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Dave Norris (Louisiana politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dave Noel Norris, Sr.
Mayor of West Monroe, Louisiana
In office
July 1, 1978 – July 1, 2018
Preceded byBert Hatten
Succeeded byStaci Albritton Mitchell
Personal details
Born (1942-08-04) August 4, 1942 (age 77)
West Monroe, Louisiana, USA
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Biddy Dupree Norris
RelationsWilliam Wiley Norris, III (brother)
ChildrenCynthia Susan Norris

Dave Noel "Davy" Norris, Jr.

Christopher Dupree Norris
ParentsWilliam Wiley, II, and Rosalie Beeson Norris
ResidenceWest Monroe, Louisiana
Alma materWest Monroe High School

University of Louisiana at Monroe
Louisiana Tech University

Mississippi State University
OccupationCollege professor
Long-term mayor

Dave Noel Norris, Sr. (born August 4, 1942), is the former Democratic[1] mayor of his native West Monroe, Louisiana, a position which he has held from 1978 to 2018 with minimal opposition. Norris was unopposed for a tenth and final term as mayor in the election held on April 5, 2014.[2][3] His successor, Staci Albritton Mitchell, took office July 1, 2018.


Norris is one of four children, two surviving, of William Wiley Norris, II (1909–1987), a native of Smith County, Mississippi, and the former Rosalie Beeson (1911–1996). They are interred at Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery in Monroe.[4] He graduated from West Monroe High School.[5] In 1963, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, then known as Northeast Louisiana State College. In 1965, he procured a Master of Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. He obtained the Doctor of Business Administration from Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi.[6] From 1966 until his election as mayor in 1978, Norris was an associate professor of economics and director of the Small Business Institute at his alma mater, ULM. After becoming mayor, he continued to teach part-time at ULM until 1998.[5][7] One of the students whom Norris mentored was Robert "Bob" Mann, a journalist and political historian who holds the Douglas Manship Chair of Journalism at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.[8]

Political life

In 1971, West Monroe streamlined its city charter and expanded the powers of the mayor. Under Norris' predecessor as mayor, Bert Hatten, the city constructed a new city hall, police department, jail, and convention center on the former Ouachita Valley Fairgrounds.[9]

Norris is a key proponent of the Sparta Reuse Project, which converts wastewater into fresh water to reduce the depletion of the Sparta Aquifer. The project is financed from a combination of local, state, and federal stimulus sources earmarked to the city and its engineering firm, Energy Ventures Analysis.[7] Under Norris, the city built the Ike Hamilton Expo Center, an indoor arena off Interstate 20 popularly called "The Ike". The center is popular for equestrian events, conventions, trade shows, and some concerts.[10][11] Under Norris, the city built the West Ouachita Senior Center and expanded its recreational facilities to include Lazarre Park on the Ouachita River, Kiroli Park, a woodland experience in an urban setting, and Restoration Park, a wetlands park developed from a former gravel pit.[12]

In February 2010, Norris was unopposed for his ninth and current term.[10] In 2013, Norris confirmed that he expects to seek a tenth term in the position in 2014. Despite struggles with aging infrastructure and municipal retirement commitments, West Monroe has been designated by the consumer advocacy website NerdWallet as one of the top four cities in Louisiana in which to rear a family. Favorable factors in West Monroe cited include median income, affordable home ownership, public school ratings, and economic growth.[13]

On March 11, 2017, Norris was among five persons inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield. He was cited for his longevity in office as mayor and such signature projects as the Ike Hamilton Expo Center and the West Ouachita Senior Center.[14]

Personal life

Norris is the choir director at the McGuire United Methodist Church in West Monroe. His wife, the former Biddy Dupree, is a pianist and worship coordinator.[5][15] He has also served on the board of the Salvation Army and the West Monroe Boys Club. He has also worked in the United Givers Fund.[6]

Dave Noel "Davy" Norris, Jr. (born February 1969), son of Dave and Biddy Norris, holds the Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas and is the director of the Louisiana Tech University Enterprise Center.[16] Biddy Norris's parents were Justus Theron and Iva Rawls Dupree. There are two other Norris children, Cynthia Susan Norris and Christopher Dupree Norris.[17]

Norris' older brother, William "Bill" Norris, III (1936–2016), a graduate of Tulane University Law School in New Orleans and like his brother a Democrat, was a member of the Ouachita Parish School Board from 1964 to 1971 and, again, from 2011 to 2014. He was West Monroe city attorney from 1964 to 1970 and city judge from 1970 to 1974, when he began service on the state Fourth Judicial District Court. From 1981 to 2002, he was a judge of the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit in Shreveport. After retiring from the bench, he practice law in West Monroe with his son. He was active in the First Baptist Church of West Monroe. Bill Norris' wife, Carolyn, the sister-in-law of Mayor Norris, is principal of Kiroli Elementary School.[18]


  1. ^ "Plug in Dave Norris, August 1942". Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  2. ^ "Races in a Parish: Ouachita". Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  3. ^ "Greg Hilburn, "West Monroe Mayor Norris to seek 10th - and final - term," January 29, 2014". Monroe News-Star. Archived from the original on January 12, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  4. ^ "William Norris, Jr". Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "West Monroe Mayor Norris to deliver commencement at ULM, April 25, 2014". Monroe News-Star. Archived from the original on May 22, 2014. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Making It: Mayor's Enthusiasm Promotes Interest. The Chacahoula (1984). Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Mayor Dave Norris". Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  8. ^ "Three Tiger Stadiums Filled With Poor Children: The Scandal of Poverty in Louisiana". Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  9. ^ Gordon E. Harvey, Historic Ouachita Parish: An Illustrated History. HPN Books, 2007, p. 44. 2007. ISBN 9781893619708. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "George Vieto, West Monroe Mayor Dave Norris gets a ninth term unopposed, February 6, 2010". Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  11. ^ "Ike Hamilton Expo Center". Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  12. ^ "Mayor". Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  13. ^ Greg Hilburn, "Norris likely to run for 10th term," The Monroe News-Star, October 16, 2013.
  14. ^ Greg Hilburn (March 11, 2017). "La.'s political legends take their place in Hall of Fame". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  15. ^ "Meet Our Staff". Archived from the original on May 22, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  16. ^ "Funding will help Tech boost job creation, business, August 11, 2012". Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  17. ^ "Family Group Record for Dave Noel NORRIS and Biddy DUPREE". Retrieved October 29, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ Bonnie Bolden. "Judge Bill Norris died Wednesday". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
Preceded by
Bert Hatten
Mayor of West Monroe, Louisiana

Dave Noel Norris

Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 26 October 2019, at 16:40
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