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Parish looking for grant writer

By Susan Stewart / L’Observateur / February 16, 1998

A discussion about the procedure to get a grant writer for St. John theBaptist Parish dominated much of the St. John Parish Council meetingTuesday night.

“I’m willing to go out and hire a grant writer,” Parish President Arnold Labat told members of the council, who practically sat on the edge of their seats in anticipation of Labat’s response to what action would be taken to rectify a situation that has haunted the council for some time.

At-large councilman Dale Wolfe said the council “has been talking about the issue for too long” and has not taken appropriate action.

“We’ve been talking about this for three months now, and I ask all of you to go out into the community and see for yourselves how people are living.

That’s enough to justify paying someone to write grants for the parish,” he said. “We need a grant writer to help people help themselves.”Taken into serious consideration would be the shifting around of parish administrators to find someone to fill the position, then replacing that person.

“My recommendation would be a lateral move in filling the position,” Labat commented when asked if he would bring a new person in or hire someone already in-house.

Council members also sought assurance from Labat that the position would be advertised regardless of the procedure taken to fill it.

“I assume we will follow civil service guidelines whether it be a lateral move or it turns out that we bring someone new on board?” Council Perry Bailey asked.

Councilman Joel McTopy said the parish should bring in someone who is well-versed in all aspects of grant writing.

“It’s got to be someone who can cut the bacon. We don’t need a director,but someone with the capabilities and prior established resources necessary to do an effective job for this parish,” McTopy said.

Labat agreed that the person would not only write grants, “but also go out and administer them once we get them.”

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