Published Monday, January 9, 2012
By Matt Scallan
St. John the Baptist President Natalie Robottom told residents at her inauguration on Monday that she would "change the culture of mediocrity" and set a new level of expectation for public service in the parish. Robottom pledged to work to attract businesses and work with the school system to reduce crime.
Parish Council members also took their oaths of office and elected officers for the year.
Lucien Gauff III was elected council chairman and Jaclyn Hotard was elected vice-chair, they along with Cheryl Millet, are returning to the council. Newcomers include Art Smith, Ranney Wilson, Lennix "Tweet" Madere Jr., Marvin "Butch" Perrilloux, and Michael Wright. The council unanimously approved Robottom's slate of department heads, which included new appointees of the parish's economic development, , recreation and parks, and public safety.
Robottom re-appointed Utilities Director Virgil Rayneri, Director of Human Resources, Stacey Cador, Chief Administrative Officer Theresa Rodgers, and appointed a chief financial officer. The financial officer's position has been vacant since the resignation of Pat McTopy. The new CFO is Randy Vincent, who formerly directed the delivery of services in Calcasieu Parish, including programs to assist residents services in health care, utility bills, senior citizen services employment training. health care, food assistance, and parishwide transportation. He is a resident of LaPlace, Robottom said.
Angelic Sutherland, a special assistant to Robottom since she took office in 2010, was named as Planning and Zoning Director, replacing Mike Henderson. Sutherland, a lawyer, has been advising the code enforcement department, and prosecuting code violations.
Torri Buckles was named to head the parish's economic development office, replacing Julia Remondet. She is a business consultant and was formerly employed by the Louisiana Department of Economic Development.
The new emergency preparedness director is Jobe Boucvalt, a former parish councilman who coordinated emergency response activities at the Marathon Refinery in Garyville. The job has been filled on an interim basis by Kathryn Gilmore, the assistant director, since former director Mike Tregre resigned to run for sheriff last year.
The new recreation director is Terrence Jones, a Lutcher native, whom Robottom described as an "executive level administrator" who has coordinated athletic camps and other events for children and alumni organizations. Jones had a 5 ½ year career as a professional football player in the Canadian Football League.
Jones was a quarterback at Tulane University, where he is an inductee to the Greater New Orleans Sports Football Hall of Fame.
Robottom also named Daron Cooper, a former production plant manager and business owner, as a special assistant to oversee capital project. Cooper, of LaPlace, is currently the parish's capital projects manager.
Directors for three other departments remain to be named. Robottom said she is conducting interviews for the Director of Health and Human Services. Elois Joseph currently oversees that department; Director of Purchasing and Procurement held by Brenda Labat and Director of Public Works held by Clifford Bailey.