Hyram Copeland

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Hyram Barney Copeland, Jr.
Mayor of Vidalia, Louisiana
Incumbent
Assumed office
1992
Preceded by Sam Randazzo
Personal details
Born (1940-12-30) December 30, 1940 (age 73)
Ferriday, Concordia Parish
Louisiana, USA
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Sandra E. Copeland (born 1944)
Children Stacey Denee' Copeland(born 1966)[1]
Alma mater Louisiana College

University of Louisiana at Monroe

Occupation Businessman
Religion American Baptist Association[2]
Military service
Service/branch United States Army Reserve

Hyram Barney Copeland, Jr. (born December 30, 1940),[3] has been since 1992 the mayor of Vidalia, the seat of government of Concordia Parish in eastern Louisiana, opposite the Mississippi River from Natchez, Mississippi.

Background[edit]

Copeland was born in Ferriday in Concordia Parish and graduated from Ferriday High School. He attended the Southern Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville and the University of Louisiana at Monroe, then known as Northeast Louisiana State College. From 1965 to 1971, he was a member of the United States Army Reserve. For more than twenty years, he worked for Sears as a department manager in Vidalia. He was self-employed from 1977 to 2000, while he also served part of that time as mayor.[4]

Political life[edit]

A Democrat,[3] Copeland served on the Vidalia City Council from 1976 until his election as mayor. On March 10, 1992, he unseated the incumbent Mayor Sam Randazzo (1925 – deceased), also a Democrat, 1,156 (52.9 percent) to 1,030 (47.1 percent).[5] Four years earlier, on March 8, 1988, Randazzo had defeated two other Democrats with nearly two thirds of the vote to win his own second term as mayor.[6] In 2008, Copeland won his fifth term as mayor over another Democrat, William "Bill" Murray, 1,088 (61.6 percent) to 678 (38.4 percent).[7]

Copeland was unopposed for his current sixth term in 2012. He is a member of the Vidalia Chamber of Commerce and the vice-chairman of the board of the Louisiana Energy and Power Authority. He is a member of the board of the Kisatchie-Delta Regional Planning and Development District and the chairman of the U.S. Highway 84 Commission.[4]

In May 2011, Copeland struggled with the highest Mississippi River water levels Vidalia had ever faced and the looming loss of three hundred jobs. Citizens, including prisoners, built 8-foot barriers downtown around the medical and convention centers and a hotel, and the two municipal water wells.[8] A year later a financial dilemma struck Vidalia when the city was billed for more than $635,000 in back payroll taxes and penalties from the Internal Revenue Service. The former town manager, Ken Walker, accepted full responsibility for the deficiency and praised Copeland as "a totally honest individual."[9] In 2013, Vidalia abolished the position of town manager. Copeland now relies on the town clerk, a consultant, and a city accountant in the management of municipal affairs.[10]

In 2013, along with George Dement, former mayor of Bossier City in northwestern Louisiana and several others, Copeland was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Natchitoches.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Template:Cite grandchildren, Shelby Elizabeth Strong Vestal, (born 1991), Ryan Anthony Strong (born 1995) web
  2. ^ "Hyram Copeland". spoke.com. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Plug in Hyram Copeland, December 1940". voterportal.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Mayor Hyram Copeland". concordiaed.com. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Louisiana Secretary of State, Official Election Results: 3/10/1992". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Official Election Results: 3/8/1988". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Official Election Results: 2/9/2008". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ "La. town works to save economic engine from flood, May 10, 2011". newsok.com. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Former Vidalia city manager says he's responsible for failure to pay IRS, October 3, 2012". The Concordia Sentinel. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Financial team to help manage Vidalia, April 25, 2013". The Concordia Sentinel. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Copeland, Hataway among inductees into Louisiana Political Hall of Fame, February 9, 2013". Alexandria Daily Town Talk, February 9, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Sam Randazzo
Mayor of Vidalia, Louisiana

Hyram Barney Copeland, Jr.
1992–

Succeeded by
Incumbent