 5, 1932), he married his young secretary, the former Roxann Babb (born March 17, 1950). Patsy Baden later married Terrell D. Corley (born May 4, 1945).
Fred and Patsy Baden had four daughters, Sarah, Leah, Andrea (deceased), and Tracy, and three sons, Mark Wendell Baden (born September 17, 1953), a former deputy with the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Department, Gary Wayne Baden (born October 22, 1955), a plumber, and Tony Phillip Baden (born March 23, 1960) of Boyce. He had two sons by Roxann Baden, Frederick H. "Freddy" Baden, Jr. (born 1978), and Joshua Adam Baden (born 1979).
Baden's three sisters were Vivian B. Nugent and the late Linnie B. Murray and Louella Gatlin Bradford.
Mayoral service 
As a councilman, Baden often clashed with Mayor Floyd W. Smith, Jr. (1932–2010), who did not seek a second term but instead ran successfully in 1970 for councilman at-large, a position that he soon vacated in order to run for the Louisiana State Senate. Smith was elected mayor in 1966, when he upset fellow Democrat P. Elmo Futrell, Jr., a Pineville real estate appraiser.
A Baptist, Baden was particularly known for his opposition to the sale of alcoholic beverages in historically prohibitionist Pineville, the home of Louisiana College. He once closed Buhlow Lake in Pineville to boat races because of alcohol consumption on the premises.
During Baden's tenure, Pineville constructed a municipal center that houses City Hall, the police department, municipal court, and a central fire station located behind the complex. Pineville also built additional fire stations, a recreation center, and expanded and improved its streets. Baden and the city council worked to develop an apartment complex for the elderly located on Louisiana Highway 28 East. He and the late U.S. Representative Gillis William Long moved to purchase the former Pineville Post Office on Main Street for use as a senor citizens center. Baden, as mayor, often did free plumbing work for disadvantaged senior citizens.
Despite the improvements, the Pineville population remained relatively constant during his 28-year tenure as mayor—in the range of 12,000 to 13,000. Much of the area growth occurred outside the city limits.
Baden was an original member of the Rapides Area Planning Commission and served on the Salvation Army Board, the Louisiana College Board of Development, and the Rapides Parish Solid Waste Committee. He was also active in the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, the Rapides Senior Citizens Board, the Renaissance Board for Youth, and Louisiana Municipal Association, of which he served three terms as vice president. Baden received the Hometown Leadership Award which recognizes elected local officials for exemplary leadership. He was honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the Louisiana College trustees. The Louisiana National Guard presented him with its "Commendation Award". In 2001, the Rapides Parish Police Jury [county commission in other states] appointed Baden to fill an unexpired term on the Esler Industrial Development Area Advisory Board. The appointment ended on January 8, 2006.
Baden worked with L. B. Henry of Pineville, long-term police jury president, in upgrading the infrastructure and procuring sewerage service to the outlying Wardville and Lee Heights areas. Baden and Henry also came to terms for the establishment of an animal shelter for both Pineville and the parish. Like Baden, Henry was a plumber by trade.
Among the many city council members during the Baden years was the Louisiana College psychology professor George E. Hearn, a Democrat, and Christian D. Cunningham, a Republican who defeated Hearn for reelection in 1990.
In 1989, Baden spoke out on the state level when he questioned the financial policies undertaken by Governor Buddy Roemer. At the time voters had just rejected a tax reform package submitted by Roemer. Baden said that average citizens of modest means "see waste and fat [in government]. They tell me they feel betrayed." Baden proposed that serious budget cuts be undertaken at the state level before any discussion of higher taxes be contemplated. He noted that Roemer had promised huge cuts in the education bureaucracy in the capital city of Baton Rouge which had not been implemented.
Election campaigns 
In 1974, Baden made prohibition a key issue when he won his second term by a large margin over Rapides Parish School Board member Gary K. Hays (1938–1981). Baden continued to be reelected with few obstacles in 1978, 1982, 1986, and 1990. His last victory was in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on March 26, 1994, when he polled 2,449 votes (69 percent) to 1,075 (30 percent) for Republican Chris Cunningham, and 31 votes (1 percent) for Democrat Nick Patten. Patten blamed his political difficulties on the theft of his campaign signs by Baden supporters. "It's just a terrible thing that you can't run a legitimate election in Pineville," Patten said. Baden retorted that some of his own signs had vanished as well.
In the primary held on April 4, 1998, Baden led the four-candidate field with 1,805 votes (44 percent). Republican Leo Deslatte trailed with 1,243 ballots (31 percent). A second Democrat, Barbara B. Gypin, polled 35 votes (1 percent). The "No Party" candidate, Randall Bryan "Randy" Tannehill (born 1960), son of Fred Tannehill, a former Democratic member of the Louisiana State Board of Education, received 977 votes (24 percent). The last campaign was bitter. In the general election on May 2, Deslatte prevailed with 2,304 votes (53 percent) to Baden's 2,062 (47 percent). In 1999, Randy Tannehill ran unsuccessfully as a Republican in the District 27 state House election, having been defeated by the Democrat Rick L. Farrar.
Financial audit 
Mayor Deslatte invited the Louisiana legislative auditor, Dan Kyle, a Republican, to inspect Pineville's municipal books. Kyle's office criticized the Baden administration for violations ranging from the illegal donation of thirty-one vehicles to other governmental entities as well as special leave benefits for Baden's wife, Roxan, when she became an employee in her husband's office.
Thereafter, the office of then Louisiana Attorney General Richard Ieyoub, a Democrat, cleared Baden of any wrongdoing, but Dan Kyle claimed that Ieyoub had ignored critical evidence that would have found Baden guilty of malfeasance in office. However, Ieyoub reported that a lengthy investigation concluded "there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution." Baden said at the time that he knew he would be cleared of the allegations. "I felt all along that I would be cleared of these allegations. . . I never did anything wrong. We never took anything from the city that we didn't earn."
Deslatte was unable to work with the city council and resigned as mayor after less than two years into his term. He said that the political pressure was too much to make the job worth keeping. The council then appointed an African American council member, Clarence Ray Fields, Sr. (born November 7, 1955), as interim mayor to succeed Deslatte. Fields, hence the first black mayor of Pineville, was then elected to a partial term in 2000, a full term in 2002 and reelected again in 2006. Baden announced that he would oppose Fields for the partial term in 2000 but subsequently withdrew from consideration, and George Hearn instead ran unsuccessfully for mayor that year.
Baden's legacy 
Baden died at the age of seventy-five, several days after having been admitted to Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria. He was on life support as a result of a fall at his home. Services were held on December 19, 2009, at the First Baptist Church of Pineville, located across the street from Pineville City Hall. Interment was at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
When he left the office of mayor, Baden declared himself a true public servant: "What we get out of life is what we do for others. . . ."We made Pineville a city that everyone could be proud of. I would like to be remembered as a man that helped build the city that I loved. I would like to be remembered for all the accomplishments we made together as a dedicated team for the past twenty-eight years." He continued: "I never forgot that it was the people who put me there. They're the ones you listen to. They're the board of directors."
Former city council member Jack Wainwright said that Baden was known for his kindness to others and his excellent treatment of municipal employees: "I don't know of any employee that didn't like the mayor, because he was a good man." Robert F. Cespiva (born 1925), a former council member for sixteen years, said that Baden "had a big heart, especially for senior citizens. . . . He was color blind when it came to race."
Mayor Fields said that Baden's "prints are all over this city. He . . . cared about people and did everything he possibly could to help people. There's signs of it all over the city." Fields said that Pineville will honor Baden in "a great way" at some point in the future.
On January 28, 2012, Baden, along with Adras LaBorde, managing editor of the Alexandria Daily Town Talk, was posthumously inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield. At the induction ceremony, daughter Leah Baden recalled the poem "Don't Quit", which father made her and her siblings to recite. She continued: "As a child, a lot of people thought I should receive special treatment because I was the child of a politician. My dad always told me everyone should be treated the same, with kindness and respect."
- "Mt. Olivet Cemetery burials". usgwarchives.net. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
- "Jodi Belgard, "John Snyder seemed to relish controversy"". Alexandria Daily Town Talk, April 29, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- "Obituary of Frederick Herman Baden". Alexandria Daily Town Talk, December 18, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2009.[dead link]
- Alexandria Daily Town Talk, May 25, 1979
- Bret H. McCormick, "7-term Pineville Mayor Fred Baden remembered for 'big heart'", Alexandria Daily Town Talk, December 18, 2009
- "Rapides Parish Police Jury". rppj.com. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- "L.B. Henry was known for helping other people", Alexandria Daily Town Talk, April 15, 2008
- "Alexandria Daily Town Talk, September 14, 2010". Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- "Mayor says 'betrayal by Roemer' was reason for tax reform failure", Minden Press-Herald, May 11, 1989, p. 1
- "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- Louisiana secretary of state, Municipal election returns, March 26, 1994
- "Candidate files complaint; Says campaign signs disappearing", Alexandria Daily Town Talk, December 2, 1993, p. D-2
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election returns, April 4, 1998
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election returns, May 2, 1998
- "Bret H. McCormick, "7-term Pineville Mayor Fred Baden remembered for 'big heart'", December 18, 2009". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- Alexandria Daily Town Talk, December 10, 1999
- "Louisiana election returns, October 7, 2000". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved December 18, 2009.[dead link]
- "Former Pineville Mayor Fred Baden dies, December 17, 2009". content.usa.today.net. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- "Warren Hayes, "La. Political Hall inducts former Pineville mayor, 5 others"". Alexandria Daily Town Talk, January 29, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
Floyd W. Smith, Jr.
|Mayor of Pineville, Louisiana
Frederick Herman "Fred" Baden, Sr.