Thornton asks Foster not to intervene

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 8, 2000

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / March 8, 2000

LAPLACE – Former St. John the Baptist Parish Councilman Steve Thornton isappealing to a higher authority.

He is concerned that Gov. Mike Foster might get involved in the selection ofthe St. John representative on the South Louisiana Port Commission. Sincethe St. John Parish Council has postponed voting on Parish President NickieMonica’s nominee, Bill Hubbard, Thornton wants to make sure the governor lets the local political process runs its course before he has to take over and make the choice himself.

In a letter to the governor dated March 5 Thornton asks, “I sincerely hope that you allow this decision to made in the local arena, where the decision belongs . . .”Thornton doesn’t really feel Hubbard is the right choice for the position on the commission. Citing a March 1, 1999 letter from the State LicensingBoard for Contractors to Hubbard, Thornton questions Hubbard’s business practices and integrity.

The letter to Hubbard was the result of Hubbard’s contracting company, Hubbard Enterprises Inc., making a bid to install playground equipment forSt. John Parish. The State Licensing Board of Contractors told Hubbard hedid not have the correct license to make the bid and was in violation of the bidding law.

Hubbard maintains the whole thing was cleared up and was a matter of just not having the right paperwork. Hubbard’s bid was not the low bid and notaccepted by the parish.

Thornton has sent the letter from the licensing board to council members and to Foster.

“More debate must occur among the current council with regards to discourse that Mr. Hubbard reportedly had with individual council membersprior to their knowledge of the letter,” wrote Thornton in his letter to the governor. ” I believe that the parish council will weigh all factors presented tothem prior to making a final decision.”Monica has 90 days in which to nominate a member of the port commission.

If a nomination is not approved in that time, the governor steps in and appoints someone. A recent newspaper article said Foster was consideringnominating Hubbard.

That’s when Thornton wrote to the governor asking him to let the St. JohnParish Council make the decision.

“Perhaps, you have been led to believe that Mr. Hubbard has unanimoussupport locally, and the council simply took too long to confirm the appointment,” Thornton wrote. “I am confident that it is obvious to you thatthere must be more to this story due to the lack of action taken by the council.”Thornton went on to write, “I trust as a fellow Republican you will not allow politics to interfere with sound local government business decisions.”

Return To News Stories