Lafourche Parish President not seeking reelection
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF LAFOURCHE PARISH FROM LAFOURCHE PARISH PRESIDENT JIMMY CANTRELLE
Four years ago, I announced my candidacy to serve as President of Lafourche Parish. Serving the people of Lafourche Parish had long been a goal of mine because I wanted to give back to a people and place that had given me so much opportunity.
However, I am announcing today that I will not be seeking reelection as Lafourche Parish President. I have reached this decision after much deliberation and consultation with my family. I cannot submit my family to another 4 years of such volatile conditions, including frivolous charges and accusations brought against me. Although I have been exonerated of all of these frivolous charges levied against me in the appropriate court of law or administrative agency of the state, it has taken its toll.
In spite of all the controversy, I am proud of the things that my administration has accomplished. With a crippled economy and a tremendous loss of revenue, Lafourche Parish Government has drastically increased the work performed on pump repair, replacement, drainage, ditch restoration and cleaning, and numerous other infrastructure projects. James Barnes and myself worked tirelessly to solve flooding problems throughout the parish, especially in Sugar Ridge. Some of our projects include the Leeville Fishing Pier, Delta Farms Boat Launch in Larose, purchase of property for an addition to Heroes Park, floating pier for Leighton Boat Launch, Lockport Community Center, Bayou Blue Splash Park, and resurfacing and improving many roads, to name a few. As a member of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board, I was able, along with President Dove of Terrebonne Parish, to secure hundreds of millions of new dollars for our area to help restore our coast and protect our people from flooding and build hurricane protection.
As promised during my campaign, our permit office and permitting process have been reformed. We now have two new office locations where people are being served properly, all done at no extra expense to the taxpayers. In regards to our health care insurance for parish workers, I experienced extreme criticism for trying to seek proposals from other insurance agencies to insure that we were getting the best deal for our employees and the best price for our taxpayers. This huge contract had probably never been re-negotiated in over 12 years. Finally, after three years, the medical and health care insurance was renegotiated, saving our parish over 1.5 million dollars in two years, with a policy that is virtually the same as the old one.
I also negotiated a new garbage contract, at a savings to residents of almost 2 million dollars per year, with even better service than the old contract. I am very proud of the changes we made. I am still concerned about our parish’s future.
I thank the people of Lafourche Parish for giving me this opportunity to serve, and I especially thank my loyal supporters, family and friends. I would also like to say thanks to ALL our Lafourche Parish employees, especially my Department Heads .
As a citizen, I fully expect to remain active and engaged in making our communities better places in which to live.