St. Charles president, councilmen bid farewell

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 29, 1999

LEONARD GRAYL’Observateur / December 29, 1999

HAHNVILLE – Parish President Chris Tregre and five Parish Council members said their official farewells in the last regular meeting held Dec. 20.Each outgoing public official received a plaque of recognition, another detailing their public service history and another detailing their accomplishments.

Tregre was first recognized for his accomplishments as he capped his 16 years of public service, eight as District One councilman and eight as parish president.

As parish president, Tregre spearheaded millions of dollars of drainage and water system improvements, led the fight for $41 million in sewer system improvements and oversaw millions of dollars in road overlays and repairs.

Other accomplishments in recreation, environmental issues and government operation improvements were also cited.

“And perhaps the biggest victory for the taxpayers of St. Charles Parishwas the fight Chris led to stop the state Legislature from taking the Waterford 3 property taxes,” the plaque added.

Tregre was joined at the podium by his wife, Pati, and children Rebecca, Michael and Brandi.

District 7 Councilman Bill Sirmon, a native of Gueydan and resident of Luling since 1956, was recognized for his many years of public service, including four years on the Parish Council. That service included teacherand coach at J. B. Martin and Carver middle schools, director of schooltransportation, director of adult and community education and athletic director at Hahnville High School.

Sirmon’s notable legislative accomplishments include securing $50,000 in Congressional funding for the parish’s park system, pushing through an Aviation Zone ordinance to control expansion of the airport and helping to broker a settlement on justice of the peace and constable reapportionment.

Sirmon was joined at the podium by his wife, Edie, sons Will, Quin and Kris, and his grandson.

District 1 Councilman Ellis Alexander, a native and resident of Hahnville, was likewise recognized for his eight years on the council.

Alexander’s notable legislative accomplishments include property purchase and development of the Boutte Community Park, dubbed his legacy to the parish; pushing as hard for the Paul Maillard Road sidewalks just approved for construction; initiating the bicycle route for the west bank, Jefferson to St. John parishes; pushing for a recreational facility atthe Davis Pond freshwater diversion project and accomplishing the road lighting along Louisiana Highway 3160 in Hahnville.

Alexander was joined at the podium by his wife, Christine. They are theparents of Ellis II, Dominique, Michelle and Collette.

District 2 Councilman Brian Champagne, a native and resident of Luling, was also recognized for his eight years on the council.

Champagne’s notable legislation included placement of grain dust air monitors, arranging the broadcast of parish council committee meetings, promoting the hiring of a legislative liaison for the legislative sessions, spearheading the creation of the River Region Caucus, getting a signal light at Willowdale Boulevard and U.S. Highway 90, establishing thesummer youth employment program and establishing the River Parishes Transit Authority.

Champagne was joined at the podium by his wife, Amanda, and their children, Brittani, Evan, Adam, Seth and Kaleb.

District 5 Councilman Curtis Johnson Sr., a native and resident of St. Rose,was honored for his many years of public service. After his career in theNegro baseball league in the 1950s, in the early and mid-1970s he served as a zoning code enforcement officer. In June 1977 he was elected to thePolice Jury to serve out an unexpired term through June 1980. He laterserved three consecutive terms as councilman, beginning in 1988.

Johnson’s legislative accomplishments include establishing the Martin Luther King holiday, introducing his five-point plan for economic development, developing the IMTT ball park in St. Rose, pushing throughlegislation against firearm discharge near residences, getting funding for street lights along St. Rose Avenue, spearheading establishment of a newparish library branch in St. Rose and working with the St. Rose firedepartment for a new station.

Johnson was joined at the podium by his wife, Stanislaus, and they are the parents of Lynette Brown, Curtis Jr., Dionne Davis, Cheryl, Nadine, Lynn,John, Nancy and Arnold Rachal, Regina Cotton and Raymond Rachal. Theyhave 22 grandchildren.

Finally, District 6 Councilman Richard “Dickie” Duhe, a native and resident of the Good Hope/Norco area, was honored for his many years of public service. He first became constable for his district in 1980 and after twoterms was elected to the first of three terms as parish councilman, a total of 20 consecutive years in public office.

Duhe’s legislative accomplishments include the elimination of obscene video sales and distribution in the parish, upheld by the Supreme Court and the introduction of the fire victims assistance program. He also proposedopen container laws and the new Montz fire station, accomplished lighting the Bonnet Carre Spillway bridge of Airline Highway, worked to establish the “citizen-manned” pump station program, established the tourism commission, worked for the east bank hurricane protection levee and pushed through senior citizen cable TV discount rates.

Duhe was joined at the podium by his wife, Linda. They are the parents ofMichael, Kitty, Danielle and the late Ricky Duhe and have one granddaughter.

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