St. James council member says he didn’t support board decision

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 13, 1998

By Rebecca Burk / L’Observateur / May 13, 1998

CONVENT – One St. James Parish Council member turned the discussionfrom parish government to parish education during his comments at the end of Wednesday night’s council meeting.

Councilman Elwyn Bocz, a retired St. James School System employee,brought up the decision the school board made in selecting Walter Landry as interim superintendent beginning July 1. Current Superintendent JohnBoughton is retiring.

Landry bought a half-page ad in The Enterprise that was published right after he was selected for the job.

His advertisement, which brandishes his signature at the bottom, states, “I wish to publicly express my heartfelt thanks to all members of the St.

James Parish School System and System employees; St. James ParishPresident; Chairman and Members of the Council; St. James Parish Sheriff;Assessor; Clerk of Court and Judges for their support.””I just want to clarify one thing,” Bocz said. “If it’s pertaining to therecent action of the school board I want to make clear that I didn’t have anything to do with it. I didn’t support it. I think it was a bad decision…The St. James School System is going somewhere, but it’s going in thewrong direction.”In an interview last week, Landry claimed many have accused him of being political. “I know it’s political,” he said. “I ran for assessor six years ago.They’ve always supported me.”Landry was selected by a 4-3 vote at the April 14 meeting of the school board, and since that selection parents, industry members and some board members have complained that an important decision was made with no thought.

“I was very upset with that decision and I want to make sure that the public knows I didn’t support it,” Bocz added.

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