Gerald Jermarr Williams says he’s proud of what he and his administration did for the town of White Castle during his tenure as mayor, especially what was done for the town’s children.

He and his council launched summer enrichment programs and summer camps to give the children of the small town something to do.

“Those are just some of the things we did to enrich the lives of children,” Williams said. “Before, kids didn’t have anything to do in this small town.”

“So I think the things we did for children while I was mayor were great progress,” he continued.

Williams is also proud of the lighting project completed during his term in mayor that light up La. 1 through the town.

“Those lights have added a great flavor to our town, they really have,” he said. “You see lights in every other town, but White Castle was dark at one time and now we have light.”

Williams said he owes everything he became to his parents, Margaret “Tootsie Ma” Williams and Gerald Lee “Lightning” Williams, a talented organist and church music director.

“My parents played a major role in why I am who I am today,” Williams said. “I’m very grateful for them.”

“They played a major role in my rearing and taught me how to respect others and how to value others and how to treat others,” he said.

“They that me that whether people did you right or wrong, you just do what’s right,” Williams continued.

“If it weren’t for my parents, I wouldn’t be the leader that everybody loves and looks up to,” he said. “I wouldn’t be the mayor, I wouldn’t be the educator, I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for my parents.”

Williams’ terms as mayor – he served one on the Board of Aldermen and two as mayor – were sometimes challenging, he said.

“I went through some moments as mayor that weren’t’ easy,” Williams said. “I went through some moments when things were tough, but because of my faith in God, a supportive family and a supportive group of friends, I made it through them.”

He also heaped praise on the members of the Board of Aldermen while he was mayor and for the town’s employees for their support.

“The council I had from 2014 to 2018 was just simply awesome and so was the administration,” Williams said. “That’s what made me the mayor I was, that is what made me better, that is what made me stronger.”

“The administration and staff that we had in 2014 to 2018 – that’s what brought us to another level,” he said.

Before Williams would allow the interview to end, he spoke philosophically about being an elected official.

“Leadership to me is serving, it’s being a servant,” he said. “I think when you’re a servant, you should serve with your whole heart.”

“I want to thank the entire community of White Castle for being a part of me and I want to thank them for the opportunity to serve for as long as I did,” Williams said.

The former mayor has written a book, “Leading and Believing,” that describes not only his life, but his influences and what he believes are his accomplishments.